How to Pick A Gin Club That Works Best for You

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gin club
Since the sudden boom in 2009, gin has been on the rise and it shows no sign of slowing its roll. Last year it actually became the most popular spirit sold in the UK, surpassing vodka and whiskey in domestic sales. Once dismissed as “mother’s ruin”, gin, in all its intricate “crafty” variations, has become the spirit of choice for the discerning connoisseur. Of course, this upturn in gin’s good fortune has brought about a huge “support” industry; untold variations in tonics, food stuffs to compliment the subtleties of the myriad of botanicals and the suddenly ubiquitous Gin Club. Every serious-minded ginwalla must be a member of a Gin Club, if only to impress their friends with the latest small-batch offerings. But which club do you choose? It can be quite confusing.

In an effort to de-mystify the options, here is a list (in no particular order) of 7 top Gin Clubs outlining what they offer and why they might be the choice for you.

1. Little Gin Box

Established in 2014, this little club offers a really relaxed option for the beginner and serious gin-hound alike. Offering a no-commitment, cancel-any-time, “rolling” membership for £10 per month, they will send you 2x50ml bottles of craft gins per month for your tasting pleasure. Each delivery will provide you with enough for 4 glasses of gin and if you find something that really impresses, all of their offerings are available to buy in full size from the online shop.

2. Flavourly

Originally started as a craft beer club, Edinburgh based, Flavourly’s expansion into a gin club was a natural evolution. Founded by small-batch “nerds”, the folks at Flavourly are serious about bringing the little guy out of obscurity. If you want to be part of an enthusiastic group of gin tasters (they really encourage you to share your thoughts with them), this could be the club for you. Membership with the club costs £34.99 per delivery and can be at a frequency that suits you; every month, every 2 months or every 3 months. In your delivery you will receive, 3x200ml bottles of small batch craft gin, mixers and snacks to go with the gins and a copy of their magazine. While it appears to be a little pricey, they do offer frequency options and they do send you bigger bottles. This might also be a one-stop-shop for those with beer monsters in the house as they offer craft beer clubs too.

3. I Love Gin

Started in 2016 by Toby Vacher and Max Bramwell of TASTE Cocktails fame, I Love Gin is a very user-friendly club offering not only craft gins but also mixers to go with them. Describing themselves as a Gin and Tonic club, a membership of £14 per month will deliver you 2x50ml bottles of fine gin, 2x200ml bottles of tonic or similar mixers, recipe cards (nice touch) and a £5 voucher to spend on bigger bottles of gin from the I Love Gin shop. The club also regularly runs competitions to win gin and offers incentives when you commit to 3, 6 or 12 months in the form of free gifts and discounts. This club seems to offer good value and might be a good option for any traditional G&T enthusiast.

4. Craft Gin Club

Founded in 2016 by two Dragon’s Den alumni and claiming to be the UK’s #1 gin club with an impressive 40,000 members, Craft Gin Club knows how to charge for its services. At a hefty £40 per delivery it is the most expensive gin club on the list. Offering the usual membership options of monthly, every 2 months or every 3 months, they boast that the member will always get a full size bottle of gin in their delivery, along with mixers and sweet and savoury snacks. Many of their gins are created specifically for members in limited edition which is lovely. Unfortunately, this exclusivity means that if you particularly like a gin you are unable to get a replacement. Sadly this makes the perk seem like a bit of a down side. This club will suit those who are looking for something they know they can’t get elsewhere.

5. The Gin Club

Started by online drinks retailer 31Dover, this is the perfect club for those who want to be ahead of the curve. The Gin Club promises to deliver you a bottle of the newest concept in gin every month. The box will include a full size bottle of “something completely different” with some other goodies for £34.99 as often as you want it (every 1,2 or 3 months). Fortunately, as they are attached to 31Dover, if you really like what you get, you can order more from their sister website.

6. Think Gin Club

Winner of Best Subscription Gin Club 2018 in their first year, Think Gin Club is a great club for those who think outside the G&T. Their website has a great cocktail recipe selection and a featured gin page which could help anyone sound like an expert. While pricing is in the top range for a club at £40 per box you receive, each box contains a full sized bottle of exclusive craft gin, a cocktail tool, recipes and tasting notes. Like Craft Gin Club, Think Gin Club offers exclusive and limited edition gins, but what makes them special is they have a “members only” gin shop where you can stock up on your favourite offerings. Memberships are available in the usual 1-2-3 format and right now they are giving away a £20 value cocktail shaker with new memberships.

7. Gin Club Scotland

Founded in 2013 in Perthshire, Scotland, Gin Club Scotland is not a club in a box. Much more social in its concept, this club will come to you. Offering tastings either in the distillery of one of the many artisanal gins they promote, in your home (anywhere in the UK), or as a kit for you to act as master of ceremonies for a group of your own friends and family, this club is all about education and experience. While actual membership and access to all the great information on the website is free, the tastings vary from £18 per head (plus mileage) for them to come to you, to £89 for the kit of 6 different gins with notes and instructions if you want to host an event yourself. This club is aimed at those who would become experts in the subtle joys of modern gin and for people who want a more in-person social club to meet like-minded fans.

All gin clubs are not created equal and surprisingly they all offer something a little different. Whether you are looking to grow your own knowledge or just enjoy some new and exciting gins, there is surely a club out there to entice most pallets. One thing is certain, the British gin movement is not a fad, it is growing everyday, and if the gin club you are looking for is not available yet, it soon will be.