Gin is in. Once derided as the sort of drink loved only by the blazer-wearing golf club president and his wife, it is the most exciting thing you can splash in your glass right now.
And nowhere has a more amazing collection than Sutlers Bar.
At the last count, this stylish haunt on the corner of Fossgate had 106 different types of gin.
They come from all corners of the globe, dressed in different colours and infused with flavours from flowery to fiery.
Add in every manner of mixer and you have a thrill-fest for your tastebuds.
Sutlers is hosting its first Gin Festival on Sunday (July 3). It is a chance for gin beginners to become better acquainted with the spirit, while offering aficionados the opportunity to discover something new (or downright bonkers).
Sutlers gin festival
Sutlers, 54-56 Fossgate, York
Sun July 3 2016
There will be gin experts on hand and the chance to try ‘gin flights’ – a selected a trio of gins to showcase their particular attributes.
“We don’t sell Gordons or any of the other gins your mum and dad grew up on,” said Richard Beal, your host at Sutlers.
“Instead these are craft gins, often created in small batches, and each with a different personality and story.”
He has even produced a gin almanac, giving you the lowdown on what’s available, which will be available at the bar from Friday.
But which to try? Here are a few ideas…
Like an alcoholic version of those Magic Eye pictures, when you add tonic to this Spanish gin the colours change.
This small Caithness company produces a new vintage each year. Each is different, but still floral, fruity and modern.
These innovative gins are created by someone styling themselves Professor Cornelius in Ampleforth. They are produced in small batches using the cold-compression method beloved of the bootleggers of old London town in their bathtubs, hence the name.
Masons Lavender Gin
Made in Bedale using their own juniper bushes and Harrogate spring water, Masons Gin is Yorkshire personified. The addition of lavender gives it a subtle summer sweetness.
Another hit from Harrogate. If you concentrate you can pick up hints of green tea and, with a Yorkshire flourish, a finish of candied rhubarb.
Sloemotion Sloe Gin
Created on a farm halfway between York and Malton, Sloemotion gin is infused with a hit of cherry from the sloes.
Drink around the world
Big Boss Gin
This one from Portugal contains 11 botanicals, including some which came from India and were discovered by Portuguese sailors in 1498. There’s long-term planning for you…
Infused with African botanicals this big hitter from Germany is one you will never forget. And 15% of proceeds from its production goes to elephant charities.
Gin Del Professore Monsieur
There’s nothing quite like this gin from Rome with a highly-spiced profile mixed with smooth vanilla. Yum.
This German number takes inspiration from an unusual geographical combination – the Black Forest and India. Based on an old recipe from Wing Commander Montgomery Collins, it is named after his pet.
London is the centre of the gin-drinking world, and its small producers are creating some belters. This one is in classic London Dry style, and has the benefit of being easy to say after a few: “Thish Ish ish shuper…”
Few American Dry Gin
Unlike any other gin, this one is made using whisky – white unaged bourbon to be precise.
The G with tea – a black tea and bergamot distilled gin from this small London company.
Living up to its name, this gin from a microdistillery in Highgate, London, includes as one of its key botanicals Boswellia Sacra – also known as frankincense.
Warner Edwards Rhubarb
Very nearly by royal appointment, this Northamptonshire sharpener is made “using Queen Victoria’s own personal rhubarb crop”.
You don’t have to go the tonic route. How about mixing the orientally-spiced Opihr gin with some ginger ale to make a Gin Buck?
This is the cocktail to get the party started, being a mix of gin and Prosecco. Try pairing it with Edinburgh Gin, rhubarb and ginger.
Traditionally made with one part gin, one part vermouth rosso, and one part Campari, try it with Scottish classic gin Tanqueray 10.
For a refreshing sunshine drink, mix the light and fresh Warrington gin Bloom with Mediterranean tonic water and garnish with strawberries.