Cold. Refreshing. Easy to make. The Gin and Tonic is the perfect drink of choice to quench your thirst, whether on those hot afternoons spent relaxing on your balcony here in Phnom Penh, or shared with friends on a weekend escape from the city.
And with both World Gin Day and World Martini Day falling in June, what better time to add some juniper-filled goodness to your cabinet or to pack in your bag for that long weekend trip to Koh Rong Samloem.
With so many gins to choose from, here are four of my favourite tipples from around the world — each of which is more than worthy of taking up your limited shelf space.
Forgive my bias, but I shall start this list with a choice that’s close to home: Seekers Independent Spirits, located right here in the heart of Phnom Penh and distilled by yours truly. Our latest spirit, Seekers Mekong Gold Gin, is a labour of love that we have crafted by resting our classic Mekong Dry Gin for up to 3 months in two different wood finishes: amburana oak and sugar maple wood. We then blend the two maturations together. Thanks to this process, Seekers Mekong Gold Gin has a distinct, luxuriously-sweet and vanilla-nutty spice to it, fading into a long vanilla-oak finish. A little tip for you: try this gin with soda to let the flavour shine. It’s one of my favourite pairings.
From the United States’ sunny shores of California comes the absolutely beautiful St George Botanivore gin. This contemporary style of gin is a symphony of flavour, as 19 botanicals are distilled to produce a truly complex and memorable gin. Lighter on juniper, the initial flavour profile is of warm cinnamon and ginger with hints of citrus, fading into a long, slightly spicy finish. When drinking your G&T, I found that garnishing with a cinnamon stick works best.
From the vibrant French countryside comes the equally vibrant and floral expression of G-Vine Floraison. Distilled from grapes, what I love about this gin, are its initial floral notes, which then fade into a zesty-lime-juniper finish with hints of cardamom. For those that like lighter gins, this is a must. I recommend that you garnish this G&T with a lemon wedge, which compliments its complex flavour profile. Bien jouè!
From the Yarra Valley of Australia comes to the wonderfully fresh Four Pillars Dry Gin. It is distilled using unique local botanicals, including lemon myrtle for a subtle citrus alternative and Tasmanian pepper berry, which adds nice warmth to the overall flavour profile. What I particularly love about this is gin is the careful balance between sweet and spicy – a warm cinnamon spice fades beautifully into sweet orange with hints of anise on the finish. From one distiller to another, Bravo! Garnish this G&T with an orange wedge.
And now the weekend be-GIN!