Gilbey’s Lemon Gin Collins is a 27% ABV, pre-bottled cocktail available on the Canadian market. The base gin is Gilbey’s Gin and the Collins drink features added coloring and sweetening.
Color: Dilute, sage green
Nose: lemon and citric acid, intensely, calling to mind the cleaners and furniture polish. Very sweet, but it does smell a little bit overly fake.
Flavor: The palate begins with citrus, lemon primarily, but giving way to some more earthy and warm depth. Juniper is present, but relegated to more of a background role. Finish is lemon candy with a touch of heat and burn. The finish is a touch drier than the rest of the taste, with lemon sticking around long after the sip leaves your throat.
Frankly, it’s what you might expect. Easy to drink, nicely flavored, albeit a touch too sweet and unfortunately, Gilbey’s Lemon Gin Collins reads as a bit artificial.
Though ostensibly a cocktail in its own right, we didn’t shy away from mixing a bit with it. We put it with some Soda and found it to be very easy drinking, very smooth. The green color was faint but present, and overall it read as a sweet Tom Collins or Gin and Seven-Up. The harsher acidic notes tasted on its own were well hidden here. It worked quite well and it left no mystery to my mind as to why this would be popular. What it lacks in sophistication, it makes up for it in “ease” of drinking.
Again, Gin and Tonic is practically a gimme here. I needed to try it with tonic. I thought that this was also not too bad, the tonic adding a nice counter-note. I wrote in my notes, “mixed it tastes less-fake.”
The Gilbey’s Lemon Gin Collins is improved with the addition of a bit of soda water or tonic. However, it straddles the line between RTD Cocktail in its own right, and flavored gin.
Overall, I’d recommend mixing a gin with a bitter lemon— or making your own Collins.