Battle of the royal gins – which palace does it best?

Battle of the royal gins – which palace does it best?

It’s all the rage for a large estate or house to have a signature gin and many of the royal residences now produce their own. Each gin is designed to evoke the grounds and gardens of the particular palace or house, and developed using some botanicals that grow there. The newest is the Palace of Holyroodhouse Dry Gin, which is infused with herbs picked in the physic garden of the King’s official Scottish residence in Edinburgh. But how do these different gins, not all of which share the same distiller, compare? And which might you want to pour next time you’re mixing a G&T?

Battle of the royal gins – which palace does it best?Battle of the royal gins – which palace does it best?

Buckingham Palace gin

Available from Royal Collection Shop

The Buckingham Palace Gardens spread across 39 acres in central London and are home to more than 250 species of wildflower as well as all those plants cultivated by the palace gardeners. Made using 12 botanicals hand-picked from Buckingham Palace Gardens and including hawthorn berries, mulberry leaves and lemon verbena, this is a primarily citrusy gin but I found the flavours a little diffuse and quavering and it’s not one I would choose to drink.

Royal Windsor Pink GinRoyal Windsor Pink Gin

Royal Windsor Pink Gin

Available from Royal Collection Shop

A good one for those who like delicately flavoured gins, this one is salmon pink in colour because the spirit has been infused with raspberries harvested on the Windsor Castle Estate. The red berry flavour is subtle but there, sweet and ripe but freshened with nose-tickling notes of pink peppercorn and rose petal.

Serve: The Royal Collection Trust’s own serving suggestion is a good one: stir in a shaker with ice, then drain into a Martini glass and muddle with raspberries. It also works nicely in a good, ordinary G&T. Keep the tonic plain to enjoy the floral and raspberry notes better.

Palace dry ginPalace dry gin

Palace dry gin

Available from Royal Collection Shop

A crisp, fine and pleasingly junipery gin, this one is infused with lemon thyme and apple mint from the Holyrood House physic garden in Edinburgh. The label design is inspired by the textiles in the bedroom of Mary, Queen of Scots, inside the palace.

Serve: An excellent option for a classic G&T and it works just as well with a Mediterranean as with a plain tonic.

Sandringham Estate GinSandringham Estate Gin

Sandringham Estate Gin

Available from Sandringham Estate

Sandringham Estate in Norfolk is the private retreat of the British monarch and where the Royal family traditionally spends Christmas Day. This gin is small-batch-distilled in a barn on the estate and it’s made with persimmon (Sharon fruit) grown in the walled garden, as well as myrtle, whose forebears grew from cuttings from the wedding bouquet of Princess Alexandra when she married the future Edward VII.

I have mixed feelings about this gin. The first thing to say is that it is clearly very high quality with a thick, spicy smell and excellent texture. Unfortunately, I don’t think they’ve got the botanical blend quite right as, while it opens with a very enticing, woody-spicy medley of flavour, it moves abruptly to a quite hard citrus. The right garnish when you serve as a G&T helps to sort this out. I’ve also marked it down on cost.

Serve: Try Fever-Tree Refreshingly Light, and use an orange slice, squeezing a bit of the juice into the drink as you make it. The warm citrus helps to link the two slightly dissonant components of the drink.

Highgrove ginHighgrove gin

Highgrove gin

Available from Highgrove Gardens

This beautiful Cotswolds house has been the family home of King Charles III since 1980 and His Majesty takes a great personal interest in the gardens. The gin is a London Dry, meaning, among other things, that botanicals must be added during the distillation process, not afterwards. It’s made using organic heritage grain grown at Highgrove and distilled “by an artisan producer in Oxford”. By whom exactly is a secret but my money would be on the quality-minded Oxford Artisan Distillery because heritage grain is very much its bag. Also, this is a superb, textural gin, with thickly aromatic notes of thyme, rosemary and lemon verbena and a gorgeous woody edge. Honestly, I could pretty much wear this, it smells so good.

Serve: With ice, Fever-Tree Refreshingly Light and a sprig of lavender or paring of lemon zest.

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 3 months with unlimited access to our award-winning website, exclusive app, money-saving offers and more.

Death tax on pensions ‘a real threat’ under Labour Previous post Death tax on pensions ‘a real threat’ under Labour
Lauren Sánchez Continues Daring Style Streak in ,575 Latex Minidress at Son Nikko’s Graduation Party Next post Lauren Sánchez Continues Daring Style Streak in $2,575 Latex Minidress at Son Nikko’s Graduation Party