Whether you want to support your local distillery, or just want to support your own gin habit: these are the buys. All from London, all ready to be delivered to your doorstep. All so nice you’ll rapidly forget what all the fuss about hanging out with ‘other people’ was.
*Drink responsibly, there’s already enough chaos afoot.
Little Bird Gin Original – Little Bird Gin
This Peckham distillery recommends pairing their lightly gingery small-batch with rhubarb (in a twisted negroni) or grapefruit (in a G+T). After laborious experimentation we can confirm the fruitiness and ginger kick means it’s also a good bet for something sweeter — like a Tom Collins or an Aviation. Just… a nice gin, really. Just a nice gin that goes well with lots of things and in lots of things.
Price: £29.95 for the 70cl bottle. Order from Little Bird Gin.
Portobello Road Gin Navy Strength – Portobello Road Gin
A piratically forceful 57.1% gin, with a scattering of seasalt. Perfect for a dirty martini; practically the briny escapism of a dirty martini all on its own, really. For salty punch per pound sterling (only a quid more a bottle than its gentler, standard strength sister, the Portobello Road No. 171 Gin), this one is The One.
Side note: Portobello Road are also the fiendish minds behind Celebrated Butter Gin, made by adding slabs of unsalted butter to the still. Five read-throughs of the description later and we still can’t wrap our heads round this unholy wedlock. Never tried it, can’t in our most feverish imaginings believe we’re going to be into it, but still… can’t stop thinking about it.
Price: £26 for the 70cl bottle. Order from Portobello Road Gin.
Cabby’s Gin – Taxi Spirit Co
A gin from Moses Odong, founder of London’s first ever rum distillery, this one was apparently an accident — a byproduct of his experiments with making a juniper-spiced rum. Laced with all-spice and cardamom, let all accidents be this happy.
Price: £29 for the 50cl bottle. Order from Taxi Spirit Co
Figges Marsh – Graveney Gin
Not usually convinced by a sweeter gin, but we love the biblical, Song of Solomon headiness of the Figges Marsh. Macerated with figs and nano-distilled with honey; it’s excessive, it’s exuberant, it’s quite damn expensive so also try to be as wealthy as a biblical king when purchasing.
Their classic Graveney Gin is a drinks trolley staple, for those feeling more purist. Hard to get hold of, though, with demand regularly outstripping supply. Keep an eye on their online shop for restocking news.
Price: £50 for the 70cl bottle. Order from Graveney Gin .
Kew Explorers’ Strength – from The London Distillery Company
A collab between The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and The London Distillery Company, this is a 57.3% version of the Kew Organic Gin. True to its Kew-parentage, it’s a bit floral — violet, apparently? — and also a bit herb-garden, a bit summer-grapefruit. Too blowsy for a martini, we reckon, but makes for a good and powerful G+T.
Price: £39.95 for the 70cl bottle. Order from Master of Malt.
London Dry Gin – Sipsmith
Kind of smooth and kind of plain, this one’s a team player; Sipsmith have other punchier bottlings — including the double-junipered, extra-strength V.J.O.P. – but for a multi-spirit cocktail we’d take the classic London Dry Gin every time. Makes a great, crisp martini, or a mellow Negroni.
Price: £29 for the 70cl bottle. Order from Sipsmith.
Summerful Gin – Martin Miller’s Gin
The name might conjure up something a little Pimmsy, but the new gin from this Chelsea-based distillery is actually more fresh than fruited. They’ve taken their standard Martin Miller’s Gin — which is already double-distilled — and layered it with rosemary and thyme, via a third distillation. Being a bit herbal and a bit floral it slides neatly into a G+T, and cocktails on the more summery, sweeter end of the scale: think Basil Smash, Bramble or a Tom Collins.
Price: £28 for the 70cl bottle. Order from Masters of Malt or Waitrose.
Christopher Wren Gin – City of London Distillery
A little peppery, a little dried orange: it’s a gin for whisky-lovers. We found we were making martinis with Christopher Wren using ever more vanishingly small amounts of vermouth, until we admitted to ourselves that we just kind of… like this one neat. Freezer-cold, slice of grapefruit. Sorry, Mum. You raised us better than this.
Price: £30 for the 70cl bottle. Order from the City of London Distillery.
Premium Batch No. 2 Gin – East London Liquor Company
Like a rained-on garden. Hard to choose a favourite from the ELLC gin range, but here, we’ve made the tough decisions for you. Make it this one, with its chorus of lemon peel-bay leaf-sage-lavender; slam it into a negroni, stir it into a Vesper.
Price: £32 for the 70cl bottle. Buy online from multiple independent stockists, including Clapton Craft. See list of online stockists here
Victory Cold Distilled Gin – Victory London Distillery
A savoury gin with cassia, chestnut and black pepper in the brew, this Tottenham Hale distillery has the distinction of being the only ginmonger on our list selling its wares by the 2.1 litre baggie. Their refill pouches used to be limited to trade — a low-waste way for bars to replenish their 70cl bottles — but now you too can own 2100ml of gin-in-a-sack. 20% cheaper than buying three bottles, and 100% more novelty value.
Price: £33 for the 70cl bottle. Refill pouches: 2.1 litres for £79.20. Order from the Victory London Distillery.