Best buys | Gin(s) of the month: Barentsz and Theodore gin

Best buys

Gin(s) of the month: Barentsz and Theodore gin

It takes quite a lot for me to find room in my drinks cupboard for new gins these days but both these have earned their place. I like them because although they’re distinctive they’re not pointlessly so - or overloaded with ingredients that detract from their basic DNA

The Willem Barentsz Premium Gin 43% £32.95 31dover.com, £36.64 Master of Malt is a tribute to Dutch explorer Willem Barentsz premium gin and is made from two grains - rye + wheat - which makes it almost vodka-ish in its smoothness. It has most of the usual botanicals but a top note of jasmine and orange peel which is enhanced by serving it with a slice of orange. I diluted it 3:1 with a standard Fevertree Indian tonic water and it made a really satisfying G & T.

The Theodore Pictish Botanical gin is more complex with 16 botanicals including pomelo, pine, damask rose, honey and oolong tea though I’m not entirely convinced they would have been “those that the Picts may have encountered on their travels to Scotland” as the blurb on the website would have it. Especially the oolong.

I picked up mainly citrus and spice, though they’re beautifully interwoven (I served it 3:1 again but this time with Fevertree Refreshingly Light) The basic bottle is available for £38.45 from Master of Malt and £38.95 from The Whisky Exchange but you can also buy it in a stunning box for £45 which would make a really great present.

Both are award winners. having picked up gold medals in the Ultra Premium category of The Spirits Business Gin Masters. Barentsz also picked up an IWC Gold and Theodore a silver in the San Francisco World Spirits competition.

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