There’s only one shop better than one that sells just gin, and that’s a shop that sells nothing but gin and chocolate!
Fortunately for me there’s one such shop only a ten minute drive down the road in Babbacombe which only opened in December and is run by the lovely Wendy who is more than happy to chat about gin all day long. If you pop in there next time you’re staying at The 25, she can take you through the array of local craft gins available so you can work out the best one to buy and take home to enjoy whilst reminiscing about your wonderful stay with us. You can also have a tasting of any of the gins too if you’re not sure which to purchase.
Wendy mainly stocks local gins as we are truly blessed with lots of craft producers of gin in the local English Riviera and wider South Devon area. They’re not exclusively local though. You’ll find the odd one from Cornwall or even further afield, but to make the grade it has to taste amazing and be a craft gin for Wendy to stock it. The majority of her gins are made in small batches of 25 to 65 and have the batch number written on the side too.
Here's a few gins to whet your appetite, some of which we tasted:
Crafted in the heart of the English Riviera a stone's throw from the harbourside, Torquay Coastal Dry Gin is made with a blend of locally sourced Rosemary and Lavender. This is blended with six other botanicals to create a superior citrus gin with floral notes.
Rock Pool Torbay Gin
A coastal themed full strength gin, copper pot distilled in small batches and then gently steeped in butterfly pea flowers to give the signature blue colour (which doesn’t add flavour). The tonic reacts with this to turn it a lovely pink colour. It’s a classic juniper led gin, with fresh orange, locally grown thyme and a hint of South Devon sea spaghetti (which gives it a faint seaside smell but has no taste).
A really smooth gin distilled with 13 botanicals hand sourced from around the world with hints of grapefruit. It’s one of the few stocked that’s not made in small batches but it’s a very drinkable and popular local gin. It’s 44% ABV so quite high alcohol percentage.
There’s also a rosé version available with the sweetness of strawberries and fresh citrus peels of lemon and orange which are hand peeled each day prior to distillation and combined with other botanicals including rose petals and pink peppercorns.
The River Test Gin
With 43% ABV and a distinctive green bottle, this award-winning gin is a classic London Dry gin from Hampshire, so one of the few out of area gins available. It has gently honeyed, floral notes and is infused with handpicked meadowsweet flowers. They use pure chalk-filtered water, which comes from the aquifer that feeds into the river, creating an exceptionally smooth gin.
There’s also a special edition Chalkstream Gold available, distilled with barley which is grown in the fields bordering the distillery. Bay and rosemary add a touch of complexity.
Wicked Wolf Exmoor Gin
Using a combination of 11 exotic botanicals they produce citrus and pepper notes finely balanced with the distinct flavours of juniper and coriander. Hibiscus, lemongrass, cardamom and kaffir lime leaves have been artfully blended with these traditional aromatics creating a full-flavoured, smooth gin.
Thunderflower Devon Dry
An aromatic and bold gin. Sage and heather combine with piney, peppery juniper and spices for a distinctive and enjoyably dry and savoury profile with a depth of flavour. From local town Teignmouth.
Carabus Papillon Gin
This is a limited edition gin distilled on Dartmoor. Created in collaboration with Nick Baker, wildlife TV presenter, in celebration of the rare Blue Ground Beetle. £2 from every 70cl bottle will be donated to Buglife to help protect this Dartmoor species. Distilled with woodland botanicals of rowan and hawthorn berries, nettles, wood sorrel and hazelnuts giving a very delicate floral feel.
Wrecking Coast Clotted Cream
This is a limited edition gin. They use fresh Cornish clotted cream, cold distilled under vacuum and combine with 12 botanicals to give you a three dimensional flavour profile – bright juniper and citrus on the lips, vanilla and floral hints with underlying rooty notes are followed on the palate by warm spice with a subtle hint of creaminess on the finish.
Born in a Brixham harbour side cottage, just a stone’s throw from the sparkling waters of the English Riviera, where generations of holiday makers have enjoyed perfect sunny days relaxing in a deck chair beside the seaside. This is an award winning London dry gin, crisp and sweet on the tongue with a refreshing zesty orange finish. Hand Crafted using Seven botanicals: Juniper, Coriander, Cardamom, Orange Peel, Angelica Root, Liquorice Root & Orris Root in small batches of 75. Try it neat or with your favourite tonic over ice with a slice of ruby grapefruit.
Red Sails - a fresh coastal taste with a smooth citrus finish. Red Sails Gin is Brixham Gin’s flagship recipe. A delicious blend of flavours, a smooth finish and a little touch of coastal history.
Tattered Sails - Gold award winner. A truly unique blend of citra hops, juniper and bergamot lemon this gin recipe is evocative of a traditional India Pale Ale. Tattered Sails is a special collaboration between Brixham Gin and Berkshire based Wild Weather Brewery. The finish is a warm, smooth but slightly tongue tingling sensation, suggested serving is with a mediterranean flavoured tonic and adorning with a basil leaf or two.
You can find Gin & Co here:
Address 153 Reddenhill Road, Babbacombe, TQ1 3NT
If you can’t wait until you next stay with us, Wendy sells gin on line via her website too.
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