6 O’Clock Gin is produced in Bristol, UK, drawing its name from the family tradition of the founders of the company to enjoy a gin and tonic every day at, you guessed it, 6 pm. Although new to the United States, it has been building momentum in the UK for over a decade. Today we look at both the standard bottling and a ready-to-drink G&T made with the gin.
6 O’Clock London Dry Gin – The London Dry moniker fits the gin’s profile, using mostly familiar gin botanicals in its makeup: juniper, orris root, winter savory, angelica, orange peel, coriander seed, and elderflower, all of which are nicely integrated in the final product. On the nose, orange peel comes forward most boldly, followed by pine and pepper notes from the juniper. Taking a sip, orange peel and juniper again come to the fore, but coriander and elderflower make nice showings as well, and the angelica provides a pleasant, bracing bitterness. This is certainly a London Dry Gin, but it is a really nice example of one, and the slightly higher proof helps the flavors stand out. I tried it in a martini, and it was perfectly fine, but some of the lovely, well-integrated flavors of the gin became muted and didn’t really shine with the inclusion of vermouth. This gin was designed to go with tonic, and, not surprisingly, the two go together very nicely. 86 proof. A- / $35
6 O’Clock London Dry Gin & Tonic – Of the ready-to-drink gin and tonics I have tried lately, this is probably the best. It genuinely tastes like the gin it’s made with plus a quality tonic. Tasted blind, I would be hard pressed to guess this wasn’t mixed by hand. I don’t recommend drinking it straight out of the can, because the G&T is quite bubbly, and the fizz settles down when poured over ice. The orange peel, juniper, and coriander that appear in the gin can all be enjoyed in the G&T, along with a light sweetness and a gentle, pleasant, quinine bitterness. If I were being overly picky, I would say that the sweetness is a touch heavy for a mainstream audience, but some drinkers may find this to be a plus. 7% abv. A / $39 for a 12 pack of 200 ml cans