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Fruit-infused gins are best fresh from the farm

By Chrissie Fairclough

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Strawberry Gin Smash - perfect for tennis season.
Strawberry Gin Smash - perfect for tennis season.

Booze shelves are lined with an array of fruit-flavoured gins these days.

It’s a trend that’s still on the up and clearly there is consumer demand for good reason – when done well, gins infused with sustainably sourced fresh produce can add a rich complexity to cocktails and open up the gin category to those with a sweet tooth.

The main gripe among gin lovers is that some of the fruit gins produced for mass consumption can be laden with artificial ingredients.

The end result is products that taste more like scented sweets than actual fruit. Subtle and orchard-fresh they are not!

So to lend a helping hand, here we have hand-picked three great examples of the genre and how to serve them.

For fans of berries, Springmount Gin’s Strawberry & Raspberry edition is not to be missed. Hand-crafted in Royal Deeside with fresh strawberries and raspberries, it’s perfect to sip while watching the tennis.

Try a Strawberry Gin Smash: in a tall glass, dissolve half a teaspoon of sugar in a squeeze of lime juice. Add two sliced strawberries and lightly muddle. Half-fill the glass with ice and add 50ml of Springmount Gin. Top with a splash of soda and garnish with a single strawberry and sprig of mint.

Fans of citrus should check out Persie’s Dachshund Gin Liqueur, the latest in the family of ‘dog gins’ from Glenshee, created to raise money for PADS dog rescue.

Persie’s Dachshund Gin Liqueur, the latest in the family of ‘dog gins’ from Glenshee.
Persie’s Dachshund Gin Liqueur, the latest in the family of ‘dog gins’ from Glenshee.

Made with freshly-pressed limes and oranges, this liqueur is just like the breed – the perfect balance of sweet and sharp! Bursting with zest, it has a long body and is best served short. We love it in Prosecco or ice-cold on the rocks. Or greedy people can pour it over pancakes!

When it comes to fruit gins, rhubarb has been one of the biggest success stories of the past three years. And right up there is the Orkney Gin Company’s Rhubarb Old Tom.

Tart rhubarb, hand-picked on the island, has been lightly sweetened and compounded with piney juniper, rose petals, citrus peel and cinnamon. We love it in a Rhubarb Sour.

Dry shake (without ice) 50ml of Rhubarb Old Tom Gin, 20ml lemon juice, 20ml sugar syrup, a dash of Angostura Bitters and one egg white. Then shake again with ice, pour into a short glass and garnish with a blackberry.

  • Chrissie Fairclough is tastings director for Gin Club Scotland, which runs touring and distillery-based tastings, as well as offering tasting kits for people to run their own events. www.ginclubscotland.com

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