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The Gin Explosion

The Gin and Tonic, or Geoffrey Thomas, as a Portuguese bartender friend of mine used to refer to it, is a drink that is ingrained in the British consciousness. A few years ago I was on a stag weekend in a Welsh coastal village when a group of us found ourselves mulling over what defines Britishness. In the alcohol subsection of our carefully and not at all drunkenly drawn up document was Pimms, the inevitable pint of Bitter, but topping the list was the G&T.  From Victorian urchin's fighting juice, to Mothers Ruin, the 6pm tipple of the gentry and now boutique spirit choice of the urban hipster. With the English wine market booming and the rise of the craft brewing industry stratospheric, it seems only correct that the the nations favourite spirit should follow suit. Whilst London Gin can still and with good historical reason see itself as the original, it is perhaps more interesting to look to other parts of the country for some of the most exciting new projects. Gin's based on whichever botanicals the local environment has to offer, something that accounts further perhaps for the Gin boom as foraging for kitchen ingredients becomes increasingly popular. For example, Blackdown in West Sussex use Silver Birch sap harvested from their estate as a late addition to their spirit. Anno in Kent use local hops to ginger up their Gin and Scottish distiller Blackwoods forage botanicals from Shetland including wild water mint gathered from lochs in the remote outer islands. For a drink with a less than salubrious past the future looks increasingly bright. We currently offer more than thirty Gins from around the world.

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