Some gins have a decidedly floral, almost perfumed profile. I’ve tasted a few that end up reminding me a bit too much of aftershave but the best examples—such as these three and also Bombay Sapphire (LCBO 316844, $28.95)—are delightful. For those subtle aromatics to shine, the distiller has to give juniper, citrus and the other traditional gin botanicals less of a presence in the spirit’s recipe. Lovers of a classic resinous and spicy gin might not approve.
RENDLE’S ORIGINAL GIN LCBO 398859, $39.95
Chris Edgcumbe-Rendle produces this loving recreation of his father’s personal gin recipe. Hibiscus gives it a pinkish hue which suits its elegant, lightweight, floral style to a T. It makes a very glamorous Dry Martini, stirred with ice and hardly any vermouth at all.
HENDRICK’S GIN LCBO 637504, $50.00
The Scottish makers of Hendrick’s (whisky distillers William Grant & Sons) add essence of rose petals and essence of cucumber to the finished gin—and their scents hover over it dramatically. It’s a robust, rather heavy, eminently likeable spirit; garnish with cucumber.
NOLET’S DRY GIN LCBO 549899, $69.95
They’ve been making gin at Nolet’s distillery in Schiedam, Holland, since 1691—but not in this modern, dry style. Juniper takes a back seat in favour of rose, peach and red berry notes. It’s powerful at 47.6% ABV, which makes it especially useful for cocktails.