A beautiful book which reveals our pick of the South West’s most exceptional craft spirits
The Independent Gin and Artisan Spirits Guide is a sister book to the Trencherman’s Guide. However, instead of revealing the most exquisite restaurants, this showcases the most fabulous craft spirits in the South West and South Wales – and fabulous places to imbibe and source them. Gin, vodka, rum and more are included and make this the perfect handbook for anyone using Christmas as an opportunity to be a more adventurous in their choice of sips – and for those who want to support small indie distilleries.
The second edition of the award-winning guide makes a perfect gift – especially when paired with a bottle of something delicious.
We’ve handpicked a few fabulous finds from the book – how many have you tried?
Twisting Spirits’ Douglas-Fir gin is a must for festive sipping. It’s made from a fine gin crafted in traditional copper stills at the Tewkesbury distillery. Douglas-Fir tree needles are cold distilled under vacuum in a rotary evaporator to preserve their delicate characteristics and create a gin of whistle-clean herbaceous and fresh-pine qualities. Look out, too, for nuances of crisp citrus, cut grass and white pepper.
Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur
Conker Spirit launched its Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur as a UK first – and it remains one of only a handful of drinks of its kind in the world. Made without colourings, extracts or flavourings, this luscious tipple is crafted in Bournemouth from Grade 1 speciality Ethiopian and Brazilian beans. It delivers a satisfying depth of true, natural coffee flavour with subtle hints of sweet black liquorice and earthy cocoa, rich fruitiness and toffee – and is the perfect ingredient for a knockout espresso martini – just add ice and water.
St Piran’s Cornish Rum
This handcrafted Cornish rum is made by master distiller Dr John Walters using water from a well at the historic Treguddick Manor near Launceston in Cornwall. The entire spirit is created from scratch: 100 per cent molasses is distilled three times in 200 litre copper pot alembic stills. The result is a satisfying, rich and gorgeously rounded soft rum with complex and subtle hints of sweet coconut, vanilla and banana in the finish. Sip it over ice or make it the star of your cocktails.
You’ll also find beautiful bars and lounges for luxe libation
The Grade II-listed building that houses this Exeter bar may be tiny but, with 130 spirits crammed onto the shelves, the drinks haunt has one of the best collections anywhere. Owner Lynsey Lowthian and bar manager Noah Cross are always adding new tipples to the endlessly shifting curation – a good place to start is the house special, Copper Cameo, made with Crocketts’ own gin. Bespoke rum and gin tasting masterclasses and cocktail workshops are also available for small groups.
Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Tracking down Bristol’s quintessentially British cocktail bar is not for the faint-hearted. Look for the white flag revealing a hidden entrance through an iconic red telephone box, then slide into the cosy drinking den, browse the 300-strong spirits list and get ready for a special assignment. Start with a Carless Vesper – a smooth, slick and shell-cased tipple inspired by the British Secret Intelligence Service.
Discover where to source unusual and specialist finds to stock your drinks cabinet
Johns Wines, Truro
This fabulously stocked Liquor Cellar on Lemon Street is a treasure trove of artisan spirits and the latest addition to Johns Wines. With over 500 artisan spirits, 100 gins and a samll selection of wines, the Cellar has a craft bottle to suit every palate. It’s great fun exploring the gleaming array yourself or ask one of the spirit specialists to help you pick your perfect tipple (you can try before you buy).
Discover the full collection of craft drinks and where to find – and imbibe them – in the Independent Gin & Artisan Spirits Guide.
This wonderful book is the perfect stocking filler for any discerning drinks lover. Detailing over 90 exceptional indie drinks, bars, stores and gin schools, the guide is a little black book of must-visits filled with exceptional finds.
Trencherman’s readers are treated to an exclusive 10 per cent off the guide when using code: INDY10 at checkout, orders will be gift wrapped and sent first class Royal Mail.
Get your copy now at indygin.guide.