Ahead of this weekend's Birmingham Gin Festival we asked organiser Jym Harris to talk us through his five favourite tipples...
The Gin Festival will showcase more than 50 different gins on Saturday and Sunday at The Bond in Fazeley Street Digbeth.
Saturday’s session is sold out but tickets for Sunday’s 12-5pm session at £5 can be found at birminghamginfestival.eventbrite.co.uk
* Sir Robin of Locksley – Sheffield – 40%
This is a brand new product that has just been released and it’s really good gin.
They have a collaboration with a New York distiller to make a gin for both the British and American markets so they’ve clearly got big plans for being a major player.
It uses elderflower petals, dandelion and pink grapefruit. I’ve never seen dandelion used as a botanical in any gin before so this is quite exciting.
* Ely Gin Dark Chocolate – Cambridgeshire – 30%
This is a tiny company from the small city of Ely in Cambridgeshire and these guys are consistently the biggest sellers at our gin festivals.
They infused a great London dry gin with chocolate to make this and when served with orange juice it makes a chocolate orange style drink.
It’s quite unique and I’ve never come across anyone using chocolate in gin before. They take real care in making this product and before we started the gin festivals this company hadn’t sold any of its products outside the Cambridgeshire area.
Now, we’ve taken it round the country and people go crazy for it because they’ve never seen anything like it before.
* Brockmans – Surrey – 40.5%
A unique tasting gin that uses wild dried blueberries and blackberries.
This is unique because it’s got a really sweet fruitiness, almost like Skittles and you don’t expect that strong hit of berries.
They’ve really pushed this gin in Spain where there’s a massive gin movement at the moment.
Over there gin and tonic is served in a large wine glass with lots of gin and lots of ice. It’s almost like a meal in a glass.
This is one of those great gateway gins so, for people who may have only tasted Gordon’s and think they might not like gin and tonic, this is a good one to challenge their preconceptions.
It makes an amazing G&T with pink grapefruit.
* Rock Rose Gin – Scotland – 41.5%
This is a great new bold tasting gin made in the most northern distillery on mainland Scotland and has just been released.
The first run of 1,000 bottles sold out straight away and the online community has been going wild about it, saying it’s gorgeous stuff with really deep, rich flavours.
The botanicals used here are quite standard but because of the care and attention given by a small batch producer it’s an outstanding product.
They’ve used a rosewood giving it a floral edge, as well as cinnamon and cassia bark for more spice. We garnish this with rosemary for a well rounded finish.
* Geranium London Dry – 44%
This gin has been around for a while and it’s one of the first gins I suggest to people who want to change their perceptions about the drink. It’s made by a guy in Denmark and is very floral because it contains actual geranium petals. It also has an elderflower edge.
I recommend it with a pink grapefruit garnish or with lemon.
I think it’s got a really classy edge to it.