One more sleep ‘til World Gin Day! To help you choose the most worthy contributor to your hangover, my gin-loving pal and I tested out three beautiful gins so you don’t have to.
After spending an evening using said gin-loving pal’s GoPro, I am so very definitely getting one. I’m also going to hire her as my photoshopper, because my every demand (“put the flowers EVERYWHERE”) was catered for.
Everyone knows whether they prefer Hendrick’s or Tanqueray, but there’s so much more than the mainstream when it comes to gin. Two of my favourite smaller distilleries are Tarquin’s, brewed in North Cornwall and Whitley Neill’s, which goes just nicely with a slice of orange. But rather than incline back to the familiar, I’m celebrating this most grandma-fabulous of days by stepping – or should that be stumbling? – into new territory with three tipples I’ve not yet tried.
First up is Hayman’s Old Tom. Sayeth the Hayman’s: “A smooth and full-flavoured gin it delivers a rounded and softer profile. This quintessentially English gin was the gin of choice during the 19th century Victorian England and used in the classic gin cocktails such as the Martinez and Tom Collins”. What a delight.
Garnish with… lemon or lime
The exotic gin
In the second corner, we have Opihr, which was given to me by a barmaid at Dolly’s gin bar in Falmouth, Cornwall. Obviously at the time of writing, I have no idea what it tastes like yet, but I’ve gotta say the bottle gives them an edge. *Bravo*
Garnish with… grapefruit and black pepper
The staple gin
Completing this trio of treats is Greenall’s. This self-proclaimed ‘everyday’ gin (snaps to them for sassily encouraging a daily dosage of gin on their homepage) is perhaps the most familiar on the list, but having never tried it myself, it’s all fair game.
Garnish with… lemon or lime
Test one: straight up, butt nekkid
Test one was a marvellous fail. I’m partial to a few certain gins, D1 and Tarquin’s namely, straight up on the rocks. Not as partial as I am to when it’s paired with tonic or the like admittedly; but I’m afraid to say all three failed here.
Test two: just a little bitta garnish
Blindly, of the Greenall’s: “This tasted citrus-y and a little spicy – very refreshing. Nothing totally outstanding but if nekkid but for garnish is the yardpost, I’d certainly choose it over standard gins.”
Blindly, of the Hayman’s: “I preferred this one; it was similar but it seemed sweeter somehow, and the spiciness more herbal.”
Blindly, of the Opihr: “Oh, this one was by far my favourite. The cardamom flavours took centre stage and absolutely smashed out of the park. GIN C, REVEAL YOURSELF so I can take you all the way to Fernandos.”
Test three: enter the tonic
Blindly, of the Greenall’s: “Honestly? This one was bog standard. A little Wetherspoonsy. Not offensive at all, but hardly a gin to write home about (although if I was writing home about any gins at all, I think my parents would have serious questions as to what exactly I’m doing in London…).”
Blindly, of the Hayman’s: “Now this was lovely. Very smooth, and the herbal spices shone through even more with the tonic.”
Blindly, of the Opihr: “Perhaps this was better paired with a different tonic – or another soft drink all together – but it didn’t match up to its potential with the nekkid-but-for-garnish sip. On par with Gin B, albeit a very different, much more exotic, taste.”
I’m tossing up as to my favourite here. For the sake of this test, Gin B – Hayman’s! – wins; but Gin C – Opihr! – deserves another shot (har har har), next time without the blindness. I bet it would make a dreamy cocktail.
What’s your gin tipple of choice? Let me know on Twitter, Insta (both @amyjbsmith), or the comments section below ^_^
Thanks to Hayman’s for offering their gin up for this taste test.