Gin, the drink we know today, began as a medicinal elixir crafted by monks and alchemists across Europe. It was later refined in Flanders and the Netherlands, becoming a commodity in the spirits industry. Today, gin is produced in various ways, using a wide range of plant-based ingredients, resulting in distinct styles and brands. Beyond juniper, it’s flavored with herbs, spices, floral notes, or fruits, often a combination of these.
Cambridge Distillery is one of the prominent gin distilleries in the UK, rooted in a connection with nature. William and Lucy Lowe drew inspiration from their walks in the fields around Cambridge, creating gins that captured the essence of English seasons, using botanicals growing near their home. They founded Cambridge Distillery with the belief that no botanical is the same, emphasizing the need to respect each one’s uniqueness. They developed a new distillation method where temperature, timing, and pressure were the basis for working with each botanical individually. With this system, each gin became a tailored masterpiece, unique and crafted to perfection. It’s no wonder that Cambridge Distillery is known for creating bespoke gins for clients. This service, called tailoring, starts at £3000 and has limited availability. Cambridge Distillery’s gins are sophisticated and call for equally refined tonic waters. Fever Tree, known for its diversity and quality, offers the best options for each gin, from The Cambridge Distillery collection and The English Herbarium to vintage limited editions. Each gin from this distillery is a true work of art, deserving a tonic water that complements its quality.
One standout gin is the Japanese KI NO BI SEI from Kyoto Distillery, awarded a silver medal at the International Spirits Challenge in 2022. Although gin might not be the first beverage that comes to mind when thinking of Japan, the Japanese have been developing premium spirits. Kyoto was chosen for the distillery due to its abundance and quality, especially in soft waters from Fushimi, renowned for producing high-quality sake for centuries, and locally grown ingredients like yuzu and the legendary Uji teas. This gin is tailored for discerning enthusiasts and perfect for cocktails. If the base of the cocktail is gin, this is the ideal choice.
While France is renowned for its gastronomy and wines, it has emerged as a notable player in the world of gin. French gin, relaunched in 1996, has gained international recognition as a luxurious spirit, thanks to passionate and creative bartenders. Among them is Maison Villevert, responsible for G’Vine. G’Vine Floraison was one of the first French gins to capture the Portuguese market, and the G’Vine Night Edition with a special bottle offers an unparalleled taste. Limited edition and gaining ground in auctions, it’s a perfect addition for premium gin collectors.
Last but not least, we conclude with a Portuguese gin. Adamus Dry Gin was crowned the best in its category in 2019 at the World Gin Awards. It’s a unique and unmistakable gin made from the Baga grape variety from Bairrada, resulting in a perfect distillate with 44.4% alcohol by volume. A strong character defines this drink, capable of transporting us to unique moments. The right combination is one part gin to three parts tonic: this seems to be the recipe that makes it such a special and coveted beverage. A cult drink today, Portugal has succumbed to the charms of dry gin.
Experts recommend Fever Tree, preferably Indian or Mediterranean, as the tonic water of choice. However, you can also experiment with the various flavors Fever Tree offers and mix them with your gins to find your favorite blend. Unleash your creativity and play with flavors. Start with the simplicity of mixing just tonic water and gin. Then, when you find the blend you love, start adding botanicals and fruits.
Take this opportunity to relax while savoring a good gin.
By Ana Cristina Valente