The best artisan South Coast gins
To celebrate Official Gin o'Clock - aka World Gin Day on Sat June 12 - get stuck in with Muddy's pick of the the best locally-produced Mother's Ruin. Hic!
As if you needed an excuse to pile into your favourite tipple!
Once upon a time, Gail and Graham had a dream to produce the perfect London Dry gin. Passionate gin lovers themselves, they’d travelled the world and experienced many different varieties of their favourite spirit. Using a blend of botanicals full of bursts of juniper, sage, coriander, angelica, lemon peel, bitter orange, cloves and cinnamon, they created a strong, smooth and balanced gin perfect for mixing or sipping on its own over ice. Based in Chichester, they’ve scooped plenty of awards including Premium Gin Producer of the Year at the Southern Enterprise Awards.
Fancy something fruitier? Try the delicately flavoured, pretty in pink Raspberry Gin, for the taste of an English garden. Or how about the Distillers Cut, with a higher ABV to really bring out the botanicals and create a perfect balance of citrus and spice. One for dedicated gin lovers and professional mixologists.
Slake is produced just metres from the beach at Shoreham-by-Sea in the man-cave – sorry – garage of founder Tom Martin-Wells. It’s packed with ingredients he’s foraged sustainably from around the Sussex coast and countryside. Tom has used his PhD in chemistry and interest in botany to recreate classic gin flavours with a new twist, using ingredients that are local wherever possible. Hedgerow Gin is Slake’s original sipping recipe, an autumn harvest gin packed with flavour from hand-foraged hedgerow fruit and traditional spice for a soft, almost sweet, floral finish. Dry Gin is the classic, juniper-forward London dry gin with a Sussex twist, the citrus flavour traditionally created by lemon is instead provided with native Sussex lemon verbena and lemon balm.
Husband and wife team Claire and Ed have put together a portfolio of drinks that are beautifully made, transparent in their making and marketing, use locally sourced ingredients and work with other local enterprises. The range encompasses classic and contemporary gin styles and has an established market in Sussex, working with independent wine merchants, pubs, breweries, farm shops and the National Trust. Master Brewer Ed has a long and distinguished history in brewing, and Claire is an ex-banker who has brought her considerable skills to Generation 11. The Sussex Dry Gin is their modern take on the London Dry classic, packed with eight beautiful botanicals including juniper, lavender, cardamom and black pepper. Ooh and as a bonus for Lewes residents – delivery is free to you!
Award-winning Jarrold’s Gin is distilled in Chichester. The London Dry, created using just seven botanicals, wowed judges at the International Wine and Spirits competition who praised the floral notes evoking an English summer. We’ll drink to that. Founders Nichola and James – yep, another hubby and wife team – spent 18 months perfecting their blend of juniper and botanicals to create their signature gin and we think you’ll agree, it was worth the wait. Jarrold’s also produces two types of sloe gin, one limited edition bottle made from sloes hand-picked from the hedgerows of Chichester and the surrounding area. We love the bottle design too, it’s so Chi.
Wicked Wolf, Exmoor
You won’t want to keep the wolf from the door when it’s this delicious. Created by husband and wife team Julie Heap and Pat Patel, Wicked Wolf is hand-crafted in small batches on Exmoor from 11 exotic botanicals, including juniper obvs, plus coriander, hibiscus and kaffir lime leaves.
It came, it saw, it conquered! A celebration of the city’s Roman heritage, Exeter Gin owes its robust but smooth flavour to traditional Mediterranean herbs as brought to the city by the Second Augustan Legion in 55AD, including tarragon, basil and fourteen other botanicals from the four corners of the Roman world.
Fort Gin, The Portsmouth Distillery
With the first batch released in 2018, this newcomer to the gin world has a pretty formidable birthplace. Distilled in Portsmouth’s Fort Cumberland, it includes botanicals found within the fort’s walls – Gorse Flower, Elderflower and Sea Radish.
Twisted Nose Watercress Gin, Winchester Distillery
Hampshire is known for its watercress and Twisted Nose Dry Gin from the Winchester Distillery capitalises on the local delicacy, along with nine other carefully chosen botanicals to create a gin that’s firmly anchored in the county.
Silverback Mountain Strength Gin, Gorilla Spirits
This gorgeous gin from Gorilla Spirits can be found in Upton Grey, and boasts real ethical creds – the signature Silverback Mountain Strength Gin was created to with preservation in mind, giving £1 from every bottle to The Gorilla Organization.
Tinkture Rose Gin, Perranporth
A lovingly crafted gin that oozes style and substance. This amazing colour-changing gin is made with organic West Country roses. The golden colour changes to beautiful pink when mixed with tonic – and that bottle is divine!
Curio Samphire Rock Gin, Mullion
Made in Mullion on the Lizard Peninsula, this four-times-distilled gin – made with hand-foraged rock samphire – captures an invigorating taste of the Cornish coast. And I don’t care what they say about books and covers, the colourful packaging won us over too.