GIN costing up to £76 a bottle is being made in the same distilleries as almost identical stuff costing a fraction of the price.
The only difference is often the flavouring for the trendy expensive ones and the extra alcohol duty if they are slightly stronger — all of which amounts only to pennies.
For example, Berkeley Square London Dry costing £76.95 is made in the same stills as £16 Sainsbury’s Blackfriars.
Martin Isark, author of the Supermarket Own Brand Guide, said many boutique gins on sale come from three large distilleries.
The Berkeley and Sainsbury’s products are made at G & J in Warrington, Cheshire.
Mr Isark said: “That’s more than £60 difference for a pretty label and a fancy bottle.
“Yes there is three per cent more alcohol and a different mix of botanicals in the Berkeley Square gin but most drinkers will not be able to tell the difference when mixed with a tonic.
“All the facts suggest that gin drinkers are all being misled by a pretty label and good yarn.”
G & J also makes other well-known gin brands Opihr at £23 a bottle and the £26 Bloom. Gin, like vodka and most other clear spirits, is cheap and relatively easy to make.
It is produced from distilled ethanol, usually made from wheat or grain, and then flavoured with a mix of botanicals, with juniper a favourite.
Berkeley Square claims on its website that its gin, while made by G&J, then goes through further processes to make it special.
And Wine and Spirit Trade Association chief executive Miles Beale, commented: “The cost of a bottle of gin would also take into account production.
“Gin made in smaller batches tends to be more costly to produce and so retails at a higher cost.”
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