Eight gifts to get gin lovers in the Christmas spirit

Everything from intriguing craft gins and exotic blends to distillery masterclasses

9 Moons gin, £47.50 for 35cl
9 Moons gin, £47.50 for 35cl

A limited edition cask-aged gin

Martin Miller’s has gone the cask-aged route with around 2,000 bottles of high-strength gin that has been left to rest in a single unused bourbon cask for nine months. The result is 9 Moons (£47.50 for 35cl at Master of Malt), a 40 per cent spirit that tastes unmistakably of gin but benefits from the added characteristics of an extremely subtle, woody undertone and, of course, a delicate colour (which often leads to bemused expressions on the faces of uninitiated guests who request a gin and tonic and get something that looks like whisky). martinmillersgin.com. masterofmalt.com. SIMON DE BURTON

Ki No Bi gin, £59.50 for 70cl
Ki No Bi gin, £59.50 for 70cl

A bewitching Japanese craft gin

Ki No Bi (£59.50 for 70cl at Harvey Nichols) is a small-batch recipe that’s Japanese from the ground up. The base spirit is concocted from rice, the black bottle is handmade by artisans in Osaka, and aside from the juniper and orris, every botanical is homegrown, giving it a distinctively Japanese flavour. Pungent citrusy yuzu, aromatic shiso, spicy sansho pepper, green tea, ginger and bamboo leaves (which have a fat fruitiness rather like pineapple upside-down cake) are just some of the exotic flavours in this unusual gin. harveynichols.com. ALICE LASCELLES

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A Devon distillery masterclass

Salcombe Gin distillery in Devon is home to an excellent “gin school” at which individuals or pairs craft a gin from scratch in miniature copper stills using their own choice of botanicals (£100 per person, £150 per couple). “Pupils” all leave with a bespoke-labelled 70cl bottle of their creation. Other services include a gin butler, who, in the summer, will arrive at your boat by a high-speed RIB and prepare drinks on board (£500); an on-water gin hamper delivery (from £100); and even, on request, the hire of an elegant catamaran, complete with a dedicated gin butler (from £1,700). 28 Island Street, Salcombe, Devon TQ8 8DP (01548-288 180; salcombegin.com). SIMON DE BURTON

“Gin school” at Salcombe Gin distillery
“Gin school” at Salcombe Gin distillery

A philanthropic spirit 

Elephant Gin is an award-winning brand that supports three African elephant charities. For each full-size bottle sold, 15 per cent of profits are donated to Big Life Foundation and Space for Elephants, while for each miniature bottle sold, 15 per cent of profits go to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust for orphaned elephants, anti-poaching measures and conservation. Its latest limited edition is Elephant Aged Gin (£59 for 50cl), aged in oak to create “elevated smoothness, silky spice, sweet smokiness and a hint of vanilla”. elephant-gin.com. MARIANNA GIUSTI

From left: Elephant Gin, £59 for 50cl. Ginepraio, €39 for 50cl. Ncn’ean botanical spirit, £30 for 50cl
From left: Elephant Gin, £59 for 50cl. Ginepraio, €39 for 50cl. Ncn’ean botanical spirit, £30 for 50cl

A divine Tuscan creation 

Ginepraio (€39 for 50cl) is a stylish gin made with three types of Tuscan juniper: from the coastal area of Maremma, where it’s slightly saline; Castellina di Chianti, where it’s more resinous; and the rugged Apennines – a more citrussy/floral/peppery variety. These are blended with local botanicals, including dog rose, citrus peels and angelica, to create a gin with an elegant floral/nutty character and a lovely clinical-looking bottle too. bottegaalcolica.com. ALICE LASCELLES

From left: Wild June gin, £50 for 70cl. Fynoderee Autumn gin, £36 for 70cl
From left: Wild June gin, £50 for 70cl. Fynoderee Autumn gin, £36 for 70cl

A gin-whisky hybrid

Given the seemingly unstoppable growth in the market for both “boutique” gins and single-malt whiskies, it was only a matter of time before someone claimed to have combined the two in a single drink. Ncn’ean botanical spirit (£30 for 50cl) comprises a base of unaged whisky spirit that’s blended with 10 botanicals such as grapefruit, wild herbs, bog myrtle, coriander and heather. The result is a distinctly peppery flavour with an interesting fruit undertone that certainly makes it stand out from most regular gins. 01967-421 698; ncnean.com. SIMON DE BURTON

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A Texan lesson in juniper 

Wild June (£50 for 70cl at The Wine Drinker) is a full-bodied craft gin from Texas made with red-berry juniper foraged in the west Texas mountains. Juniper can be remarkably fruity (especially when it’s young and green), and that really comes through here in a dried-cranberry note. A base of rye distillate and botanicals, including cinnamon and hops, gives it all a sweet, spicy kick. One for a Negroni, I’d say. thewinedrinker.co.uk. ALICE LASCELLES

A gin for all seasons 

At the end of last year, Fynoderee’s inaugural Winter edition established its seasonal intent to use only island-grown botanicals with the inclusion of 15 ingredients such as sloes, blackberries and elderberries. A Spring edition came next (containing, among other things, gorse flowers, verbena and mint), followed by a strawberry-infused Summer version. Its Autumn number (£36 for 70cl) is a harvest-inspired creation that combines the zing of Manx-grown apples and wild crab apples with local plums and rosehips for a touch of fragrant sweetness, while rowan berries provide a slightly earthy undertone. 31dover.com and other outlets listed at fynoderee.com. SIMON DE BURTON

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