If you’re a gin-loving cocktail fan, you’ve definitely made this classic spirit your forever ‘go-to’ drink.
Wherever you live in the world and are enjoying your gin cocktails, you’re sure to have your own favourite brand and flavours. They may even be among the bestselling, such as Hendricks, Monkey 47 and Sipsmith.
But the trend for “buying local” is becoming a big concern for a new generation of ethical consumer. And Cyprus is no different!
This island may be world famous for its dessert wines such as Commandaria, and the national drink of Brandy Sour. But she also produces three “handcrafted” gins of its own.
And it’s not just the gin producers who believe they’re the essential “island spirit” of Cyprus, itself.
Find your perfect cocktail gin at the Alchemy Cava gin store.
Local-grown brands on the rise
Many of the world’s top selling gins originate in the UK.
- London Dry Tanqueray has been voted top brand eight times in the last ten years (Source: 50 Bestselling Classic Cocktails).
But the trend for locally-produced brands is on the rise.
Bartenders are responding to the growing consumer movement for “connecting with your community”.
- Nearly two-thirds of consumers (65 per cent) say they now prefer to buy goods and services from their own country (Source: Kantar).
- More than half of Bartenders (57 per cent) have seen a permanent shift of focus to local brands, products, and ingredients (Bacardi Survey 2021).
Time to look then at the top home-grown Cyprus gins…
Many would say there’s only 3 locally sourced and produced gins in Cyprus:
- Aoratos Dry Gin
- Kingfisher Gin
- Soli Gin
Aoratos Dry Gin
Aoratos is a premium ‘small batch’ dry gin, ‘handcrafted’ by the Aristides Distillery, based at Tefkrou Anthia, some 4 kms south of Nicosia.
It’s the first dry gin, sourced, produced, distilled, and bottled in Cyprus.
The brand is named after the local species of wild juniper berries, which are distilled alongside 10 other organic, hand-picked local botanicals including: coriander, angelica, nettle, sideritis (iron wort), sage and rosemary.
The subtle, complex results of this 43% ABV aromatic distillation are often described as the living “heart and soul” of Cyprus:
You feel as if you’re high up in the Troodos mountains
The warm, fresh fragrance of juniper is wrapped in rosemary and earthy sage.
From first sip, the instant smoothness is suddenly flooded by botanical savoury flavours. Eventually the fresh citrus and sun-dried herbs give way to the long, lingering taste of juniper with the sideritis.
Suddenly, you feel as if you’re high up in the Troodos mountains on a hot, sultry day, treading the rich mineral earth, as you breathe in the warmed-up spice flavours.
Aoratos dry gin can play well with many mixers, including the classic dry tonic with lavender, peppermint or cucumber. Another rcould be martini dry vermouth with celery bitters.
Kingfisher Gin is named after the stunning azure-coloured bird. Seen in the wetlands and rocky coastlines around Cyprus, as it migrates during the autumn and winter months.
The Greek name for Kingfisher is ‘halcyon’. The term, ‘halcyon days’, which once referred to calm and fine weather now describes “past times, fondly remembered”. It’s also perfect of course, for an unforgettable Kingfisher gin experience.
Kingfisher gin was the first gin launched as a “small batch” in 2019 under the brand name “LionSpirit” by the Limassol-based Lambourie Winery.
Flavour of a relaxed, clear blue-sky Cyprus summer
It’s a fresh, aromatic 40% ABV dry gin, produced with 28 botanicals – mainly lavender, thyme, and rosemary – each individually distilled with juniper.
Subtle tones of mountain herbs, citrus – lemon peel and orange – lavender, and cinammon too, gently hover in the senses. Giving a long-lasting, fresh, delicate, light, super-smooth taste by itself. Locals say it’s the true flavour of a relaxed, clear blue-sky Cyprus summer .
Kingfisher dry gin also tastes sublime when chilled and sipped neat over ice with tonic. And, of course, the perfect spirit for summer cocktails.
Soli Gin (ABV 42%) is produced at a dedicated still at the Kamanterna winery (formerly SODAP). Nestling in the heart of the Paphos vineyards, between the villages of Stroumbi and Polemi.
Three varieties of Soli gin are produced:
- London Dry
- Soli Pink
- Premium Edition Founders
All three contain selected juniper berries, and up to 18 native botanicals, including bitter orange, coriander, orris root, terebinth, honey and basil. Each are also cut after distillation with 42 per cent pure, locally-sourced Paphos spring water.
Traditional copper still
The dry gin is distilled with some 11 botanicals – coriander and the citrus peel of grapefruit, lemon, sweet and bitter orange. Featured floral ingredients are chamomile, jasmine, orris root and cubeb pepper plant berries.
The botanicals are wrapped in muslin or similar material and then steeped purified alcohol of grain spirit, 96 per cent distilled wheat) within a traditional copper still.
The London Dry is instantly delicate and smooth to the taste but also delivers a strong citrus aroma, and fresh floral notes with a final hint of pepper.
Discover more gins and flavours to enjoy at our gin store.