Kick off the weekend with a European gin or two
G'Vine Floraison - Produced in the French region of Cognac, G'Vine is a hint as to what this unique gin contains. It's actually infused with Ugni Blanc grape, as well as some more standard botanicals including ginger root, liquorice, cardamom, cassia bark, coriander, cubeb berries, nutmeg, lime and even a bit of juniper.
Gin Mare - A fabulous Spanish Gin inspired by Mediterranean flavours, Gin Mare is made with botanicals including arbequina olive, rosemary, thyme, basil and mandarin! The result is a fabulous spirit which has been much praised by critics.
Monkey 47 - An unusual gin from the Black Forest in Germany, Monkey 47 contains a unique ingredient. No, not that! Cranberries! The 47 comes from the number of botanicals that go into this unique gin, and the fact it's bottled at a healthy 47%.
This plethora of ingredients has paid off, and in 2011 Monkey 47 won the World Spirits Award Gold in the Gin category and Gold for best in class for the Gin Worldwide at the International Wine and Spirits Competition London. Not bad!
Nordés Gin - Nordés Atlantic Galician Gin is a rather intriguing Spanish gin made with an Albariño-grape-based spirit, rather than your more commonly seen grain-based spirit, along with 12 botanicals including lemon peels, hibiscus, liquorice and eucalyptus. The result is a bold, floral flavour profile that would befit summer drinks and cocktails. The bottle is quite stylish too - very impressive stuff!
Pink Pepper - A Pink Pepper Gin from French producers Audemus, situated in the heart of Cognac. Made with hand-picked pink peppercorns and a handful of other tasty botanicals (including honey, vanilla and cardamom - all of which are macerated separately then distilled under low pressure and temperature). You'll find a good juxtaposition between sweet and spicy notes in this one...