TODAY is World Gin Day, a global celebration of all things gin. Here are five local brands to try...

1. Conker Spirit: The first Dorset gin distillery to open, Conker Gin in Bournemouth has amassed a collection of awards since its creation in 2015, including Bronze at the 2018 World Gin Awards. Head distiller Rupert Holloway and his team forage locally for their botanicals, including marsh samphire, elderberries, and New Forest gorse.

2. Fresha Gin: This was the first fruit gin in the world to win a gold medal at the San Francisco Spirits Competition. It is the only premium Strawberry Gin made using traditional pot distilling methods and is unique not only for its taste, but its range of nine botanicals used in the production process. Although the distillery is in Spain, the business is based in Bournemouth.

3. Beachcomber Gin: Former armed police officer Kaz Bass makes Beachcomber Gin from a flower nursery in Lymington. Her one-woman business produces around 150-200 bottles per batch, with a batch made every three to four weeks.

It is sold at several local pubs and bars, online and at events. “It will never be available in supermarkets, just the little independent shops,” she said. “It’s in Bradbeers in New Milton – that will be the biggest shop it will go into.”

4. Pothecary Gin: Hand crafted in small batches at the Soapbox Spirits distillery in Christchurch, Pothecary Gin was a double gold winner at the San Francisco World Spirit Competition. Five hand-picked botanicals from around Europe create a truly unique gin. Lavender from Provence, Sicilian lemon peel, tilia flowers form Poland, Anatolian black mulberries, and juniper from Bulgaria. The end result is a beautiful gin with a fascinating range of flavours.

5. Lilliput Gin: Created in early 2017, Lilliput has a list of accolades including from the IWSC and the Great Taste Awards. The microbrewery named after it’s home district in Poole, is right on the coast so it’s no surprise that the creators take the sea as the inspiration for the botanicals – which include rosemary, basil, thyme, and olives. The result is a Mediterranean style gin.