Youth is as easily wasted as a fine wine consumed by a drunken man.

Kelsey Brickl

Grandfather's ruin is the subject of today's column and the grandfather in question is me! The ruin is none other than gin, that old British favourite. I've heard it called vodka with lipstick or vodka with a better marketing deal but it’s neither and not connected with vodka in any way other than the fact that they are both clear spirits.

Believe it or not, I only had my first G&T two years ago but I've been hooked since and the top shelf of the fridge is now my gin shelf as I adore it chilled to the same level as a polar bear's toes. Gin is originally a Dutch product and reputedly the reason for ‘Dutch courage’ in their soldiers, but once it found itself on our shores it became one of our most loved products and was even the subject or riots in the 17th Century when the Government taxed the sales of it.

Gin on its own, proper gin mind you, not the poncy low alcohol gin liqueurs, can be a bit overpowering on the palate when served neat, but somewhere along the line it was paired with tonic water and wow, what a pairing that was. It’s up there with the meeting of Torvill and Dean, chardonnay and oak barrels and Morecambe and Wise. Each one is good in its own right but their strengths are multiplied several times as a combination.

Here's the really good news as well, as we head towards a potential no deal Brexit; it’s something the UK is particularly good at making, so good in fact that I'd be happy to say we lead the world. Scotland and the Border region produce some cracking gins with the addition of botanicals such as heather and seaweed while the rest of the UK produce an incredible array of variations on the London Dry theme.

If I need a refreshing rejuvenating drink, I tend to pair it up with three to four parts tonic water and a slice of lime, but if it’s been a stressful day and I need to lock the world out of my head, it can be anything up to 50:50 with a wedge of lemon thrown in to decorate it.

Anyway, the long and the short of it is, I love it, Britain is great at making it and we can probably help the economy by drinking more of it so chin chin and think of England!

Wolftown Gin, Ulverston

Wolftown is one of the newest distilleries and wow, what an entrance. Its incredibly smooth and reacts to orange in a way I couldn't have imagined. Add it to your save the UK bucket list folks £37

Toad Gin, Oxford

To say I like this would be an understatement. Its stunning, from the tangerine and cardamom scented nose to the orange peel and pepper palate. Crisp, clean and oh so refreshing

Master of Malt £38.95