Content warning: 18+. This post is about alcohol. Please drink responsibly.
Like many of you, gin is my favourite tipple. There is just something about sipping an ice-cold G&T on a summer’s day! It’s refreshing, versatile and the recent gin boom has paved the way for some amazing up and coming independent brands that sit pride of place on my gin trolley! Many of the distilleries featured in this guide are family-owned and will be right on your doorstep. This is a testament to the growing artisan spirit scene in this part of the UK!
I’ve been amassing my collection of local gins for a while, researching and – ahem – drinking a few G&Ts in the process. Some of the distilleries and brands featured here are based in nearby counties, but I’ve included them because they play a big role in the local food and drink scene. You’ll also be able to find many of them from Milton Keynes-based stockists.
Local gins from Milton Keynes & surrounding areas
Bucks Brothers Gin
Bucks Brothers Gin launched in 2020 by three brothers, Max, Jake and Gus. They were born and raised in Buckinghamshire and bring together their passion for life, family ethos and enthusiasm. Bucks Brothers Gin has gone down a storm and has been featured in LAD Bible and even Vogue! Everything is very curated, from the gorgeous photography, great branding and hand-finished wax-sealed bottles. These guys are going to go far!
The gin itself is a classic – Carefully selected botanical ingredients are infused together create a very versatile dry gin that can be enjoyed with a variety of mixers and garnishes. If you’re not a fan of dry gin, you might like their Sloe & Pomegranate gin which can be enjoyed with prosecco. Also new to the range for 2021 is the Navy Strength Gin and Gin Limone.
I like to serve my gin with mediteranean tonic water, a slice of grapefruit and dried juniper berries.
Buy Bucks Brother’s Gin online: bucksbrothers.co.uk
Coombes Club Gin
A new addition to the gin scene for 2021, Coombes Club is run by a local couple who decided to do a gin-making experience for their wedding and loved it so much that they decided to create their own gin brand. The wedding has been postponed, but they will be serving bottles of Coombe’s Club when they finally do get married – how awesome is that!? I am a big fan of this gin It’s what I’d describe as ‘quaffable!’ It pairs beautifully with grapefruit as a garnish thanks to the citrus based botanicals. The label is super funky too, it’s all very spot on.
Buy Coombe’s Club Gin online: www.coombesclubgin.co.uk. It’s also stocked and served in various local pubs.
Foxdenton is a family run company producing English Fruit Gin liqueur and London dry gin. Based in Buckingham, Fondenton creates seasonal drinks based on traditional recipes and British fruit including sloes sourced in Winslow!
I love Foxdenton’s fruit liqueurs – the Christmas liqueur is a particular favourite of mine when the festive season rolls around! The gins are widely available in farm shops and delis across MK and Buckinghamshire.
Buy Foxdenton’s gin online: foxdentonestate.co.uk
The Fruity Farmer
Another gin if you’re feeling fruity! The Fruity Farmer is owned by Chris and Jenny Letts of Stoke Lodge Farm in Stoke Goldington, where many of you may also have bought your real Christmas tree! The liqueurs are homemade using fruit grown on the farm and they are very special indeed. My favourite is the Seville Orange Gin which is just the ultimate summery treat. Dan is partial to the Blackberry Whisky which can be enjoyed straight over ice.
You can order The Fruity Farmer via their Facebook page or find them at markets like Woburn Sands Community Market on the second Saturday of every month.
Hustle Gin is run by a mother and daughter duo who are some of the nicest people I’ve had the pleasure off (virtually!) meeting in the local scene. They put women at the heart of their gin, ensuring they created a range of gins that would appeal to women, as well as men. Hustle has three gins in their range: A classic dry gin, pink grapefruit and raspberry, and Cubeb Pepper and Orange Blossom.
Buy Hustle Gin online: www.hustlegin.com
My friend Greg from Outhouse very kindly bought me a bottle of Silverstone Gin. (He fitted out their amazing tap room!) Silverstone Distillery is a wonderful brand based on Silverstone’s rich heritage which can be traced back to a time when there was a whittle wood forest surrounding the village which provided a woodworking industry. The spirits celebrate the past, incorporating locally source botanicals and unique ingredients to create a gin which is unlike anything I’ve tasted! The botanicals include wild apples from the hedgerows and 5000 year old oak from a Northamptonshire wood mill.
The Heritage No. 1 Oak Rested gin has a distinctive smokey oak flavour, which certainly makes this gin special. In fact, it’s so good you can actually enjoy this straight over ice (which I wouldn’t usually recommend doing with any other dry gin, but this is worth a try!)
Buy Silverstone Gin online: www.silverstonedistillery.co.uk
Wharf Distillery is an independent small-batch copper-pot distillery producing an amazing range of spirits and liqueurs. Perhaps one of the more well known independent brands in the area, Laurence and Alice are seasoned distillers and their commitment to a quality product is unwavering. They are excellent at promoting the local food and drink scene and collaborating with local businesses! Wharf Distillery is currently the only grain to glass distillery in Northamptonshire, which means they don’t buy in neutral spirit – they ferment raw ingredients to create the base spirit which forms the basis of nearly all their products.
My favourite products from Wharf Distillery are the New Town Gins – Lemon and Basil is a favourite and was served at my supper club at The Brasserie at MK College in 2019. They also released a brilliant festive Blackberry and Winter Spice gin for the festive season which was just delicious.
Buy Wharf Distillery online: www.wharfdistillery.co.uk [AD Affiliate Link]
Willow Tree Gin
If you love a botanical, herbaceous gin, Bedfordshire-based Willow Tree Gin is going to be right up your street. This premium spirit is distilled in small batches and has a very unique flavour. Smooth, fresh, citrusy and a little bit smokey. It’s unsurprising as there are 12 botanicals in the gin!
Willow Tree has an environmental ethos behind it too. The water used in the distilling process is recycled in a closed-loop twin condenser and the botanicals used in the gin are composted to use as fertiliser to grow more fresh herbs. 50p from every full=size bottle of Willow Tree Gin is donated to Forest of Maston Vale to ensure new trees are planted.
Buy Willow Tree Gin online: www.willowtreedistilling.co.uk
Wolf Eye Gin
Wolf Eye Gin is new contemporary gin brand which I think you guys are going to love! The blend of botanicals include juniper, coriander seed, lemon peel and rosemary which created a beautifully balanced gin with a great flavour. It’s another classic for your gin trolley and very versatile!
Buy Wolf Eye Gin online: www.wolfeyegin.com
I hope you enjoyed this guide to local gin! If you discovered something new, make sure you tag me on social media and share it with my community group, Eat & Explore MK.
What’s your favourite local gin?
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