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The best Essex gin from the Only Way Is Spirits 

Smiling woman behind bar

Essex is famous for many things, including that glamorous television show. It has a stunning coastline and idyllic countryside, as well as lots of great bars and restaurants. 


It’s also home to The Only Way is Spirits: makers of hand-crafted, award-winning premium quality gin that captures the spirit of Essex in a bottle.

We use only the finest ingredients for all our products, resulting in the smoothest gin you’ve ever tasted. It’s amazing on its own over ice or as part of a funky cocktail. 


At The Only Way is Spirits, we believe great things come in small packages. That’s why we favour small batch production of our 100% vegan artisan gins: hand-crafting them using time-honoured, traditional methods. 

A history of gin 

There’s a long history to this delicious tipple. In the 13th century, manuscripts mention a spirit liqueur flavoured with genever. Dutch physician Franciscus Sylvius is thought to have invented gin in around 1550, prescribing a juniper-based distilled spirit for medicinal purposes. 


Gin soon became popular across Europe in the Middle Ages, from southern Italy to the Netherlands, where it was made from distillates of grapes and grains. 


Since then, gin has become a staple of many a commercial distillery, with several distinct types emerging: Navy Strength, Plymouth, Genever, Old Tom, Aged, New Western and London dry gin.


The latter is made with only pure grain spirit and natural botanicals, no artificial flavours are added.  

Artisan gin production in Essex

Today, gin is made all over the globe, and The Only Way is Spirits is continuing the proud tradition of distilling gin in Harlow, Essex. It’s one that can be traced back to the turn of the 19th century and wine merchant Henry Gilbey. 


The Gilbey brothers imported wine from around the British Empire to the UK, sidestepping the tax on wines and spirits from France, Portugal and Spain. 


By 1861, they were the country’s third-biggest importer and made the drink affordable for the everyday family. In 1872 Gilbey's began distilling their own gin. Twelve botanicals are used, a recipe that remains secret to this day.


The Gilbeys moved their storage warehouse to the Roundhouse in London, taking over the Pantheon in Oxford Street by 1867. Fast forward almost a century and Tom Gilbey, great great great grandson of the Gilbey gin brothers, decided to move from London to a large site in Harlow.


His family firm’s gin complex was built between 1962 and 1963 at Fifth Avenue in Harlow. Although the company and its buildings no longer exist, the copper gin still, once part of the nearby Gilbey gin distillery, can now be found in the gardens of Harlow Museum.

For the gin lover

Signature gin 

The Only Way is Spirits launched with our lovingly created Signature Gin, an exquisite, classic London dry gin made in small batches in Essex, and using natural ingredients.

Like many gin distilleries, our method of making gin combines eight carefully selected natural, traditional botanicals, including juniper berries, in the gin distilling process. 


To that we add poppy seeds from the Essex county flower and together, they give every bottle of our Signature gin its unique, delicious taste. 


Signature gin has a fruity and fragrant aroma with uplifting orange blossom and delicate floral notes. The juniper berries bring complexity, accompanied by the zing of citrus found in traditional London dry gin. It’s all brought together by the poppy seeds’ pepper spiciness. 


We’re not the only ones to say our own gin is delicious. It’s also won five medals globally, including the gold at Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, where we were the only UK gin company to win a medal. Not bad for local produce!

London dry gin bottle surrounded by grapefruit wedges and poppy seeds
Raspberry pin gin and tonic garnished with lavender

Raspberry pink gin

Distilled and designed to stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons, our raspberry pink gin is delicious and refreshing: an excellent gin offering a bold taste with sweet undertones. 


Created from an infusion of Essex-grown raspberries combined with Signature, our award-winning gin, this pink gin is fabulous whether it’s enjoyed neat over ice, as part of a G&T or topped up with Prosecco for a sublime cocktail. 


As for the flavour? Juniper combines with raspberries, orange notes and poppy seed peppery spice to create a beautiful, soft finish for this perfect gin.

Rhubarb gin and tonic garnished with orange

Rhubarb gin liqueur

We take it up a notch for gin lovers with this rhubarb gin liqueur, a heady blend of the fruit infused in our award-winning Signature gin.

It has a sweet fruit aroma and delicate juniper notes, while the taste is a dizzying blend of jammy summer fruits. That spiced finish? All courtesy of the distilled Essex poppy seed botanical. 


Enjoy our small batch rhubarb gin liqueur with a dash of tonic water, artisanal lemonade or ginger ale and a slice of fresh orange. For perfect celebration cocktails, top it up with Prosecco.

Pink grapefruit gin liqueur

For those who prefer citrus flavours to sweet in their gins, our limited edition pink grapefruit gin liqueur is just the ticket.

A combination of fresh pink grapefruit infused in our incredibly smooth Signature gin, it serves up refreshingly tangy citrus notes ahead of a balanced burst of distilled fruit. 


Ideal with a splash of tonic water, add ice and a slice of pink grapefruit, or top it up with Prosecco for a refreshing cocktail for those sultry, summer evenings. 


We never need an excuse to raise a glass of our favourite tipple, whether it’s a classic G&T or a pink grapefruit gin cocktail, but here’s a date for your diary: Saturday June 23 is none other than World Gin Day. 

If you’ve never tried it before, why not make your first gin a tall glass of our award winning gin, Signature? Get some recipe inspo with our blog.

Pink grapefruit gin and tonic garnished with wheel of grapefruit
Gin glass filled with gin and orange soda

Shipping and returns 

We send our craft gins across the UK, with FREE shipping to the Roydon, Essex area as well as on all orders over £25. 


Our shipping prices are listed here. For international orders, please visit Master of Malt


You can also find all information about claims for breakages, cancelling orders and our returns policy here

Contact us 

If you have any general questions about any of our distilled products, or have any feedback to offer, we’d love to hear from you. Please complete this form and we will get back to you straight away. 


For any trade enquiries, please email us at

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