7 of the best local gins – delivered
In times of need - yep, like right now! - we turn to gin. These delicious local tipples should take the edge off your night in.
Well, if there was ever a time to drink this is it! Weak? Certainly not, sometimes I don’t even bother with tonic water. (OK that’s a joke before anyone starts dialing social services). G&T is definitely our favourite tipple at Muddy and lucky us that some of the best gins in the land happen to be local to Berkshire. Order a couple of these bad boys for delivery, and fill your boots until the corona nightmare is over.
Berkshire Botanical is the new kid on the Berkshire block. Created by Mr. Gin himself, Johnny Neill (of Marylebone Gin and Whitley Neill fame) installed his pot still ‘Harry’, named after his son, in the Royal Oak pub and created a Berkshire gin based on the flora and fauna found on the 9,000-acre Yattendon Estate. The result is a Dry Gin with nine botanicals including Norway Spruce which can be found across the Estate – it is one of the largest growers of Christmas trees in the UK; and a sloe gin with eight botanicals 8 botanicals including pink grapefruit and hand-picked sloe berries. More innovative varieties are expected to follow inspired by the local countryside. Available from Master of Malt.
From an outrageously cool distillery and tasting room in The Newbury Pub, 137 Gin has got industry pros sitting up like meerkats. Four varieties were created – Country Garden, Navy Strength, London Dry and Berkshire Dry – and the awards keep rolling in. The Muddy fave is Country Garden, a blooming marvellous blend of floral botanicals that tastes like summer without a hint of soapiness, thanks to the dry herbal finish. Serve it up with lots of ice, Elderflower tonic and garnish with juniper berries and a sprig of rosemary. Fancy something classic? The Berkshire Dry with its mix of spices and citrus flavours is great for traditionalists. It also went down a storm at the Muddy Awards winners drinks. £42 for 70cl. Order direct from 137 Gin’s online. Owner Pete is also busy making hand sanitiser for the emergency services, so while you’re there you can also make a donation to this brilliant cause.
Gallop to the other side of Berkshire – Windsor to be exact and you’ll get your marching orders to try Horse Guards London Dry with its classic combo of juniper, coriander, angelica, orange peel, grapefruit peel and cardamom. Named after the Horse Guards, part of the Household Cavalry (King Charles II’s elite heavies), this award-winning gin is refined, elegant and quintessentially British, and has been crafted to perfection. It’s almost guaranteed to put hairs on your chest and gloss on your hooves. £35 for 70cl. Shop online here.
If you know Pinkneys Green near Maidenhead, you’ll know cricket is a big deal around these parts. While we won’t be bowled over by the village’s sporting prowess any time soon, we can enjoy a round of cucumber sarnies and the local tipple, Cricketers Gin. Three of this London Dry gin’s botanicals can be found on its doorstep – Wild Marjoram, Milk Thistle and Blackberries – which are then balanced with orange, spicy coriander and a hint of liquorice. Hop over to the website and shop til you drop, £37 for 75cl.
Cross Stream Gin
Can we claim Marlow as on us? I think Muddy Bucks & Oxon would put up quite a fight, but that doesn’t mean we can’t tickle our tastebuds with a Marlow-produced gin. Cross Stream Distillery is owned by husband and wife team Charles and Chloe and they have created a London Dry Gin that packs a good punch of citrus and a subtle hint of spice. Best served with lots of ice, premium Indian Tonic Water and a slice of pink grapefruit – £45 for 70cl and delivery is FREE (UK only).
Bombay Sapphire, Laverstoke Mill
Virtually stagger 14 miles over the Berkshire border into Hampshire and you’ll come across the beautiful Bombay Sapphire Distillery but under the circumstances, this detour comes under essential travel. Bombay Sapphire remains a family business despite its global fame and the iconic blue bottle of Bombay Sapphire, has been distilled in Laverstoke Mill, Whitchurch, since 2011. The gin’s look conjures up images of faraway lands and the flavour has hints of the 10 botanicals contained within. With 40% ABV and costing around £27.50 for a litre it’s a great value option. Ooh and it’s on offer. Happy days.
Literally within staggering distance of the Berkshire border is Mr Hobb’s Gin… just the thorny issue of the river. Hobbs of Henley, better known for its boat business, jumped on the gin bandwagon in 2017. Taking a family recipe that dated back to 1870, created by the late, great Harry Hobbs (a bon viveur), Jonnie and Suzy Hobbs took five of the original botanicals and added Lime Flower and Lemon Peel to give it a citrus twist, the 7th is top secret. Beginning with fragrant floral notes and soft marshmallow, zesty citrus adds clarity and bite amongst savoury juniper and sharp Orris root. They’ve since added Raspberry & Elderflower and Rhubarb & Ginger to the line-up. Set off on voyage of gin discovery at their online shop.