But all gins are basically the same aren’t they?
NO THEY ARE NOT!
Here at the White Horse we have always prided ourselves on stocking a wide range of Gins & Tonics and serving them in the best possible combinations pairing the best accompaniments with the best gins.
Gin was once frowned upon, nicknamed mother’s ruin and deemed responsible for the breakdown of England’s moral fibre. This started when gin got a reputation for being “Cheaper than beer, safer than water.” During the dark days of typhoid, Gin was being drunk more than water, but that soon changed and now a G&T is one of the trendiest drinks around.
With Gin now as popular as ever, and a wide range available on the market, we are always encouraging our guests to try new gins in new combinations. Please feel free to quiz our team on the best gins to suit your tastes.
With that in mind, allow us to present a rough quick guide to our selection of gins.
We’ll kick off with a classic choice. This gin, first brewed in London by Charles Tanquery in 1830 is an always popular gin. Probably because they make their gin using a mix of botanicals picked at the best time of the season, when each fruit is at it’s freshest. This is said to be Frank Sinatra’s gin of choice (although the only source we can find for that is the Tanqueray website). The bottle offers some Hollywood style and glamour and is modelled after the classic cocktail shaker.
For best results keep it simple with an ordinary tonic water, and with a great mix of ripe fruits in the recipe already, you can’t really go wrong with any fruit you put into it, so mix it with your favourite flavour to enhance what is already there.
Everyone knows and loves this one, but it’s a relatively new creation in the world of gins. It was first made in 1999, on the West Coast of Scotland near the main ferry port to Ireland in Girvan. As well as juniper berries, a founding ingredient in all gins, this one has surprising hints of Bulgarian Rose and Cucumber that give it a distinct refreshing flavour and have made it one of the best selling Gins in the UK today. It was described by the Wall Street Journal as the Best Gin In The World in 2003.
We recommend serving this one with an ordinary tonic water and a shot of elderflower cordial, and a slice of cucumber. Gin drinkers who want to strike more of a balance with traditional flavour could add a shaving of lime peel to make it a touch more citrusy.
It’s difficult to describe this one to you – even for a non-award winning food & drink writer like me – that’s because it’s flavour changes depending on the time of year. Rather than sticking to once recipe the whole year around, Blackwoods use different botanicals all year around to make sure their gin is always made with what’s fresh and in season. The botanicals (clever word for fruit by the way) come from the rugged natural landscape of Scotland’s Shetland islands.
This gin won a gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirit Competition in 2013.
Ideal garnishes include Juniper Berries (which basically go with any gin by the way), Lemon or Lime peel, or if you can get some from the kitchen, Coriander for a summer blend. Or use Cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and liquorice to enhance those winter flavours. A normal tonic or Mediterranean tonic compliments this one, but avoid adding Elderflower as it overpowers the summer flavours.
For the producers of Boodles there is a ‘Bring Your Own’ mentality. Rarely
amongst gins, this contains no citrus botanicals at all, because they assume that any gin based cocktail will add lemon or lime themselves, and any G&T drinker will get a slice of lemon or lime. Instead they focus on some less common flavours to give this gin a distinct taste. Boodles use nutmeg, sage and rosemary, to give a less fruity, more herby flavour.
While Boodles expect you to add lemon or lime, we would recommend using them sparingly or not at all because there’s a wonderful unique taste to Boodles and you don’t want to over power it. Elderflower tonic does go well with this one though and you can’t go wrong with a few juniper berries.
Adnams Copper House Dry
Adnams are a well known name, respected for their range of beers brewed in Southwold – including the famous Ghostship. Their range of gins is less famous but just as good. Copper House Dry is absolutely jam packed with juniper, citrus and floral botanicals. East Anglican malted barley is combined with six carefully selected botanicals.
This one is best served with a generous sized slice of orange and a bit of zest from the peel.
Adnams Copper House First Rate
For an even better glass of Adnams G&T, this one lives up to the ‘first rate’ in it’s name. A mix of 13 ripe botanicals gives this one a slightly spicier palate.
This one is so flavoursome that it doesn’t take much effort to bring out the flavours, so we recommend just a slice of lemon. Or if we’re not so busy, ask us if we have time to get some thyme from the kitchen, for an even better experience. The spicy flavours of the gin are complimented by Fevertree’s Mediterranean Tonic.
During the reign of King George II, the 1736 gin act was passed, imposing a levy of £50 on the selling and manufacture of gin. Only 2 distilleries agreed to this.
This is a smooth, velvety gin. It’s uniqueness and high quality are preserved by making it in relatively small batches. The unique bottle design is inspired by the chemists bottle – it was once believed that gin was medicinal (and that’s still believed by the White Horse).
Our serving suggestion for this slightly sweeter gin is a strawberry or two, especially in the summer when the strawberries are ripe.
Monkey 47 can best be described as eccentric,
possibly even a bit mad. It unites British gin traditions. There’s still a hint of the empire in here, as ingredients and recipes from India and the Black Forest come together, in this gin that was invented by Montgommery Collins. There is a mix of 47 regional botanicals which give it one of the most complex flavours of any of our gins.
As such it pairs really well with slices of any fruit. We recommend picking whichever flavour your want to bring out stronger in the mix. A good combination we like to accompany this eccentric gin is an elderflower tonic and cinnamon sticks.
Worship St. Cream Gin
This is by far our most unusual gin. The cream gin that originated in the rambunctious gin palaces of London’s Drury Lane. Like those palaces themselves this gin is a lavish affair. Created in Worship Street’s in-house laboratory who create cocktails based on current trends but always with a nod to the drinking cultures and production methods of days gone by.
As the name implies, this is like a cream soda/gin mash up. Distilled in a vacuum still. It has a smooth velvety finish and a taste of vanilla sweetness. 100ml of fresh cream goes into each bottle alongside grains of paradise spice from Africa and the less glamorous radish.
Fruitwise: Cinnamon sticks to compliment the sweetness in the winter and Strawberries in the summer for the ultimate Strawberries & Cream drink. Sit at the bar and watch the Wimbledon coverage with one of these delicious sweet drinks.
Just One Last Question: I asked our expert bar team, “I don’t like gin. It all tastes the same doesn’t it? What would you recommend to s0meone like me?”
Tanqueray is good – it’s a very traditionally flavoured gin
or the Cream Gin if you have a sweet tooth.
Lots of people don’t like gin because it can be quite dry, for those people Monkey 47 or a Hendricks is more palatable – 50 Pounds is definitely worth avoiding if you don’t like it dry.
All our tonic is Fevertree, because we believe they are the best on the market at the moment, and we recommend Mediterranean Tonic for anyone wanting extra spice, but that does not pair well with the cream gin.