Published on June 18th, 2014 | by Gavin


Top 5 Gins from Junipalooza

Over the weekend of 6-8 June, the first ever UK based gin tasting festival took place in Shoreditch and was a huge success!  With tickets priced from just £15, guests were invited to sample over 60 different gins produced all over the world, and we even got the chance to talk with distillers from San Francisco and New York, whom told some fantastic stories about their personal gin journeys.  Having made my way around and sampled as many as humanly possible in one afternoon, here is my guide to the top 5 from Junipalooza 2014.

Perrys Tot Gin

  • Perry’s Tot Navy Strength, 57% ABV,  New York

For those that don’t know where the term Navy Strength originated, it was coined during a time when sailors were paid in gin (ah, the good old days).  And naturally, when you consume as much gin as they sailors did and being on an unsteady ship, it’s fair to say you’re going to be quite clumsy and start spilling your tot everywhere.  The problem is water and gunpowder don’t mix, so to make sure the gunpowder could still light, the alcohol content had to be increased to 57%.

Perry’s Tot is a throwback to this era, however despite the high ABV, it still retains a good amount of flavour and you’d be hard-pressed to find a brand of tonic water that can overpower it.  Created at the New York Distilling Company in 2011 by Tom Potter (of Brooklyn Brewery fame), Perry’s Tot is one to look out for in the future.

RRP £43.64 / 70cl from Master of Malt

Ferdinands Sar Gin

  • Ferdinand’s Saar Dry, 44% ABV, Germany

Made with a staggering 30 Botanicals, with most being grown by the company within the Saarburger Rausch region, Ferdinand’s probably had the most character out of all the gins I tried on the day.  Does it need all of those ingredients to make it taste good?  Probably not, but it’s a cool fact that will either impress guests or make them loathe you.


St George's Gin

  • St George Botanivore, 45% ABV, California

Not the tastiest spirit at Junipalooza, but after sipping it neat, it shares a remarkable resemblance to the Bloody Mary, and as one of my favourite classic cocktails, I had to include St George’s.  There’s a distinct peppery punch that hits the palette hard, ensuring it won’t be drowned out when mixed with tomato juice, or anything else for that matter.

RRP £39.50 / 70cl from Master of Malt


Haymans Gin

  • Hayman’s Old Tom, 40% ABV, Witham

One of the better known brands on display, Hayman’s has been producing gin from the family owned distillery in Witham since 1863.  The Old Tom is one of the family’s original recipes from the 19th Century and has enjoyed a revival thanks to the popularity of the Martinez and Tom Collins cocktails.  The range also includes Sloe, London Dry, 1850 Reserve, Navy Strength, and Gin Liqueur.  Most good bars will stock Hayman’s and may even be the standard serve in the house G&Ts; a refreshing, clean gin.

RRP £20.56 / 70cl from Master of Malt.  Also available in Waitrose.


Chief Gowanus Gin

  • Chief Gowanus New-Netherlands Gin, 44% ABV, New York

Another one from the New York Distilling Company.  Not technically gin in the legal sense as it is rye whisky (rather than a neutral spirit) being distilled in a copper still to create Chief Gowanus.  The recipe comes from an original 1600’s Dutch recipe, and the name is taken from the American Indian Chief that welcomed the Dutch immigrants to Brooklyn.  The result is kind of a bourbon sweet juniper and can just as easily be mixed with coke or tonic water alike.

RRP £42.45 / 70 cl from Master of Malt

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About the Author

Born and raised in Croydon, South London, Gavin is a lover of cocktails, a passionate foodie, and a self-proclaimed ‘dancing god’. A (relatively) normal guy that decided to start blogging about his experiences around the city he loves.

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  1. Pingback: ImALondoner.com » Gin and Terrace, Waterloo

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