This is a Northants Food Guide (or should we say drink guide!) for all the gin lovers out there! I give you: The Best Northamptonshire Gin Guide!
In Northamptonshire, we are SPOILT for Gin in the county as there are lots of gin makers, farmers and distillers in the county.
All of them have a different and unique story of how they came about making gin and do it in very different ways.
Fun fact: I was never a gin drinker, but now I LOVE the stuff and I am always more passionate about gin when I know where it’s come from and lots of independent gin bars like Gin & Temple and John Franklin’s embrace our local gins by hosting events or just displaying them in their bar.
And with Christmas around the corner, this could be a perfect excuse to find someone that gin-tastic gift that supports local and independent.
Here are the best Northamptonshire Gins which I have tried and tasted to give you some inspiration:
The one who started it all… fun fact, before I tried Warner’s (formerly known as Warner Edwards) I didn’t like gin and never thought I would be converted to a gin drinker… until I had a Warner’s Gin.
Warner’s is based in Harrington, Northamptonshire at Falls Farm, established in 2012 and are proud gin farmers who make authentic gin the right way.
Their gins are crafted with nature; water from their spring, home-grown botanicals, fresh honey from their trees so everything is real graft that goes into real craft.
It’s one of the most popular Northamptonshire gins to have joined the industry and they are incredibly passionate about making everything that goes into their gin from local produce.
The Rhubarb Warner’s Gin is paired lovely, in my opinion, and theirs, with a normal fever tree tonic and/or a nice ginger beer too, which heightens the flavour even more so. I’m often found having a glass or two down my local pubs!
Other favourites of mine I have been known for drinking often include the Elderflower gin which is paired well with some elderflower or lemon tonic which bring out the flavour of the Elderflower even more so!
I am desperate to make a trip down to their distillery for a tour, so for now if you’re looking for that information, you should check out Lisa from The Beauty Type’s blog post about her experience there.
They currently have some new gins available, including their Apple & Pear gin which is a collaboration with Joules, plus their limited edition Christmas Cake gin!
The mother and daughter duo, Philipa and Laura, who have a sweet and inspiring story of how they began their journey in creating Hustle Gin.
Hustle Gin are a Northampton based fine botanical small-batch gin company, established in 2017 by mother and daughter duo, they are lovers of life and lovers of the ethos “hustle hard but stay humble”.
They are all about inspiring women to follow their dreams by creating a brand with the messaging “to dare greatly” that everything from their branding, down to the charities and causes they support are surrounded by helping and empowering women.
They found an award-winning distillery with the same ideals as them where they were able to create and develop their gins that are now undeniably moreish and are certainly making waves in Northamptonshire and beyond.
They have three unique flavours that all together create “The Hustle Experience” which include Pink Grapefruit and Raspberry Gin, Hustle Signature Gin; their fine dry botanical gin and my personal favourite; the Cubeb Pepper & Orange Blossom Gin which I thoroughly enjoyed drinking at the Northants Life x Gin & Temple event.
The Cubeb Pepper & Orange Blossom Gin goes beautifully with a chilled lemonade in my opinion, as this really lifts the sweetness of the orange, but soothes the cubeb pepper, but it can also go very well with a Fever Tree tonic.
Read more: The GiNN Collection with Northants Life & G&T’s
Our neighbourhood distillery!
Wharf Distillery is Northamptonshire’s only independent small-batch copper-pot grain to glass distillery based in Potterspury, Northamptonshire who produce a great range of exciting spirits and liqueurs from raw materials.
From whisky, single malts, gin, vodka and brandy, there is nothing Wharf Distillery can’t make.
They have even created their own whisky, called Cattle Creep, which makes them the smallest English Whisky Distillery which is pretty cool – so if you’re into whisky, definitely consider Wharf’s!
Grain to glass means that they don’t just buy in neutral spirits to make their products, but they ferment raw ingredients to create an initial base alcohol.
Founded by Laurence and Alice; they are the dream team when it comes to distilling and marketing for the company. Plus, they are lovely people!
Their Safine Drenc, also known as their Northamptonshire Gin is the one I find myself purchasing and drinking the most, as it’s a very nice, simple artisan gin which has – at 40%, it’s not quite a dry gin, but it’s got a subtle sweet after taste that goes well with Fever Tree Elderflower tonic.
They have a wonderful shop based at The Drink Shed which is their hub full of their portfolio of spirits, plus it’s the home of Roman Way Brewery too – so it’s definitely worth visiting them!
They have also branched out by creating the brand “New Town Gin” which is a nod to Milton Keynes, where they originally started, of which consists of flavoured gins including Lemon & Basil, Orange & Pomegranate and much more!
The oldest newest brewery company in the UK right here in Northampton!
Phipps NBC began in Towcester, where founder Pickering Phipps started brewing in 1801, followed by a second brewery on Bridge Street in 1817 of which all production moved to in 1901 when the original brewery burned down.
Now, the brewery settles at Kingswell Street under Albion Brewery Bar, Northampton of which we once had a guided tour around the brewery and to see what the gin making process looked like at Phipps Brewery.
They have a full range of gins that they have developing and reviving since the beginning of WW2!
After 9 months of distilling and lots of feedback from trials in the Albion Brewery Bar resulted in their first commercial gin in 2015. Their range of gins have a huge variety and touch on the history of Northampton.
These include: Kingswell Gin, named after the medieval well in their cellar in the Albion Brewery as well as the street name of where the brewery sits. Oak Aged Gin, which is one for the Whiskey drinkers as it has hints of this taste.
They also have a Raspberry, a seasonal Sloe Gin and an Opal Gin which changes colour when you add a citrus tonic to it for the ultimate WOW factor!
And my personal favourite is their Rhubarb Gin, served well with some Elderflower tonic with strawberries or cucumber for an all-round sweet taste.
To get the ultimate experience and a thorough guide on how they distill their gin, you should book onto one of their Brewery tours.
Read more: The Albion Brewery Bar Tour Experience
The Beer Garage
You might know The Beer Garage as only a Craft Beer company in Northamptonshire, but I have news for you… they have just launched their own GIN!
The Beer Garage was established in 2015 and are known for selling a carefully selected range of craft beers and real ales which you can choose to buy by the bottle/can or you can handpick a selection of cases.
It was founded by Laura who wanted to break the stereotype that only men enjoy and drink beer.
The Beer Garage launched their first-ever range of gin at the Northampton Winter Food Festival consisting of London Dry Gin and Passionfruit and Guava Gin.
OBVIOUSLY, I had to grab a bottle after trying some of the passionfruit flavour which I have ALOT to say about…
I don’t know many local gins with this flavour combination, but they have NAILED IT! It’s light, refreshing and full of fruity flavour that doesn’t require much other than a normal tonic and a hint of lemon or lime.
I have been searching high and low for a dedicated non-alcoholic spirit provider in Northamptonshire and I have found one: Xachoh Spirits!
Xachoh Spirits (pronounced Za-Ko) is a free from alcohol, sugars, sweeteners, calories and extracts, making Xachoh an exciting alternative which uses only premium purposeful herbs and spices to their traditional recipes.
They won the “One to Watch” category at the Carlsberg Food & Drink Awards for their truly enlightening range of non-alcoholic spirits that will make you think you’re drinking a normal G&T.
It was founded by Mohammad Djahanbaksh who grew up in a family that was heavily influenced by an ancestral passion for promoting good health, great taste and happiness.
And after years of research, he came up with Xachoh Spirits which he created in his family home in Silverstone, leaning heavily on his ancestor’s recipes.
The gin alternative for this guide is their Xachoh Blend No. 5 which is their clear non-alcoholic spirit which has been distilled from purposeful and premium botanicals of Star Anise, Ginger, Camomille, Long Pepper, Turmeric, Barberry and Rosemary – so it’s packed full of flavour and tastes just like your favourite G&T when paired with a tonic or elderflower tonic.
I know there’s plenty of people who don’t drink alcohol, or if you’re thinking of taking part in Dry January, this might be a great alternative for you!
Two Birds Spirits
Okay, okay, this is NOT QUITE a Northamptonshire based Gin, but I wanted to include it as it’s EVERYWHERE in many stockists in the county and it’s just on the border.
Two Birds Spirits is a countryside spirit that was founded in 2013 in the quaint, British countryside of Market Harborough and they create some of the most different blends of gin I have ever tasted and seen; some flavours of which I would never put together but somehow it works!
All of their products are lovingly produced by hand using their bespoke, handbuilt copper stills and their bottle branding is gorgeous with their sparrow picture and the wonderful array of colours to identify their many flavours.
My favourite Two Birds Spirits is the distilled Watermelon Gin which boasts vibrant flavours of refreshing watermelon that goes superbly with a light tonic and cucumber slices, for a crisp, light taste.
They don’t just produce gin, but they also have a fab selection of Vodka including their Salted Caramel vodka which I often like having with apple juice!
They are always present at festivals like the Northampton Winter Food Festival and Towcester Food Festival, so in my eyes, they make the cut for the best Northamptonshire gin as they are so active in the county and are always a pleasure to speak to when I come up and say hi.
You can purchase plenty of Two Birds Spirits products on Amazon here.
As you can see, we are spoilt for choice for gin here in Northamptonshire and I am pleased that I can drink and enjoy these responsibly!
I’d love to know what your favourite gins are from this selection, what tonic and garnishes you drink them with and where you drink them – let me know in the comments below.