Belgin craft Gins, Liqueurs & Vodkas
Welcome to the Belgin range of award winning hand-crafted gins, liqueurs and vodkas. Every product in Belgin’s range is created to exacting standards, using the finest botanicals sourced from growers that are recognised as the best in the world.
To be legally classified as a gin, the primary flavour influence in the finished spirit has to be juniper, and Belgin source their hand-picked juniper berries from Macedonia, regarded by many experts as the finest available.
The company philosophy is to only use natural ingredients, and to extract their flavours by treating every component individually. No artificial colours, synthetic concentrates or sweeteners are used in the process - it's all in the skill of the distiller.
The staff are also involved with the annual hop harvesting, which ensures that they have total control over the quality of the secret hop variety that helps to make Belgin unique. They use an exclusive source for the fruit in their Raspberry Rosé gin, and the completely natural flavours that their master distiller captures takes fruit gins and vodkas to a level that is unmatched by other producers.
If you'd like to learn more about how the spirit is distilled, please click on this link for more information on a column still
“When life hands you lemons, crack open the Gin!”
- Nick J
Starting with juniper berries from Macedonia, Belgin bring together 14 more botanicals from around the world, including citrus peels from around the Mediterranean and Italy, vanilla from Madagascar, cardamom and star anise from the Far East and finally we add that most Belgian of ingredients - fresh green hops. This combination of aromatic ingredients creates a sensationally crisp, juniper forward gin with a dry citrussy aftertaste that makes people return to it time after time.
Fresh Hop is an excellent starting point for those of you that are just discovering the Belgin range. It has an astonishingly clean taste, with a perfect balance of botanicals that combine to produce a truly smooth, easy-going gin. This is highly recommended for those of you that like their gins to be complemented with a great tonic water and nothing else.
Try it in a classic martini by mixing 50ml of chilled Belgin Fresh Hop with 15ml dry vermouth, a single olive and a slice of lemon or lime. Alternatively, add a few drops of angostura bitters to 50ml Fresh Hop, add a couple of ice cubes and top up with soda water and garnish with lemon peel for a refreshing pink gin.
For the truly adventurous, use it in a 'Belgian Submarine' by adding a measure to your favourite Belgian beer. We know that may be a step too far for some, but you'll never know until you've tried it!
New to the UK line-up for summer 2020 is Ultra 13, a classic dry gin that has been crafted to balance elements from all of the traditional botanical groups. None of the Belgin range are created using the 'London dry' technique of one-shot distillation, where all of the botanicals are distilled at the same time and none are treated as individuals. Our distiller believes that every ingredient shouldn't be compromised by another, so he uses his experience to maximise the flavours from every ingredient, by choosing the extraction technique that shows off each component at its very best. He then carefully blends them together so that none sing too loudly and you can taste the individual voices that make up the choir singing gently on your palate.
Starting with Macedonian Juniper berries, enriched with with Cloves and Coriander, then spiced up with Cinnamon and Cardamom, before some softer notes of Vanilla and a hint of bitterness from Gentian is added to stop it becoming too sweet. To that he adds layers of citrus zests from around the Mediterranean and finally Angelica and Fresh Hops bring everything together and make Ultra 13 a truly stunning gin.
There are so many recipe's out there for cocktails that are based on gin, so we're perfectly happy to let you decide how you want to drink Ultra 13, but if you need inspiration, try it as the heart of an interesting twist on an Old Fashioned:-
Muddle a teaspoon of sugar, two dashes of Angostura bitters and 15ml of water until the sugar has dissolved and pour into a large tumbler that has been rubbed with lemon or pink grapefruit. Next you need to add a generous double measure of Ultra 13 (we typically use 50 - 60ml). Finally, add a couple of large ice-cubes, a splash of soda (optional) and a thin slice of pink grapefruit for garnish - stir gently and switch your phone to voicemail...
In a world where it feels as though every possible botanical has been added to juniper in a bid to make a new 'wonder-gin', it's probably worth spending a moment thinking about who invented it, and what it was like?
The earliest records of juniper flavoured drinks go all the way back to the 13th century, and a Belgian reference book called Der Naturen Bloeme. At this time it is difficult to definitively say whether this proves that gin (or genever as it was originally known) was invented in Belgium, but it seems likely that they were among the very first distillers.
As with many alcoholic liquors, the earliest producers were almost certainly monks and members of religious orders, as their status and the power of the church and monasteries would keep them protected from local marauders. Additionally, the monks would often travel to far off lands as missionaries, and would return with exotic seeds and herbs to add to their own monastic gardens, giving rise to ever more complex creations.
St. Cruyt is a tribute from our master distiller to those who made the first gins, and we like to think that you can taste every single one of the 50 botanicals that make this a truly sensational gin. We're not prepared to divulge what's in it, so you'll just have to pull up a glass, a couple of cubes of ice (tonic is optional with this), turn your phone onto silent and let your brain wander through an array of flavours that will leave you wondering if you'll ever find a gin that is more complete...
Raspberry Rosé is our first fruit gin, and has proven to be hugely popular with customers around the world. We start with a bespoke gin recipe, specifically created to compliment the fruit flavours, which combines juniper with 15 other botanicals to make a great dry gin. We then add a huge quantity of fresh raspberries and a delicate hint of rose petals to produce a truly stunning gin which we - and many delighted drinkers who've had the experience - feel is a truly stunning example of how to make a fruit gin.
Because we use fresh fruit, there are always variations in the final product and the difference between the 2018 and 2019/20 versions from the effects of the weather and ripeness of the fruit at the time of the harvest is incredible (click to see a comparison) and has produced an intensity that has an almost 'jammy' quality to it - which makes it a magical ingredient to a glass of lemonade, sparkling wine or Elderflower pressé if you like it a touch sweeter.
NO sugars, artificial sweeteners or colourings are added to this gin, it relies entirely on the natural fructose from the fruit and it's worth remembering that raspberries have a naturally tart character, so don't expect a sugar rush here. Belgin's philosophy is that if you're making a fruit gin, it should be fruit flavoured gin, rather than the more obviously liqueur style that some other producers favour.
For the ultimate taste of summer, pour a single measure of Raspberry Rosé over ice in a balloon glass. Top up with Mediterranean tonic water, (or add half a measure of Belfleur Elderflower liqueur to Indian tonic) add 3 or 4 fresh raspberries for garnish, and a couple of strands of orange peel.
The latest addition to the range of fruit gins is Belgin Fresh Citrus, which uses the peel of the world-renowned Amalfi lemon as the base for an intensely fresh and clean gin.
The original Femminello Sfusato lemon was virtually inedible, so local farmers cross pollinated the lemons with bitter local oranges until they created the Nostrato - the direct parents of the Sfusato d'Amalfi that is regarded as the finest and most fragrant lemon in the world.
Belgin have combined this legendary peel with lime, verbena and lemongrass, then added a further 15 carefully chosen botanicals to create a fabulously fresh gin. Absolutely perfect for those long hot summery days, when you wish that you were basking on a beach on the Italian Riviera - or perhaps finding a shady spot under your favourite lemon tree...
The intensity of this gin lends itself to long drinks, and a single measure in a tall glass with plenty of ice, topped up with Elderflower pressé and a couple of curls of lime peel is a great way to enjoy Fresh Citrus.
For a classic Amalfi Martini, place two measures of Fresh Citrus into a cocktail shaker with lots of ice and a single teaspoon of Belfleur elderflower liqueur. Shake well and pour into a chilled martini glass, add a single curl of lemon peel and an olive for a truly refreshing and sophisticated drink. The only thing you'll want after you've tried this once will be 'the same again please'
Spéciale - (special order only)
The most delicate gin in the Belgin range is Spéciale, which shares many of its botanicals with Ultra 13, but the final balance is definitely more citrus driven. Orange, lime, lemon and Italian bergamot combine to keep the flavours fresh, with coriander, cardamom and caraway seeds adding a particularly aromatic feel to this gin. We also add some fresh hops to this expression as it helps to give the finish a little edge, and helps to balance the final product for an exquisite cocktail experience.
All of the gins are bottled at their optimum strengths and Spéciale is slightly stronger than the norm at 41.4%, particularly important when you're trying to ensure that none of those light delicate flavours escape the mixture because there is insufficient alcoholic strength to 'fix' them into the gin.
The classic G&T made with Spéciale is 50ml's gin,100ml's Mediterranean tonic, slice of lemon, 2 coriander leaves and a couple of juniper berries for garnish, all served with ice in a balloon style glass. As an alternative, you can use orange zest in place of the lemon and juniper berries - we know they're hard to find, because we keep the best ones for ourselves...
For those of you that still remember the drinks of the 70's, Spéciale is also a great ingredient in a gin and bitter lemon on those long hot days when you want something zingy and refreshing, garnish with a little lime peel, and add a couple of drops of Belfleur Elderflower liqueur if you want to gently soften the citrussy notes