Best buys | Gin of the month: Albury sloe and damson gins

Best buys

Gin of the month: Albury sloe and damson gins

There are not one but two gins of the month this month - both limited editions from the same distiller Silent Pool in Surrey. One’s a damson and the other a sloe gin and they come in 50cl bottles at - gulp - £30 a bottle.

I nearly didn’t recommend them on that basis but they are basically the best flavoured gins I’ve tasted, homemade included. This is probably because they are unusually high in alcohol - 35% rather than the usual 20-25%% which carries the fruit flavours incredibly well - and I imagine gives them a slightly longer life once open. They are also considerably less sweet than most commercial versions.

Some of you might find them too alcoholic to drink on their own - my gin-loving neighbour did - but I must confess they are exactly the sort of spirits I would want to carry in a hip flask in the unlikely event I were out hunting or yomping across Exmoor. They would also make the perfect nightcap

The damson which is delectably plummy is probably the more approachable of the two though the sloe has a marvellously bitter (but not medicinal) edge that I really find appealing. The distillery recommends you serve it over ice or with a squeeze of lemon but I quite like it neat at room temperature.

The pair would make a great gift for any gin lover. You can buy them from the Silent Pool website*

* they also have a rather lovely gift pack of their own Silent Pool Gin with two beautifully decorated 'copa' glasses

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