The Bottom Line
- Light, refreshing, floral gin.
- Soft juniper.
- Perfect for transforming gin cocktails into summer sippers.
- At around $20, it's a great price.
- Available only for the 2010 summer season.
- Beefeater Gin with blackcurrant, elderflower, and hibiscus flower added.
- Distilled by Beefeater Gin in London, England
- Imported by Pernod Ricard
- 40% alc/volume (80 proof)
- Retails for around $20/750ml bottle
Guide Review - Beefeater London Dry Gin Summer Edition
Beefeater Dry Summer Edition fills a niche in the brand's portfolio that a handful of other light gins with interesting flavors have been filling in recent years. The difference here is that Beefeater started with a very classic London dry gin recipe and transformed it to more suitably fit summer tastes.
The result of Payne's experiment into a softer gin was a resounding success. The alcohol content has been dropped from Beefeater's 47% alcohol/volume to 40% (80 proof), which creates a tamer gin to begin with. He backed off on the juniper, though it is still there in a very subtle and pleasing way. Then there is the addition of blackcurrant, elderflower, and hibiscus flower. This adds a wonderful array of florals with a gentle sweetness and finishes off this summery bouquet wonderfully. This is a gin for those who do not enjoy the juniper-heavy gins and for any gin lover looking for a little summertime in the glass.
You now have a well-balanced, efflorescent gin and you want to know what to do with it. Essentially, Beefeater Summer Edition is ideal for turning almost any gin cocktail into a sunshine-filled delight. It makes one of the most refreshing Gin & Tonics I've ever had (especially with Q-Tonic or Fever Tree) and the Dry Martini with a twist is superb for hot summer afternoons. Beefeater suggests mixing it on the rocks 1:3 with cranberry juice for a "Summer Serve" that is inherently a gin Cape Codder. Yet, the Summer Edition drink that has topped my charts so far is the traditional Pegu Club Cocktail. By using the gentle gin, fresh lime, and Combier as the orange liqueur you have a stunning, rejuvenating cocktail that softly screams summer.
Summer Edition also begs for experimentation and I encourage you to see what you can come up with. I had fun developing a Pomegranate Gin Fizz, complete with the traditional egg and siphoned soda and incorporating PAMA, which has become one of my staple liqueurs. This is an ideal gin for a summery Rose Martini. A suggestion on Facebook for a neat drink of "2oz Summer Gin, .5oz St. Germain, and .75oz Dolin Dry [vermouth], stirred with a twist" is a winner as well. That simple touch of St. Germain enhances the elderflower of the gin.
Without a doubt, Beefeater Dry Summer Edition is a gin that almost anyone can enjoy and is the perfect match for this season. Though it is a shame that supplies of it will only last through August or so, I prefer not to dwell on that fact and hope that it makes a return in the future because in my book summer has a new gin.