Dan Szor is the founder of Cotswolds Distillery, which produces a range of whiskies, gins, liqueurs and bitters. After years working on Wall Street, Dan and his family moved to the idyllic English countryside and he pursued his dream of establishing a grain-to-glass distillery. Its juniper spirits include Cotswolds Dry Gin, Wildflower Gins, and the groundbreaking Cotswolds Dry Gin Essence.
Dan shares the gins he would take to our desert island.
Gin #1: Cotswolds Dry Gin
First and foremost, it would have to be Cotswolds Dry Gin, there is no other I enjoy as much – obvious bias aside! It’s got everything I love in a gin: depth, big and bold flavours, a great balance. Big hits of juniper, lots of citrus (especially grapefruit) and a touch of lavender. It’s probably also the gin I could get the most use out of as it works excellently in all of the classic gin cocktails, including martinis and negronis – but most of all, it makes by far the best G&T around (and the only one that’s cloudy!).
Gin #2: Zuidam 5 Year Old Zeer Oude Genever
Secondly, and because I’d be lacking in whisky, I’d take Patrick Zuidam’s marvellous 5-year old cask-aged Oude Genever. This is distilled from multiple grains, including malted barley, rye and corn, following a long fermentation. This is gin as it was first made, over 500 years ago, and it competes with some of my favourite whisky tipples as a delicious sipper. It would be something to enjoy after dinner or before bedtime.
Gin #3: Hayman’s Sloe Gin
My third choice, for variety, would probably be a sloe gin. I’ve a sweet tooth and occasionally like a fruity gin, particularly when it’s cold outside. We make a lovely one but supplies are limited, so I’d probably choose another favourite of mine, made by my friend Christopher Hayman. Hayman’s makes a classic Sloe Gin, deep in flavour and well balanced, one that drinks very well neat.
Cocktail: Corpse Reviver No. 2
One of my favourite cocktails has always been a Corpse Reviver No. 2, a classic concoction which is as easy to make as it is delicious. I make it with equal parts dry gin (Cotswolds Dry Gin would be my go-to on this), Cointreau or triple sec, Lillet Blanc and lemon juice. The final very key ingredient is absinthe – a simple rinse of the glass will do. I love this drink because it’s so refreshing, and I suppose the lemon juice would provide some vitamin C on my desert island!