5 Delicious Gins To Drink On The Last Weekend Of Summer

Photographed by Olivia Santner.
Welcome to the end of a glorious summer. Yes, the world may be in slight disarray but for a few lovely weeks, the sun shone, Mamma Mia 2 came out, football had a really good go at coming home, and plenty of us spent our weekends dancing until dawn with nary a care in the world.
Now, there's just one weekend left before it's time to go back to school, before you have to remember what that thing called sleep is, before you get yourself back in the gym and steel yourself against the cold weather rolling determinedly in.
So make your drink of choice this weekend a discerning one. May we recommend you pour yourself a glass of Britain's ubiquitous summer drink, gin?
As you're now a sophisticated grown-up, no longer drinking supermarket own-brand gin with lemon squash as a mixer, naturally you'd like to start exploring some of the interesting and lesser known brands of gin – and goodness me is there a lot out there.
In order to help you find a good one, we decided to try out a bunch to see if there's something out there we're missing by having the same G&T every time. Turns out there's plenty to pick from. Click through for our faves, and enjoy your last summer weekend.
Disclaimer: We tried all these gins with Fever Tree Refreshingly Light Tonic Water and a slice of lime.
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Photographed by Olivia Santner.
Chapel Down Gin

British winemakers Chapel Down apply their grape-focused manufacturing process to making gin, with a marvellous result. This gin is far and away the big winner for the group.

"DELISH," says Tamar, our director of marketing & audience development. "I would expect nothing less as their sparkling wine is great. The gin is slightly sweet so needs lots of lime."

"Très fresh, très clean," says Jaz, entertainment editor.

"So light and refreshing," agrees Kara, our editorial intern.

"Yeah, not punch-you-in-the-face-with-juniper gin," Tamar adds.

How Chapel Down recommends you drink it

English 75

Fill a shaker with ice
45ml Chapel Down Gin
15ml lemon juice
7.5ml sugar syrup

Shake well!

Strain into a sparkling wine flute, top with Chapel Down Brut.

Chapel Down Gin, £35, available at Chapel Down
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Photographed by Olivia Santner.
Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin

Featuring spices from all along the old spice routes – Malacca in Malaysia, cumin from Turkey, cardamom from Kerala and coriander from Morocco – this gin actually smells like coriander when the cork pops off.

"Tastes like Morocco in my mouth!" says Jess, health & living editor. Jaz agrees cautiously: "This tastes like a meal. It's probably not apéritif material."

"Yeah, a meal on the rooftops of Marrakech – like locally made tagine," Jess argues back.

For Tamar, with her preference for non-sweet things, it's a no. "It's too sweet for me, I think one sip is enough."

How Opihr recommends you drink it

Opihr Chai Brew

40ml Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin
20ml port
10ml chai syrup
160ml chai tea without milk

Warm all ingredients together and serve in a copper cup with a cinnamon stick and orange peel as garnish.

Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin, £19, available at Waitrose
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Photographed by Olivia Santner.
That Boutique-y Gin Company Strawberry and Balsamico Gin

These guys specialise in mad flavoured gin – think chocolate orange gin (yum), hot sauce gin (hm), and spit-roasted pineapple gin (definitely give it a go). Strawberry and Balsamico piques our interest though, mainly because it's purple/red in colour.

From the get go, it's clear that this gin is sweet. "It smells like that strawberry sauce you used to put on your ice cream," says Jaz. "Dessert gin!" Kara agrees.

After tasting, Jaz thinks it would work better as a shot. Others detect an almost cheese-like aftertaste. "Like brie?" someone cautiously says.

Gin blogger @Gin_a_ding_ding admits this gin probably isn't one for purists but recommends the following recipe for a great drink

Aphrodite's Rickey

Squeeze a lime wedge into a glass.

Add 50ml Strawberry Balsamico Gin and 25ml pomegranate juice.

Fill with ice, top with soda, stir and savour.
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Photographed by Olivia Santner.
Oro Gin

Given that this gin is pitched as "gin by design" and comes in a really good-looking bottle, it's somewhat of a surprise that the taste measures up marvellously.

"Smells like one of those accidentally good nights out," says Jaz, delightedly. "I can imagine getting happy drunk on this one," says Zanny, our senior content and optimisation manager. "It's sharp."

Jess is obsessed with trying to figure out what it smells like: "It's like walking into a dim sum restaurant. Is it teriyaki?"

"There's a mild liquorice taste," reckons Kara. "But I like it."

"Is this what a full-bodied wine is like?" asks Jaz. At which point it is realised no one has a very good definition of what a full-bodied wine is. Great work team.

Oro recommends making an espresso martini

Just shake 60ml strong Italian coffee with 40ml Oro Gin, 10ml gomme syrup and ice.

Oro Gin, £37.95, available at Master Of Malt
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Photographed by Olivia Santner.
Palmer's Strawberry & Rose British Gin

Learning that this gin was created to celebrate the marriage of Meghan and Harry, combined with its pink colour, caused mixed feelings. But once the bottle came out, the group was impressed by the sophisticated look.

"The pink colour is just a mere hint of blush," says Zanny.

"It smells fruity but in an expensive way," says Jess. "Like the most expensive strawberries or the kind of perfume they only sell at Liberty's which costs £150."

"It's floral and sweet," says Tamar. "I think people would drink this at 'the polo'. It's like a summer bouquet."

"In one of those massive gin glasses. £10 for one," Jaz says.

Palmer's Strawberry & Rose British Gin, £28.57, available at Master of Malt

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