In good spirits we trust: The gins, rums, bourbons and mixers you need in 2021

If your drinks cabinet has seen more than its fair share of action lately, it’s not alone. Booze sales have sky-rocketed over the past 18 months, with many of us honing our mixology skills to make up for all those lost nights out and celebrations. 

With something close to normality now back in our lives, perhaps now is the time to refine your spirits collection, swap quantity for quality and discover something new. We’ve rounded up a selection of some of the latest gins, rums, mixers and hard seltzers, designed to give drinks o’clock a new lease of life.

Two Birds Gin: The one with the juicy flavours

Two Birds have a reputation for producing small-batch artisan spirits that explore innovative flavours, and their newly released double pack featuring two iconic summer gins is no exception. 

Two Birds Strawberry & Vanilla Gin is perfect for sipping in the garden on a balmy afternoon and packs a real punch with its infusion of juicy strawberries with a dash of vanilla. Perfect with tonic and ice. Meanwhile, Two Birds Watermelon Gin is designed to transport you to more tropical climes and is bursting with fresh watermelon. 

Both variants are available in a new double pack of 20cl bottles for £26, which makes for the perfect gift for gin lovers. 

Scapegrace Black Gin: The one that changes colour 

Distilled using glacial pure water from New Zealand’s Southern Alps, Scapegrace Black blends natural extracts from plants, berries and flowers to create a unique taste profile that commands repeat sips. Hints of aronia berry, pineapple and saffron come through, whilst the black liquid transforms to a vivid purple when mixed with tonic. 

Served with a slice of Granny Smith apple and Mediterranean tonic, this fruity and floral small-batch premium gin tastes just as good as its Insta-worthy bottle suggests. Available from Master of Malt for £35.95, Scapegrace Black can also be used to create a range of thirst-quenching cocktails, such as the deliciously refreshing Chokeberry Fizz. 

Wimbledon Garden Gin: The quintessentially English one

If you like your gin a little more classic, then Wimbledon Garden Gin could be the one. Blending a curious mixture of botanicals including gorse, heather, Wimbledon honey, liquorice, lemon, hops and of course juniper, this traditional gin balances just the right amount of spice with a twist of citrus. 

Presented in a beautiful stoneware bottle that brightens up any liquor collection, this versatile gin can be blended into an endless number of cocktails. No wonder it’s taken gold medals from both the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and The Spirits Business Gin Masters. A stunning gin. Pick up a bottle for £38.50 from Wimbledon Brewery online

LUXLO: The low calorie, low ABV one with all the fruit flavours

Who says reducing your calorie and alcohol intake means compromising on taste? LUXLO Gins are 100% sugar-free and come in a range of tempting flavours and pack just 20% abv and 28 calories per serving.

The LUXLO for Gin Lovers Collection is the ideal way to sample the brand, containing four 5cl miniatures of their bestselling flavours, including juniper-led origin Ginny, Pomegranate & Raspberry, Passion Fruit and our personal favourite, Blood Orange. Each flavour is smooth, crisp and refreshing and perfect for anyone looking to avoid a nasty hangover the following day. 

Pick up the LUXLO four-pack collection for just £16 from LUXLO Spirits online. 

KEEPR’s Honey Smoked Bourbon: The sweet and smoky one

KEEPR’s are a unique British brand that infuses a range of rums, bourbons and gins with honey, putting sustainability at the forefront of everything they do. Their distillery is powered by four electric heating rods, using no gas or oil to ensure their carbon footprint is minimal. 

Their award-winning Honey Smoked Bourbon offers a dreamy British take on the classic American tipple. 

The Bourbon itself is distilled and aged in Florida in White American Oak Barrels before finishing the process in England, where the liquid develops a further 3 months before being infused with smoked 100% British honey. The result is a rich and warming Bourbon, with hints of campfire smoke. 

Pick up a 70cl bottle of Honey Smoked Bourbon for £42 from KEEPR’s online shop

Bushmills Irish Whiskey: The one with the Caribbean rum cask finish

With over 400 years of experience under their belt, Bushmills is the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery with an impressive collection of tipples to their name. Their Caribbean Rum Cask Finish Whiskey has been aged to perfection in casks that previously held Dominican rum for a minimum of 8 years, giving the tipple a smooth finish with plenty of smoke and wood spice. Great in cocktails, we loved this stuff on the rocks, which allows the creamy vanilla custard notes and buttery caramel finish to truly shine. 

Grab yourself a bottle from Master of Malt for just £25.95. 

Montanya Valentia Rum: The sustainable one from the Rocky Mountains

New to the UK, Montanya is a female-founded rum brand that puts sustainability at the heart of everything they do, from the exemplary sourcing of their ingredients to wind-powered production and through to bottling in certified glass.

The love and attention poured into every bottle Montanya creates is evident in each sip of their four premium American rums. Expertly crafted at their Rocky Mountains distillery, the range includes the divine Valentia, which is awash with notes of honey, butterscotch and lemon. Sip it on the rocks or with a fiery ginger beer to experience a true taste of modern Americana. 

Pick up a bottle from Master of Malt for just £44.95 

Saint Benevolence: The Haitian one for rum purists 

Saint Benevolence Haitian Rum Clairin is a one of a kind rum that donates 100% of its profits to its longstanding non-profit partners in Haiti. Produced by a father and son team in collaboration with a 3rd generation distillery, this pure white rum is excellent on the rocks or when paired with tonic and a wedge of fresh grapefruit.

If you want to go full-on Haiti, try mixing it up with sugar and lime for a true taste of the Caribbean. Grab a bottle of Saint Benevolence online from The Whisky Exchange and DrinkSupermarket for £44.99.

Rhum Damoiseau Arrangé Pink Guava: The posh one with exotic guava fruit

For something truly different, look no further than Arrangé Pink Guava from Rhum Damoiseau. Each bottle includes hand-cut pieces of guava fruit from the island of Guadeloupe, which gives this rum liqueur a fruity and exotic profile not dissimilar to pear and strawberry. 

Throw in whole vanilla pods and you have a creamy and floral tipple that is delicious on its own, or when blended into cocktails or fruit punches. Unlike anything else we’ve tasted, you can pick up a bottle from  Harvey Nichols, Whisky Exchange, Master of Malt and DrinkSupermarket.com, for around £39.99.

Whole Earth Sparkling Soft Drinks: The one that makes the perfect mixer

Famous for their delicious natural nut butters, Whole Earth has branched out into summery soft drinks and the result is a duo that pairs perfectly with your favourite spirits. The Organic Sparkling Elderflower is light and refreshing and great on its own or with a splash of your favourite gin.

The Organic Sparkling Ginger is a more lively affair, with a touch of fiery spice that begs it to be paired with rum. As you’d expect from Whole Earth, both flavours are completely free of artificial nasties and cans come in fully recyclable cardboard packaging. 

Pick up these 4 packs at your local Sainsbury’s for just £4. 

LOT 42 Hard Seltzer: The refreshing easy-drinking low calorie one

Hard Seltzers are fast becoming a hot commodity in the drinks business, and Lot 42 are fast becoming the brand to watch with their bold flavours and low-calorie range. Inspired by the heritage of their Prince Edward Island founders in Canada, Lot 42 have dropped in the UK with two tempting flavours, both 4.5% abv. 

Blueberry & Lemongrass offers a burst of fresh fruitiness that is designed to go just as well with gin as it does on its own. Huckleberry & Ginger is a more complex affair, mixing a touch of spice with fruit, and goes fantastically with white rum. 

Pick up your crate of premium hard seltzers direct from Lot 42 online here, prices start at just £10.50 a crate. 

Reviewed by Fletch

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