We’ve not tackled many specific botanicals in this series, and nuts may seem like a peculiar one to choose (over something more common, such as citrus fruits), but they can play an important role. As well as imparting a flavour to a gin when distilled – a little sweetness, creaminess and toasty bitterness – nuts can add a creamy or oily texture to a spirit, as nuts themselves are high in fatty oils.
Warner’s included almonds in the revised recipe for its London Dry Gin, released in 2021; Greensand Ridge uses cobnuts local to its Kent home in its London Dry Gin; Cruxland Gin, from South African winemaker KVW, includes almonds in its recipe; and Brookie’s Byron Dry Gin features macadamia nuts, which grow in abundance around Cape Byron distillery, where it is made.
If you have a nut allergy and are reading this with despair, it’s not all doom and gloom: it is incredibly unlikely that a gin with nuts in it will trigger a severe reaction. A paper from the European Food Safety Authority concluded that the proteins and peptides in nuts that trigger allergic reactions will not carry over in a “properly controlled distillation”, therefore distillates (such as gin) made with nuts are “unlikely to trigger a severe allergic reaction in susceptible individuals”.