101 Gins: To Try Before You Die

The world really has gone crazy for gin. No longer predominantly the domain of the Shires’ ‘Gin and Jag’ set, it seems that not a day goes by without a new boutique gin coming to the market. It’s now common for bars to stock dozens, if not hundreds of gins, often from all over the world. Likewise, the numerous festivals which tour the country, tap into what seems to be the public’s insatiable appetite for this, the trendiest of drinks.

If you’re tired of the usual, (all be it classic), repertoire of Gordons, Bombay Sapphire and Tanqueray and are looking for some inspiration then this book is a must for you. The descriptions are brilliant. Who wouldn’t be tempted by the likes of St George’s Terroir, Half Hitch and the Botanist, not to mention my home town’s Lakes Gin.

The book is packed with interesting facts and stories and stands up well to either being read cover to cover or just dipping into. Guide books aren’t for everyone but this one is written in a personal and entertaining way.

The only challenge I found was the nagging temptation to focus on some of the excellent brands which are not included, Harrogate’s own brilliant Slingsby Gin being a case in point. That said, the book isn’t, and doesn’t pretend to be a comprehensive encyclopedia of the mindboggling array of gins currently on the market if it was, it would run to thousands of pages. Instead, it’s a very skillfully curated selection, put together by a real expert on the subject.

All in all, a fun and interesting book which would make a great gift for gin loving friends or family. The only thing that would complement it would be a guide to the similarly numerate tonics which are coming to market.

Matthew Hill

By Matthew Hill, a Partner in the Dispute Resolution Unit at Raworths Solicitors LLP.

Ian Buxton is hosting Gin Tasting at Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival on Saturday 21st October at 6:30pm. Find out more and book now.