10 great things for gin lovers in Somerset
PUBLISHED: 00:00 14 February 2020
image copyright ? guy harrop
The second edition of The Independent Gin & Artisan Spirits Guide features fine drinks and exquisite locations to sample them in. Here are some local highlights....
Gin: E18hteen Passionfruit Gin Liqueur, from North Petherton
Somerset gin maker Leigh Kearle founded E18hteen in 2016 and, after successfully launching his classic London dry gin, he expanded the distillery's repertoire to include a range of fascinating new flavours. This Passionfruit Gin Liqueur is one of the offshoot creations and the exuberant, vivacious sip is currently the most popular addition to the inaugural juniper-led gin.
Gin: Northmoor Gin, from Exmoor Distillery in Dulverton
John Smith founded Exmoor Distillery in 2017 and, after much experimentation, launched Northmoor Gin, which he named after the historic estate on Exmoor. Distilled from 10 carefully selected botanicals, it packs a punch at 44 per cent, with plenty of juniper flavour and complex underlying layers.
Gin: Wicked Wolf Exmoor Gin, from Brendon
Wicked Wolf is crafted in 100 litre batches in a copper alembic still at the distillery located just on the Somerset border. The contemporary spirit reflects Pat Patel's passion for bold botanical flavours and reveals Asian influences: kaffir lime, cardamom, lemongrass and juicy hibiscus all feature in its bright yet elegant flavours.
Venue: The Firehouse, in Curry Rivel
This Somerset haven combines fine wines, local ales and handcrafted stone-baked pizzas with a craft spirit list to gladden the heart of any artisan drinks enthusiast. The team are hot on making their own concoctions, too - check out the Firehouse jumbleberry gin, Firehouse craft lager and the cocktail of the month.
Venue: The Bank Restaurant & Bar, in Taunton
Inside the period building, original fittings and fixtures add charm to a smart yet comfortable restaurant which delivers both casual eats and more formal dining thrills. The team also mix a range of signature cocktails which, on warm evenings, are best sipped on the sun-splashed roof terrace.
Venue: The Rising Sun, near Taunton
This thatched village inn may be steeped in tradition, yet the innovation going down behind the rustic oak bar ensures its drinks list is bang up-to-date. Drinks are complemented by impressive dining-pub food made from regional and seasonal ingredients - true enthusiasts can even pair a Wicked Wolf and tonic with rainbow trout cured in the same spirit.
Gin Stockist: Trading Post Farm Shop, in South Petherton
Brimming with delectable local and organic produce - each nook and cranny reveals yet more delicious luxuries - this Aladdin's cave of gastronomic delights grants far more wishes than your typical farm shop. Twenty years after opening, the treasure trove has continued to expand and now includes locally crafted ales and ciders, along with 30 of the region's finest artisan spirits.
Venue: The Rummer, in Bristol
For a fabulous drinks experience in Bristol's city centre, The Rummer is a key stop for your little black book. Take your perch at the bar and peruse the long list of cocktails, or take your pick from the largest spirit list in the region; the bar has more than 500 gins rums and whiskeys on offer.
Gin Stockist: Great Western Wine, in Bath
For 36 years, Great Western Wine has sought out the very best wines, gins, artisan spirits and beers. The eclectic range of 150 artisan spirits creates a thrilling emporium-like atmosphere, but if you find choosing on the spot a little overwhelming you can also check out the range online and visit with your hit-list already in hand.
Gin Stockist: Corks of Cotham, in Bristol
On your next visit to Bristol, be sure to stop off at this fantastic independent wine, beer and spirit merchant. The store boasts an excellent knowledge of quality tipples, and the friendly staff will be sure to assist you in your selection from the extensive range on offer (if you're not already persuaded by the latest spirit showcased at the store's regular tasting sessions).
For more details about these and other venues across the region, pick up your copy of The Independent Gin & Artisan Spirits Guide.
Published by Salt , it is available from good bookshops and indygin.guide and priced £7.99.