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Top 10 gins with unusual botanicals

Many spirits enthusiasts have a steadfast appreciation of traditional juniper notes in gin, but botanicals used in its production are becoming more and more unusual.

Gin distillers are becoming increasingly adventurous in their choice of botanicals, as this list shows

As the world experiences a gin boom, experimental in the industry is rife, particularly in the craft segment, with distillers attempting to stand out from the market with an array of extravagant botanicals.

While some industry members and consumers alike have lamented the supposed loss of traditional values (and indeed botanicals) in gin, others celebrate its new diversity.

The longevity of these brands may be in doubt, but their current popularity is undeniable.

From seaweed to cream, dragon eye to shamrock, these are the top 10 gin brands with the most unusual botanicals.

If you think we’ve missed an extravagant gin botanical, let us know by leaving a comment below. 

Seaweed Gin – Seaweed

Seaweed-GinOne of the category’s newest entries to make waves due to its unusual choice of botanicals, Seaweed Gin launched in March this year.

Obviously, its strange and eponymous botanical is seaweed. Produced by the Dà Mhìle Distillery, in Ceredigion, mid-west Wales, the gin is made using algae from the Newquay coast.

Described as having a “slight saltiness” and “greenish hue”, Seaweed Gin reduces the number of botanicals in the distillery’s original small batch gin recipe and adds some that are commonly associated with seafood, alongside other herbs and spices. This liquid was then infused with fresh seaweed for three weeks.

For more information, click here.

Elephant Gin – Baobab, Wormwood and Buchu

Elephant-ginElephant Gin launched to widespread acclaim in September 2013, pleasantly surprising gin fans with its use of 14 botanicals, some of which rare African ingredients.

These include: the Savannah’s “superfruit” baobab, the buchu plant with a flavour similar to blackcurrant, and the floral African wormwood.

The Elephant Gin company was launched to support the preservation of African wildlife by donating 15% of its profits to African elephant foundations.

For more information, click here.

Hoxton Gin – Grapefruit and Coconut

Hoxton-GinDescribed as “one of the world’s most distinctive gins”, Hoxton Gin features the unusual botanical additions of grapefruit and coconut.

Gerry Calabrese – cocktail and bar entrepreneur and son of famed mixologist Salvatore – created the spirit with the hope of introducing new consumers to the category.

The six botanicals in Hoxton Gin are: coconut, grapefruit, ginger, tarragon, juniper and iris. The botanicals are macerated for five days before a single distillation in a 150-year-old copper pot still and are then blended with the grain spirit. The gin is reduced to 43% abv, filtered and then rested for two months in steel tanks.

For more information, click here.

The Exiles Irish Gin – Shamrock

The-Exiles-Irish-GinThis distinctly Celtic gin is said to be the only gin in the world which features shamrock in its botanicals list.

The Exiles Irish Gin also contains four other native Irish botanicals including clover flowers, honeysuckle flowers, rowan berries and bog myrtle.

The gin was created with the assistance of a an eighth generation gin-maker, whose family has been distilling gin for over 300 years together with his team.

For more information, click here.

Worship Street Whistling Shop Cream Gin – Fresh Cream

Worship-Street-Whistling-Shop-Cream-GinFresh cream is of course a prime ingredient in Cream Gin, created by Fluid Movement, the company behind revered London bars Purl and Worship Street Whistling Shop.

Modelled after the cream gins served in London’s gin palaces during the Victorian era, the bottling is “secret combination of ingredients”, including fresh cream, which have been macerated with a citrus-forward gin before being cold-distilled to remove any molecules that might degrade over time.

The Worship Street Whistling Shop Cream Gin is a staple ingredient in its namesake bar’s signature cocktail the Black Cat’s Martini.

For more information, click here.

Sacred Gin – Frankincense

Craft-gin-SacredLondon craft brand Sacred Gin uses no less than 12 botanicals to create its small-batch gin, the most unusual of which is the potent Hougari frankincense.

Other botanicals used include: juniper, angelica root, fresh orange peel, fresh lemon peel, fresh lime peel, and cardamom

These are then macerated with English grain spirit and then distilled separately in glassware under vacuum.

For more information, click here.

Bulldog Gin – Dragon Eye, White Poppy, Lotus Leaves

Bulldog-GinSomething of a gin-of-the-moment, Bulldog Gin London Dry Gin features dragon eye, white poppy and lotus leaves on its list of botanicals, among 12 others.

The line-up also includes: liquorice, juniper, citrus, almond, lavender and cassia.

The gin, which is distilled four times from 100% British grain, was also recently listed as a ‘Cool Brand’ by the Centre for Brand Analysts, among the likes of Apple, Aston Martin and Mercedes-Benz.

For more information, click here.

Old Raj Gin – Saffron

Old-Raj-GinScottish bottler Cadenhead’s Old Raj Gin features the costly spice saffron, derived from the crocus flower, giving the gin its pale yellow colour

According to the brand, the addition of saffron is undertaken personally by its master blender in order to ensure a consistency in flavour and colour each time Old Raj is bottled.

For more information, click here.

Chilgrove Gin – Grains of Paradise

Chilgrove-GinSaid to be the first English gin distilled from grapes, Chilgrove Gin includes ethereally-named “grains of paradise” in its list of botanicals.

Other unusual botanicals featured include water mint and savory, alongside more traditional juniper, coriander seed, sweet orange, angelica root, lime, liquorice root, orris root, and bitter orange.

Distilled at Thames Distillers using neutral grape spirit, Chiltern is described as a “big, powerful, complex gin”.

For more information, click here.

Alimentum Tailored Gin – Tea Leaves and Truffle

Alimentum-Tailored-GinThe Cambridge Distillery created a gin specifically for Michelin Starred restaurant, Alimentum, using Lady Grey tea leaves and black truffle.

Making six bottles made per batch, the gin is distilled under vacuum, lowering the boiling point and allowing distillation at room temperature. The allows delicate flavours such as truffle shine through as well as the citrus notes of Lady Grey.

The Cambridge Distillery also created a gin made from ants for Copenhagen’s Nordic Food Lab. It is served in Noma.

Fore more information, click here.

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