The Drinks Cabinet

Gin O’clock

It is fair to say that there are few better things in life than a really good gin. The crisp, refreshing bite of a cold G&T can solve innumerable problems (it should also be noted that drinking upwards of three can create countless more, but then that’s part of the fun).

Formerly the 11am mainstay of grandmothers and ‘resting’ luvvies, gin has experienced something of a revival in recent years. Esquire favourites Sipsmith continue to win acclaim for the small-batch offerings produced by Prudence, their lovingly-maintained still in Hammersmith, whilst Hoxton Gin (uniquely infused with coconut) has swiftly become the tipple of choice for E2 hipsters and W1 bar-managers alike, and Hendricks has won fans nationwide via an appealingly eccentric marketing campaign and a superlative, cucumber-garnished, end product.

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By comparison, the award-winning Sloane’s, produced by Dutch distillers Toorank, offers no edgy or bizarre new ingredients in its recipe. In fact, it prides itself in its traditionalism. A classic dry gin, named in honour of the Royal Physician Sir Hans Sloane, it uses a classic selection of expertly blended botanicals – juniper, orange and lemon peel, oris root, angelica, cardamom, coriander, cassia bark, liquorice and vanilla –, to create a remarkably smooth spirit. This hasn’t gone unnoticed, either; Sloane’s took home a double gold medal at the 2011 San Francisco World Spirits Competition making it, until the end of the month, at least, The Best Gin In The World. This alone should be reason enough to give it a try – and, if it’s after 11am at the time you read this, we suggest you do.

Sloane’s gin is available from £22.99/70cl from Sainsbury’s.