We already know from recent headlines that 2017 was the year of gin, with the British public buying more bottles of the juniper-led spirit than ever before, beating both vodka and whiskey.
But which gin got top marks from our members last year...?
America can keep it's Golden Globes, and we're not too bothered about Britain's BAFTA’s either... instead, we bring you the 2018 Craft Gin Club Awards!
Each gin we send goes through a rigorous tasting process (it’s a tough job!), where, for every twenty gins we taste, one goes into a box; this means that we're 100% certain that the twelve bottles of gin we select for the year are some of the best craft gins in the world.
To get a better idea of how 2017 went, check out this 'Ginfographic' of our key 2017 stats...
To make sure we are giving our gin fans what they want and to discover ways we can improve our offering, we send out a survey to all of our members each month, receiving valuable feedback on our Gins of the Month, and on all of the treats and mixers included in the box. Last year saw over 25,000 responses for our Gin of the Month boxes, gleaned from questions about both taste and branding.
From this data, it is with great pleasure to announce the winners of the 2018 Craft Gin Club Awards for the following categories:
Best Gin for 2018
Batch Premium Gin
Distilled and handcrafted in Burnley, Lancashire, Batch Premium Gin was voted as the star gin of 2018.
Batch’s festive botanical blend - including frankincense and myrrh - won the hearts of Craft Gin Club members last Christmas, who also loved the branding, making it the ‘one to watch’ this year!
To find out more about the nation's favourite gin, read the Batch story here.
Gunpowder Irish Gin
In second place was Gunpowder Irish Gin, infused with springtime citrus, spice and gunpowder tea.
Not only did members love the taste of this wonderful spirit, they also raved about the branding and the style of the bottle - you'll find thousands of these bottles have been turned into candle holders throughout the UK!
Find out more Gunpowder Irish Gin here.
In third place was the gorgeous Marylebone Gin, enjoyed for its juniper, sweet citrus and summer florals. The branding and bottle also scored highly with our members.
Find out more about the story behind Marylebone Gin here.
Best Cocktail for 2018
Whittard of Chelsea Earl Grey Martini
November's box contained the wonderful Whittard of Chelsea Earl Grey tea - which, when combined with gin, makes a sophisticated, delicious Martini that our members fell head-over-heels in love with! We received hundreds of images of this beauty, making it THE cocktail of the year! For the recipe, click here.
Best Tonic for 2018
The London Essence Co. Grapefruit & Rosemary Tonic
Original, refreshing and beautifully floral, The London Essence Co. Grapefruit and Rosemary Tonic was a huge hit with our members in November! This tonic comes from the only line of all-light mixers here in the UK, which means every bottle is less than 20 calories per 200ml - so guilt-free sipping all around! Members also loved the branding and the versatility of the tonic.
Find out more about the The London Essence Co. here.
Lamb and Watt Basil Tonic
Members loved this beautifully herbaceous mixer in their October Gin of the Month box for its unique and slightly sweet flavour.
Find out more about the extraordinary Lamb and Watt story here.
Fentimans Pink Grapefruit Tonic Water
The zesty, sweet flavour of the Fentimans Pink Grapefruit tonic water in July's Gin of the Month box had our members hooked!
Not only did they love the taste but they loved the blush it gave to their G&T's.
Find out more about the fabulous flavours from Fentimans here.
Best Mixer for 2018
Fentimans Ginger Ale
The fiery, full flavour of Fentimans Ginger Ale was voted the best mixer of 2017 by our members, who scored it an amazing 9.6 out of 10. Included in the December Christmas Gin of the Month box, this spicy mixer really leant itself to the time of year, with CGC members commenting on the warmth it brought to their ginny cocktails.
Find out more about the wonderful world of Fentimans here.
Fentimans Rose Lemonade
Another favourite with our members last year was the floral Fentimans Rose Lemonade, created using rose oil from the Valley of the Roses in Bulgaria.
Gorgeous on it's own - and even better mixed with gin - members loved the sweetness and subtle floral notes that this mixer added to their gins. Find our more about Fentimans here.
Conker Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur
Members went crazy about the smooth Conker Cold Brew that was in their September Gin of the Month box!
Mixing up Turbo G&T's and creating a ginny adaptation of the oh-so-popular Espresso Martini, Conker's coffee liqueur was extremely popular. Find our more about this caffeine-fuelled mixer here.
Best Gourmet Savoury Snack of 2017
Pipers Cider Vinegar & Sea Salt
What goes hand in had with a G&T? Well, according to our members, a bag of Pipers Cider Vinegar and Sea Salt Crisps! Members loved the sharp tang of the apple cider, made at Julian Temperley’s Burrow Hill Farm in Somerset, where cider has been made for over 150 years! The branding also scored high and all our members said they would definitely be purchasing Pipers as their G&T accompaniment in the future.
Find out more on the Pipers story here.
Manomasa Tortilla Chips
Manomasa's Manchego & Green Olive tortilla chips in September's Gin of the Month box were our members' second favourite snack. Manomasa's mission is to create the perfect tortilla chip and by the looks of our members' reactions - they've smashed it!
Find our more about Manomasa here.
Kent Crisps Smoked Chipotle Chilli
Coming in third were the wonderfully smokey Kent Crisps Smoked Chipotle Chilli. The combination of warmth and smokeyness was a huge hit with our members.
Best Gourmet Sweet Snack for 2018
The exquisite flavours of Monty Bojangles Truffles, won our members' hearts last year, scoring them a strong 9.98 out of 10! With eccentrically named flavours such as 'Flutterscotch' and 'Scrumple Nutty', there is an element of Willy Wonka about these delightful little morsels that charmed our Craft Club members.
Bonne Maman Caramel Spread
In second place was the Bonne Maman Caramel Spread featured in December's Gin of the Month box. Members loved the fact that you could cook, dip and also make gin cocktails with this sweet spread.
Find out more about Bonne Maman here.
Divine Cappuccino Chocolate Bar
Third place goes to the delicious Divine Cappuccino Bar from September's Gin of the Month box. Members fell in love with the creamy, bittersweet, Fairtrade bar that paired perfectly with one of the month's featured cocktails: the Orange Russian.
Find out more about Divine here.
That's it for this year gin fans! Do you agree with our members? Do you know a brand you think deserves a place in the Craft Gin Awards? If so, please get in touch - we'd love to hear your suggestions!