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Ten new English spirits for St George’s Day

You can’t really channel the spirit of England’s patron saint by slaying dragons – so how about opting for one of the country’s best new spirits instead?

Desi Daru
British-Indian vodka Desi Daru was one of our top English spirits released in the past year

Taking place on 23 April, St George’s Day marks the anniversary of the death of England’s patron saint around 303 AD. St George is also a key figure in Ethiopia, Bulgaria, Georgia and many other countries.

For many, it’s a day to celebrate being English, with activities ranging from tea and scones to knocking back pints at the pub but, for some, it’s about sampling English spirits.

To honour St George’s Day today, we’ve rounded up 10 noteworthy English-made bottles released in the past year – from a zero-waste rum and premium whisky to indulgent liqueurs.

King’s Birthday Vatting

Cotswolds Distillery

A whisky fit for a king. Two quintessentially English brands, the Cotswolds Distillery and Highgrove, teamed up last year to release this single malt in honour of King Charles III’s 75th birthday.

The single malt was taken from a unique vatting at the Cotswolds Distillery and created using heritage Plumage Archer barley grown at the Highgrove Estate in Gloucestershire. It was bottled exclusively by the Cotswolds Distillery on the King’s 75th birthday – which was on 14 November 2023.

Drinkers will get notes of red fruits and nutmeg, plus a finish that lingers with spice and dark chocolate. And maybe a feeling of royalty too…

RRP: £175 (US$217)

Mulled Sloe Liqueur

Edwards 1902 Mulled Sloe Liqueur

English spirits producer Elsham Wold Distillery created this mulled wine-inspired liqueur, which uses Edwards 1902 vodka as its base, in time for winter’s festive season last year.

If you can put your Christmas biases aside, there’s nothing wrong with drinking this on a Tuesday in April too – particularly with England’s current wintery weather. Along with Edwards’ potato vodka, the expression blends seasonal spices and hand-picked sloe berries for a taste that is tart, smooth and warming.

It would make for a great Christmas gift as well, if you wanted to get that out of the way extra early.

RRP: £26 (US$32)

Salford Coffee Rum

St George's Day

The Salford Rum Company’s new limited edition coffee rum was created in collaboration with local coffee roaster Salford Roasters, using its signature blend cold brew.

Along with the strong taste of coffee, notes of chocolate, almond and vanilla can also be found in the expression – which, as you might expect, translates very well into an Espresso Martini – or an Espresso Rumtini, as the brand calls it.

RRP: £42 (US$53)

Burnt Faith Batch One

St George's Day

While a lot of classic St George’s Day celebrations centre around English traditions and the past, how about raising a glass to the now and the new?

Burnt Faith is the first distillery dedicated to brandy on the British Isles, having opened its doors last year. Its flagship product, Batch One, is made from four grape varieties: Trebbiano, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Muscat Blanc. The liquid is also distilled in a Charentais pot still, which is the only one to have been imported into the UK.

If you’re seeking something even newer, the distillery released a Bourbon-finished brandy just this month, which was aged in barrels from Heaven Hill distillery in Kentucky.

RRP: £36 (US$44)

Americas Herbarium

Cambridge Distillery

Given that it is inspired by one of the greatest Britons to have ever lived, Cambridge Distillery’s ode to Charles Darwin and his voyage of discovery is certainly appropriate for a quiet moment of patriotism on St George’s Day – or a loud, gin-soaked one…

Titled ‘Americas Herbarium’, Cambridge Distillery used botanicals that Darwin was said to have collected in his journey around South America on the HMS Beagle – including juniper, cinnamon leaf, barberry, wild strawberry and baccharis magellanica.

RRP: £195 (US$238)

Bankhall Cigar Malt

St George’s Day

Cigars and whisky – Saint George would be proud (we assume).

Bankhall, which is based in Blackpool, launched a whisky earlier this month that was designed to be enjoyed with a cigar. The brand aged the liquid in 100% virgin American oak casks, creating a whisky that the brand says can ‘hold its own’ against the cigar’s smoky notes.

If you don’t have a cigar handy, there’s always the distillery’s first single malt, which borrowed inspiration from the US and has flavours of orange marmalade, vanilla bean and marzipan.

RRP: £20 (US$25)

Trash & Treasure

St George’s Day

Do good and drink better with Trash & Treasure, a brand from English gin producer Warner’s that rescues ingredients from local food producers and turns them into spirits.

The Tropical Rum expression is distilled with pineapple and mango peels from a fruit processor local to the distillery and is blended with waste passion fruit extracts and coconut husks, while Citrus Vodka is created with lemon peel from a fruit processor and is enhanced with malt dust from Everards Brewery in Leicester. Both are ideal for the eco-minded imbiber this St George’s Day.

RRP: £26 (US$33)

Desi Daru

St George's Day

Made with a mix of British and Indian ingredients, from the jungles of India to the English countryside, Desi Daru’s vodka has made quite the splash since debuting last year. Its mango-flavoured expression took home the Taste Master medal at our Vodka Masters blind tasting in 2023.

Sip it straight or try it out in a few cocktails to impress guests with your drinks artistry.

RRP: £39 (US$48)

Brockmans Agave Cut

Brockmans agave cut

This was one of the most innovative launches to come out of 2023. English brand Brockmans blended its flagship gin with agave spirit, spurred on by bartenders in New York who would cut gin cocktails with agave spirits.

Described by the brand as a ‘disruptive’ drink, Agave Cut fuses Mexican agave and gin botanicals, further enhancing the flavours with pink grapefruit. Looking to try something new, out-of-the-ordinary and well, English, to celebrate Saint George’s Day? We’ve found your bottle…

RRP: £46 (US$56.54)

Connie Glaze Toffee Vodka Liqueur

St George’s Day

Last month, Cornwall-based Southwestern Distillery partnered with local producer Cornish Sea Salt Co to create a toffee liqueur with its Connie Glaze Vodka.

With rich toffee, caramelised brown sugar and soft buttery notes, it’s a bottle that you’ll hide in your cupboard, keep strictly to yourself and finish in two days, max – even if the intention was to save it for a few weeks.

RRP: £24 (US$31)

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