Olly Smith's flavoured gin taste test

If you think gin is a dated spirit that belongs on a dusty shelf alongside Avocat and Cinzano, then stop right there because this punchy little tipple has been enjoying a boost in sales this year.

The rise could be due to the remarkable evolutionary journey this humble spirit has been on with new flavours and ingredients ranging from cucumber to raspberry and rosemary and thyme to Frankincense, ensuring the transformation from the humble G&T to a summer drink taste sensation.

Top food and drink expert Olly Smith is on This Morning to test the latest and most intriguing gins on the willing hosts. As Phillip and Holly have both demonstrated they have rather heightened senses of taste and smell, watch the video above to see if they managed to detect the subtle flavourings in Olly's selection of gins. We think you'll be impressed!

Take the gin taste test

Williams Chase: Seville Orange Gin

£35 from www.chasedistillery.co.uk

The Seville Orange Gin is made with cider apples to create the base spirit, then slowly infused with a range of botanicals including Herefordshire elderflower, lemon and juniper berries. It is then distilled with sweet Seville Orange peel to infuse the Gin to create the distinct flavour.

Chase Orange Gin: Summer Collins - add ice to a tall glass, a measure of Chase Orange Gin, a measure of elderflower cordial, top up with soda water and a slice of fresh orange. Stir gently and serve.

Whitley Neill: Gin made with African Baobab and Cape Gooseberries

£25 available from Tesco

Voted the world's best gin at the International Wine and Spirits Competition 2011. Whitley Neill is an independent, family run company. The first Premium London Dry Gin to focus on African Botanicals - The fruit of the African Baobab Tree, the "Tree of Life", and Cape Gooseberries (Physalis). Using traditional methods, this gin is distilled in an antique copper pot still (over 100 years old) which gives it a superior quality.

Whitley Neill Gin: Pour a slug of gin into a tumbler with ice, top up with fresh orange and orange peel garnish (or orange slice).

Mediterranean Gin: Made with Olives, Rosemary and Thyme

£36.95 (widely available)

This is a Mediterranean gin, and is named Mare (pronounced Mar-ray) after the sea (Mar). The hints of tomato plants and olives give it a Mediterranean flavour.

Gin Mare: Martini: Add ice into a cocktail shaker. Toss in a shot of Vermouth (Noilly Pratt is a top example). Shake and pour out the Vermouth leaving the ice coated with its flavour. Add four shots of Gin Mare to shaker and shake vigorously for quite a while. Pour into a martini glass garnished with a two green olives on a cocktail stick.

Hendrick's Gin: Made with Cucumber

£27.09 available from Sainsbury's Waitrose, Peckham's, and Harvey Nichols

Handcrafted gin with traditional botanicals, juniper, coriander, and citrus peel but the special infusion of cucumber and rose petals creates an unexpected flavour that stands out.

Hendricks Gin: Make a gin and tonic in a tall glass garnished with ice and a long thin slice of cucumber.

The SpencerField Co: Scotch Raspberry Gin

£15.25 from www.masterofmalt.com

Raspberry Infused Edinburgh Gin is made from a family recipe using locally sourced raspberries, matured with Edinburgh Gin and pure cane sugar. The result is a deep, tart raspberry flavour. A refreshing alternative to Sloe or Damson Gin.

Edinburgh Raspberry Gin. Add a jot of Edinburgh Raspberry Gin to a Champagne flute glass, top up with chilled Prosecco. Garnish the glass with a fresh raspberry.

Sacred Gin: Made with Frankincense

£29.45 from www.masterofmalt.com

Starting from a base of English wheat and botanicals such as juniper, cardamom, angelica, and Boswellia Sacra (a.k.a. frankincense, hence the name Sacred Gin), each gin is individually distilled and blended to produce a few hundred bottles per run.

Sacred Gin: Serve on the rocks with a sprig of rosemary in a tumbler glass.

Hoxton Gin: Made with coconut and grapefruit

£26.19 available from Tesco

Hoxton Gin takes the classic juniper-driven character of gin and adds coconut and grapefruit, it is smooth and rounded and very much stands out from other gins on the market.

Hoxton Gin: long glass, gin over ice top up with cranberry juice, garnish with redcurrants

People who read this story also read