Simply the best: standing out from the UK local gin crowd
The United Kingdom as we know it is just over 300 years old, and is an amazing place. Spread across roughly 94,530 square miles, it’s a wonderful cosmopolitan blend of urban and rural, ancient and modern, fast-paced and sleepy.
Although we think of the UK as a single thing, we all know it’s much more than the sum of its parts. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland break down into regions that are as distinct from each other as the four nations.
England has 48 counties, each with an individual identity, but go deeper and there are even more cultural and historical strands that bind or differentiate residents in a local area. Within that rich and complex framework sit the nation’s artisans.
There are thousands of us, creating local produce that fulfills a deep desire to showcase the best of where we are, and give people a taste of something fresh and new.
Our The Only Way Is Gin collection is the latest addition to the ancient tradition of using natural ingredients to create every bottle of our delicious, award-winning gin.
How many artisan gin producers are there in the UK?
According to the Office for National Statistics, there are around 820 distilleries in the UK all beavering away at gin production, which is good news for the average gin lover!
There’s a lot more to whipping up this delicious drink than grabbing a few juniper berries and a few other secret ingredients and throwing them into a bottle.
There’s a good reason why gin is one of the world’s most popular spirits. A bottle of artisanal gin is lovingly created, sometimes using modern techniques, sometimes sticking to the old school ways, but always using the finest ingredients. Let’s take a closer look at how gin is made.
How a gin distillery works
At first glance, each bottle of gin appears to be a relatively straightforward spirit to produce, because it needs just a handful of ingredients. This simplicity is one reason why it became so popular in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Gin combines an alcohol base, usually made from a grain such as wheat, corn, rye, or malt barley. Depending on the product, a distiller may also add other ingredients at this stage, potatoes, apples, honey or even grapes and carrots.
The gin-making process
There are two main distillation methods used for extracting the botanicals’ flavour.
Steep and boil method
The most traditional and the one we use. The head distiller mixes the neutral spirit, which has been reduced in strength with water, and botanicals in a metal pot still which sits over a source of heat. Some producers leave the botanicals steeping for as long as 48 hours before distillation. We believe this maceration stews the flavours so distil the mixture immediately. Whichever method is chosen, the mixture is distilled in a pot still, producing a spirit full of the aromas and flavours of the botanicals. You should be in our distillery during distillation - the aromas are amazing!
With this method, the mix of juniper and botanicals do not come into contact with the liquid spirit at all. Instead, they are placed in suspended baskets in modified stills and only encounter the spirit as vapour. The botanical-infused vapour then condenses into a strong ‘gin spirit’.
Lovingly created local gins
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A traditional or commercial distillery then adds enough water to this distilled base to reach the necessary alcohol by volume. The UK defines Gin as an alcoholic beverage of no less than 37.5%, with a predominant flavour of juniper.
Without this essential ingredient, the spirit cannot be considered a true gin, whether it’s being created by a micro distillery in a copper pot or a vast, corporate gin distillery.
In addition to the fresh juniper, distillers, particularly when it comes to contemporary gins, add all sorts of extra components to give their own bottle of gin a distinct flavour profile.
That’s why we’ve ended up with mulberry gin and ginger gin, or gins with floral notes, hints of rhubarb and orange peel, or sea samphire.
Like every working distillery in the UK, at The Only Way Is Spirits, we want to have a gin revolution in our tasting room, aiming to fill that balloon glass with an award winning drink that you know has been distilled and lovingly created by people who care.
All you need to do is open the gin bottle, add ice and a splash of good tonic!
Beyond London dry gin: the benefits of botanicals
Gin distilleries across the UK use a range of ingredients to create their products, and when we say the list of botanicals is varied, we mean it! They add shape and nuance to every bottle produced in the gin world.
Many gin distilleries keep what they add to their gin products close to their chests, with some using way in excess of the average 10 botanicals. However, there are many ingredients in gins that are not closely guarded secrets. Let’s take a look at some of them.
One of the most common fruits added to gin, this fruit is a close relative of the wild plum. Aside from being a key botanical in the production of sloe gin, the vitamin C-packed berries have a wide range of health benefits all their own.
They are packed with antioxidant compounds phenols and flavonoids, as well as essential fatty acids. They’re great for detoxing and aiding digestion, have anti-inflammatory properties and sloe flowers have effectively helped treat kidney stones and respiratory issues.
Sloe gin is technically a gin-based liqueur, but due to historical prevalence the colloquial name 'sloe gin' was included in the legal definitions and as such is the only gin-based liqueur that can legally be called ‘gin’.
Ginger has been used for centuries across the world to treat a range of ailments, thanks to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-nausea properties. It’s also good for digestion and circulation.
In gin production, using ginger as a botanical adds a sweet, peppery flavour, and ginger ale makes a delicious mixer for traditional or pink gin.
Fresh citrus fruits
If you were lucky enough to get your hands on a bottle of our delicious pink grapefruit gin, you’ll know exactly how well juniper and grapefruit go together. In fact, citrus fruits of all kinds and juniper are a match made in heaven for gin, and that’s before we even get to the health benefits.
Like sloes, citrus fruits from blood orange to zesty lemon are renowned for their antioxidant properties, as well as providing us with a hefty vitamin C boost. They can also help digestion, while the scent can help revitalise our mood.
In gin, when combined with juniper and other ingredients, citrus can help create an unforgettable melody of aromas and flavours, from sharp and zingy to warm and comforting (think chocolate orange).
Liquorice comes from the dried root of Glycyrrhiza glabra. It might look uninspiring, but the natural glycyrrhizin compound is up to 50 times sweeter than sugar and, as a supplement, is helpful for digestive and menopausal symptoms, bacterial and viral infections and coughs.
In gin, it brings a sweet, earthy and slightly bitter flavour.
West Yorkshire is home to the UK’s famed rhubarb triangle, so it’s no surprise many northern distillers add this high-fibre plant to their list of gin botanicals.
Its vitamin K content is great for our bones and it can also aid digestion, reduce inflammation. It’s also another natural ingredient being used in the fight against cancer.
Often used in pink gin, rhubarb brings mouthfuls of sharp, fresh and slightly sour notes.
A rose by any other name may smell just as sweet, but would it be quite as good for our health? Packed with mineral salts, vitamin C and antioxidants, rose petals are more than just a pretty face. They’re also useful for easing digestion issues, help us absorb iron and prevent tummy upsets.
In gin production, the inclusion of rose among the botanicals brings a surprising burst of pepper alongside elegant floral notes.
North, south, east, west...
We’ve got a lot of time for world gin, but we also know the UK is home to an embarrassment of varieties and flavours criss-crossing the country: from Newcastle gin and Norfolk gin to York gin and our award winning London dry gin.
Up and down the land, traditional juniper is distilled with a dazzling array of gin botanicals, including pink grapefruit, orange peel and rhubarb, as well as a delicious range of other secret ingredients, such as spices and herbs, to create this fabulous drink.
...our Signature gin is the very best!
Of course we’re incredibly proud of our own gin products, and think they are worthy additions to this incredibly versatile and popular tipple.
Our award winning gin is produced with incredible attention to detail in small batches, so every glassful is an invigorating and refreshing experience, from your first gin of the evening to the last.
It blends poppy seeds from the Essex county flower with eight, other carefully selected natural botanicals to create an exquisite, classic London dry gin that is packed to the rafters with flavour.
A focus on gin flavours
Of course the award winning London dry gin isn’t our only gin product. We got creative with our botanicals and came up with two delicious pink gins.
Our small batch Raspberry Pink Gin is a subtle but vibrant drink, featuring orange zest and peppery spice. If you prefer less sweet spirits and gins that will have your balloon glass overflowing with personality, this one’s for you.
We went one better with our Rhubarb Gin Liqueur. This sweet, fruity tipple offers delicate warmth and a spiced finish, so it’s a perfect gin for cosy nights in.
Mix with tonic, lemonade or a splash of ginger fizz to really bring out those jammy raspberry, strawberry and rhubarb notes and suddenly it’s summer every day.
Our gorgeous gin label designs
The attention to detail doesn’t stop when the gin has been distilled. It continues long after each and every bottle of our own gin has been filled, because we want them to look every bit as good as they taste.
Our gin bottles are robust yet elegant, and can be shipped from our Essex/Hertfordshire base across the UK and the world.
We worked hard to create unique labels for the bottles that catch the eye and reflect the personality of the gin inside.
Gin says many things to many people: it can be cool and elegant, mature and sophisticated, young and funky. We wanted to create our own path, and came up with gin labels that distilled (if you’ll pardon the pun) all those concepts into beautiful, memorable designs.
Our gins aren’t just delicious to enjoy in your own home, they’re also gorgeous to look at!
Recipes for gin-based cocktails
When it comes to the classic gin and tonic, there’s a world of difference between mass produced spirits from a commercial distillery and our award winning gin.
For the perfect G&T, ideal for any occasion, we recommend the following recipe:
50ml The Only Way Is Gin dry gin
150ml premium tonic
Add ice to a copa glass and pour in 50ml of The Only Way Is Gin’s award winning dry gin. Add 150ml of premium tonic water, garnish with a slice of pink grapefruit, a sprig of rosemary, stir and enjoy!
If you’re looking for a summer tipple to enjoy with friends while topping up your tan, try this beauty, the sparkling rosé sin sangria:
100ml Raspberry Pink gin
100ml lemon juice
40ml sugar syrup
500ml sparkling rosé
16 fresh raspberries
Pop all the ingredients in a jug or a punch bowl filled with ice. Stir gently to combine, garnish with the fresh berries and spend all afternoon gossiping.
You can find more delicious cocktail recipes here.
Shipping and returns
We send our premium chocolate & orange rum liqueur across the UK, with FREE shipping to the Roydon, Essex area as well as on all orders over £25.
You can also find all information about claims for breakages, cancelling orders and our returns policy here.
If you have any general questions about our rum or any of our craft 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.