Food & Drink

5 summer gins to forage for right now

Time to garnish and gear up for G&T O’clock, says Sam Wylie-Harris.

Toast the season with these botanical blends
Solaro Capri Gin, Boutique Brands Toast the season with these botanical blends

When you want to up your gin game, fruit-inspired seasonal specials, zesty botanicals, and scented, floral expressions for refreshing deliciousness, with a fine balance of juniper are where it’s at.

To kick-start your gin journey, here’s what’s causing a stir – and hitting those high notes…

1. Bathtub Gin Grapefruit & Rosemary,  £33.95, 70cl, Ocado

Bathtub are putting their spin on gin with this seasonal special edition featuring zingy grapefruit and fragrant rosemary… the result is an exquisite balance of flavours with enticing floral notes, touches of tingling orange peel, juniper taking the driving seat and herbal, citrusy notes rounding off the finish. Super refreshing.

2. James Gin American Mustard, £36.95, 70cl, James Gin

Cited as a gin to get the tastebuds flowing and an ‘essence of America’s greatness’, fresh mustard seeds and dill pickles are at the heart of James May’s gin. The television presenter has taken inspiration from across the pond to craft this savoury gin which blends yellow mustard seeds, gherkin, juniper, coriander seeds and cast of other botanicals to bring home a gin to go with backyard BBQ cook outs. Just add ice and tonic.

3. Warner’s Rhubarb Gin, £38, 70cl, Warner’s Distillery

A riot of rhubarb flavours, bursts of sweet and tangy rhubarb imbibe thoughts of refreshing summer puddings, with plenty of punchy, fruity notes, a creamy earthy sweetness, balanced by citrus and spice. Try with Mediterranean tonic and slice of juicy orange or lemon. A fantastic alternative to pink gin.

4. Rock Rose Gin Summer Edition, £39, 70cl, Dunnet Bay Distillers

A bunch of botanicals make up this summer cooler, with lemon balm and lemon thyme headlining, hints of elderflower making themselves known, plus pineapple sage and meadowsweet. Like drinking in a delightful cottage garden, with a good measure of citrus keeping it bright and refreshing.

5. Solaro Capri Gin, £120, 70cl, Boutique Brands

Seeking to channel Capri in a glass, this gin is a postcard from Italy. The price may be eye-watering, but if a gin can be utterly gorgeous, this is it. Meticulous attention is given to the handmade bottle, not to mention handpicked local botanicals including lemon blossom plucked from Capri’s highest peak, Monte Solaro, from where the gin takes its name. Smooth and aromatic with floral accents and burst of citrus over a base of red juniper berries define this top drop.