The 12 gins of Christmas

cCassic and deliciously flavoured gins in beautifully collectable bottles from Whitley Neill, The City of London Distillery, Liverpool Gin, Mary-Le-Bone and J.J Whitley

There may be plenty of spirits to choose from this Christmas, but if you really want to create an impression, look no further than these classic and deliciously flavoured gins, which come in beautiful, collectable bottles that will be a pleasure to unwrap.

Whitley Neill, J.J Whitley, City of London Distillery, Liverpool Gin and Mary-le-bone Gin offer collections to suit all tastes, which are perfect sipped on their own or enjoyed in a cocktail.

The Traditional

City of London Authentic Dry Gin
The City has a rich gin history, but when the Gin Craze ended there wasn’t a single gin distillery in London for nearly 200 years – until the City of London Distillery opened in 2012. It handcrafts award-winning super-premium gins including the clean and characterful City of London Authentic Dry Gin, a classic London dry gin flavoured with fresh orange, lemon and pink grapefruit, in addition to the finest juniper berries, angelica, liquorice and angelica root, which gives the gin its distinctive zesty notes. Available from drinkssupermarket.com for £34 (70cl).

Mary-Le-Bone London Dry Gin
Distilled in a tiny copper pot, Mary-Le-Bone is the super-premium gin from The Pleasure Gardens Distilling Company. Using 13 floral botanicals, including chamomile, grapefruit and lime flower, which were associated with one of London’s fashionable 18th Century pleasure gardens, Mary-Le-Bone Gin boasts an unrivalled balance and complexity. Available from Master of Malt for £45.95 (70cl).

Whitley Neill Original Handcrafted Dry Gin
Johnny Neill’s own signature blend of gin, Whitley Neill Original Handcrafted Dry Gin is an exceptional liquid featuring rich notes of juniper and citrus, potpourri and exotic spices. With this award-winning gin, Johnny pays tribute to his English distilling heritage and homage to the enigmatic beauty of his wife’s South African homeland. A balanced, distinctive gin that blends classic gin botanicals with cape gooseberry and baobab, it is a liquid created with a flavour as unique as its heritage. Available from Tesco for £26 (70cl).

Peter Morrell, Editor comments “I’ve been sampling the Whitley Neil Original Handcrafted dry gin and it really is a unique drink. This is very much Britain meets Africa with a mix traditional botanicals - Juniper, Coriander Seed, Cassia Bark, Orris Root, Angelica Root, Sweet Orange, and Lemon and these are enhanced by Cape Gooseberry and Baobab.

Juniper notes are to the fore and there are strong underpinning citrus and floral tones. There is a peppery character in the mouth of this ultra smooth and sophisticated gin.”

The Winter Warmer

City of London Distillery Sloe Gin
City of London Distillery Sloe Gin is rich in colour, rich in taste and made with London dry gin steeped for many months with blackthorn berries. At 28% ABV it has an aroma of ripe, blueberry and sloe berries combined with notes of floral and pine gin, giving way to wonderfully fruity sloe and blueberry flavours followed by a sloe berry, pine and cracked black pepper finish. Less is more with this special gin; it’s great on its own. Available at online at Amazon for £32 (70cl).

J.J Whitley Plum Gin
Delightfully flavoursome, J.J Whitley Plum Gin is the perfect fruity gin and brilliantly versatile in a myriad of serves. This gin has a delicious fresh fruit nose with a hint of black pepper followed by sweet vanilla on the palate. A warming taste sensation, it is followed with fruity plum and piney juniper, then a finish of stone fruit, flowers, and spicy cracked pepper. Available at Amazon for £18.99 (70cl).

Whitley Neill Blackberry Gin
This is a truly exceptional gin that evokes the flavours of rural England and memories of creator Johnny Neill’s childhood spent picking blackberries in the fields and lanes around his grandparents’ farm. Whitley Neill Blackberry Gin tastes of fresh plump berries and offers hints of floral hedgerow. It has a smooth flavour, with a core of delicious, piney juniper followed by zesty sweet citrus and hints of wonderful black pepper. The finish has a little earthiness alongside the warming spice of cassia. Available from Tesco.com for £26 (70cl).

The Citrus

City of London Distillery Six Bells Lemon Gin
Refreshing City of London Distillery Six Bells Lemon Gin buzzes with lemon sherbet, lemongrass and lemon peel, which combine perfectly with the aromatic flavours of a classic dry gin. It is aptly named after the six bells surrounding the City of London in the ‘Oranges and Lemons’ rhyme – St Martin’s, Old Bailey, Shoreditch, St Clements’, Stepney and Bow. Available online at Amazon for £35 (70cl).

Whitley Neill Pink Grapefruit Gin
All eight generations of the Whitley Neill family tree shared a taste for discovery, and Johnny Neill was no different. When he travelled through Andalusia with his wife, it was the citrus groves of Spanish pink grapefruits that inspired him to create this fragrant and aromatic handcrafted gin. Whitley Neill Pink Grapefruit Gin offers a delicate sweetness on the palate, with citrus notes that give way to a balanced burst of zesty pink grapefruit. Available from ASDA for £26 (70cl).

Liverpool Valencian Orange Gin
A zesty premium organic gin, it is made with the same combination of distinctive botanicals as original Liverpool Gin, which has an intense juniper and complex well-balanced botanical flavour over a rich cereal note with a bright citrus finish. Refreshing Valencian Orange Liverpool Gin has the addition of the zesty citrus notes of oranges from Valencia. Available from Master of Malt for £42.99 (70cl).

The Fruity

J.J Whitley Pink Cherry Gin
J.J Whitley Pink Cherry Gin bursts with brilliant flavour. A sugary stone fruit and fresh orange and almond aroma offer an initial sweetness that leads to marzipan, sour cherry and juniper on the palate with a smooth finish of cherry, almond and a little lingering spice. Available online at Amazon for £17.99 (70cl).

Mary-Le-Bone Orange & Geranium Gin
Like the original Mary-Le-Bone London Dry Gin, Orange and Geranium utilises the floral botanicals associated with the fashionable Pleasure Gardens of London which existed in the 18th century. A small-batch super-premium gin, it is handcrafted in a tiny pot still and features eight exceptional botanicals (sweet orange peel, geranium, juniper, coriander, lemon peel, cassia bark, angelica root and orris root). Presented in an elegantly shaped, amber-toned bottle Mary-Le-Bone Orange and Geranium Gin is a versatile base for a wide range of delicious cocktails, as well as an ice-cold G&T. Available from Sainsbury’s for £28.50 (50cl).

Whitley Neill Raspberry Gin
Whitley Neill Raspberry Gin evokes Johnny Neill’s childhood memories of picking fruit when visiting his mother’s Scottish family in Aberdeenshire. Taking the famous Whitley Neill family gin and introducing a fresh, fruity twist of Scottish raspberries, he has created a wonderfully tasty gin. Initial and distinct juniper, coriander and liquorice give way to the bright, fresh, vibrant taste of Scottish raspberries. Whitley Neill Raspberry Gin is a perfectly balanced gin with a delicate, fruity profile and a lasting raspberry finish. Available from Tesco for £26 (70cl).

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