BEEFEATER Why we love it: This iconic bottle had to be on this list; otherwise, this wouldn’t be a list. The perfect balance of botanicals in this recipe hasn’t changed since 1820, so they’ve gotta be doing something right. It’s got a punchy juniper centre, bright citrus up front and an earthy, bitter nose to finish. Cheers to that. How to drink it: In a classic Negroni, just as most bars do! Keep it balanced and pour separate 25ml measures of Beefeater, Campari and Dolin Rouge into a mixing glass, give it a stir and pour into a rocks glass with a big ice cube and garnish with an orange twist.
COLONEL FOX Why we love it: Because when you get bored of the same old bottles with the same old labels this one comes along with it’s fox in a military coat and walking stick and rocks your world. The taste is just as unusual as the label with a slight hint of ginger off the back of the dominant juniper! How to drink it: Like your gin with a fiery ginger kick? This is our kinda twist on a G&T; the spicier notes in Colonel Fox really show off when served with Fever Tree ginger ale and a lemon twist.
FORDS Why we love it: Another Londoner; the 9 botanicals in this local hero are steeped for 15 hours before being distilled in 500 litre stills. Made just down the road from us in the Thames Distillers, Fords is proof that the more time you put into something, the better it slips down. How to drink it: Simply with a splash of vermouth or tonic and a bunch of mates!
GIN MARE Why we love it: Distilled in a chapel just outside of Barcelona, it’s got a that holiday, mediterranean flavour to it. The guys behind it experimented with hundreds of botanicals before settling on the perfect combination of arbequina olives, rosemary, thyme, basil, citrus, juniper, coriander and cardamom. It’s unique and we love it. How to drink it: Take a big balloon shaped glass and fill with ice, pour in 50ml Gin Mare and top with 200ml 1724 Tonic Water, then slip in an orange twist and a sprig of rosemary. Fresh.
MARTIN MILLERS Why we love it: This bad boy is distilled in pot stills and then shipped all the way over to Iceland to be mixed with Icelandic spring water. When a gin tastes this crisp, it’s gotta be something in the water… How to drink it: Mix up a G&T with a summer twist: take a highball glass, fill it with ice and pour in 50ml of Martin Miller, top with 1724 Tonic and garnish with cracked black pepper and sliced strawberries.
PORTOBELLO ROAD Why we love it: This London Dry Gin is made by the guys behind the Portobello Star and you can find it at their very own Ginstitute upstairs. Bring a mate and have your own one-on-one gin making session with the owner, Jake Burger. How to drink it: Grab a big coppa glass, fill with plenty of ice, pour in 50ml Portobello Road Gin, top with 1724 tonic water and garnish with a large twist of grapefruit and some juniper berries.
SACRED Why we love it: Back in the day when BarChick first began, we had parties with (now famous) bartenders and drank booze made by the people we loved. Sacred was one of the first and it is still made in Ian and Hilary’s kitchen in Highgate. We love that it’s smooth and moorish; gins don’t get more small batch than Sacred. How to drink it: G&T style with 50ml Sacred Gin, 1724 Tonic, garnished with a slice of red grapefruit and a sprig of rosemary.
SIPSMITH Why we love it: For starters, Sipsmith is made in London’s very own Chiswick-- we love a good local. We also like this eccentric take on a London Dry Gin--it always catches our eye on the back bar with it’s sexy swan label. It’s rich and punchy enough for a G&T, but also smooth enough for our first Martini of the night. How to drink it: Make a Sloegroni! Combine 15ml equal parts of Sipsmith London Dry Gin, Sipsmith Sloe Gin, Vermouth and Campari in a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with a lemon twist and slip in a wedge of orange. Simple, balanced, delicious.
ST. GEORGE Why we love it: Having been in the “craft spirit” game since before it was a thing, these guys have 33 years of distilling unique, character-driven booze. Their Terroir Gin is inspired by local foliage: bay laurel, sage, douglas fir and other classic Northern Californian smells, which instantly transport you to the Golden State. How to drink it: Get a highball glass, fill with ice and 50ml of Terrior Gin. Top up with Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.
TANQUERAY no. TEN Why we love it: This beautiful bottle is the flagship gin of the 183 year old distillery. We love it because it's got that full body juniper-laced flavour with hints of freshly squeezed lemon, orange and grapefruit with a coriander finish! How to drink it: In a dry martini with a twist of grapefruit and some friends. Stir 50ml of Tanqueray No.TEN gin and 10ml Dry Vermouth together and strain into a frozen martini cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of pink grapefruit.