10 Best Gins in 2019
Made using a vast array of botanicals, this is a truly distinctive and developed gin that has a unique taste. This superbly premium liquor is one for gin lovers that want something a bit different and bold-tasting, with exotic and peppery notes.
If you’re looking for a complex gin at a more budget-friendly price, Beefeater 24 is an ideal option that has a wonderfully unique taste without breaking the bank. It has notes of Oriental teas, pine tones and citrus and works well chilled with a crisp tonic water.
Classically stylish in both looks and taste, as well as incredibly versatile, Tanqueray No. Ten works well on its own and in cocktails. It’s a flexible choice if you want to be able to make different alcoholic creations without the flavour notes becoming too overwhelming.
Guide to buying the best gin
Gin has becoming increasingly popular over recent years, with a rise in people looking to try different varieties of this refreshing beverage. With a predominant flavour of juniper berries, gin can be flavoured with a range of different botanical ingredients such as herbs, spices and fruits. It has a crisp taste and is classically served over ice with tonic and a garnish to enhance the notes of the gin. Premium gins are commonly produced in small hand-crafted batches to control the taste. There are many types of gin on the market, from dry and aromatic gins to fruit flavoured gins like sloe gin. International-style gin often has more exotic notes added to it that are more unexpected, while Old Tom gin is rarer but has a sweeter flavour and often includes the addition of orange flower water.
Gin is produced in a variety of ways, from column distilled which is the most common way and creates a very concentrated spirit. This is then redistilled with added botanicals to extract the flavours and give the gin a unique taste and scent. It can also be pot distilled which involves distilling fermented malt wine and then staged in tanks or wooden casks for a malty flavour that’s not dissimilar to whiskies. Finally, gin can be flavoured without being redistilled which is referred to as compound gin – common flavourings include saffron, nutmeg and cinnamon. These ten gin brands have various flavour profiles, from mild and sweet to bold and herbal, to suit any taste or budget.
Tanqueray’s No. Ten gin is one of the most stylish and distinctive bottles of gin you can buy, and it is popular for the unique flavour notes it adds to cocktails and mixers. It’s a brilliant addition to any home drinks selection and makes a fantastic gift for gin lovers, with its art deco bottle and characteristic wax seal stamped with the Tanqueray logo. The gin itself is very versatile and works just as well as a base for a gin cocktail as it is mixed with tonic water and a slice of grapefruit. The drink is made with fresh citrus and chamomile, with juniper, coriander, angelica and liquorice providing a beautiful herbal taste. No. Ten gets its name from the property where it’s still distilled in small batches to this day and the recipe is just as popular now as it was when it was first invented.
- Has flavour notes of citrus, coriander and liquorice
- Made in small batches for a more controlled production process
- Has a distinctive bottle with a red wax seal
Monkey 47 looks like a throwback from a Victorian bar and on first glance it makes a big impact, but it isn’t just great to look at. This gin is like the Jaegermeister of the gin world with 47 freshly-picked botanicals, from nutmeg and rosehip to pimento, blackberry and four types of pepper. Because of the vast array of flavour notes in this gin, it works best when paired with simple mixers, such as tonic water or ginger ale, so you can really enjoy the mix of herbs it has to offer. It has an eclectic taste that is definitely unique and is one that gin enthusiasts will really enjoy the flavour of and packs a punch with 47% ABV.
- Has a retro-style apothecary bottle that looks stylish in a drinks cabinet
- Features a vast array of herbal notes, with 47 botanicals
- Works well with ginger ale and ice for a refreshing drink
With a slightly sweet flavour profile, Caorunn is a quadruple-drilled gin that’s made in small batches using natural Scottish water and a blend of 11 botanical ingredients. The name of this gin is pronounced ka-roon and is the Gaelic word for Rowanberry, one of the ingredients used to flavour the liquor. Caorunn has a clean and crisp taste that works brilliantly when chilled and mixed with tonic water and red apple slices, and it’s such a classic gin that it’s ideal as a go-to for gin-based cocktails. The emphasis with this gin is on the distinct, clean flavours and this is exemplified with the style of the bottle too which is minimalist and classic. Caorunn has juniper berries, cassia bark, lemon peel, angelica, heater and dandelion as just a handful of the tastes you’ll notice when drinking this delightful gin.
- Minimalist style bottle that reflects the simplicity of the gin
- A clean and crisp gin with a palate-cleansing taste
- Made using Scottish water and 11 botanical ingredients
Brewed in England, Sipsmith London Dry gin is a packaged in an unassuming bottle but don’t let first impressions fool you. This is anything but a bland and boring gin, with incredible flavour notes and a traditional distillation process. Sipsmith is still distilled to this day in the traditional way using copper pots for a crisp taste and uses a mix of exciting ingredients for a high-class gin that you’ll be proud to use as the base of a drink. From lemon peel, Italian orris root, Spanish ground almond and liquorice root, juniper berries and warming Madagascan cinnamon bark, Sipsmith has a wonderfully rounded taste that is clean and interesting with a slight spicy aftertaste from the cinnamon and orris root.
- Has notes of lemon peel, cassia bark and cinnamon
- Distilled in traditional copper pots
- Perfect with tonic and lime to highlight the citrus flavours
Hendricks is a classic dry gin that looks like it would be more at home in a laboratory or Victorian pharmacy than a drinks cabinet, but the classic bottle is just one of the benefits of choosing this gin for your home selection. Hendricks is a mix of roots, seeds, flowers and fruits for a truly distinctive beverage that is tinted pink from the inclusion of rose petals. This particular gin is distilled in very small batches of just 500 litres at a time for a better control of the quality, so you can be sure that every bottle is exactly as it was intended to taste. It has a wonderfully fresh flavour thanks to the cucumber and pairs really well with ice and a cucumber garnish to enhance the flavour even more. It also has notes of coriander, chamomile and orange peel which works well with the Bulgarian rose petals.
- Unique gin with a faint pink hue
- Infused with cucumber and rose petals
- Has a gothic Victorian-esque style bottle
Identifiable from its deep red bottle and oriental roots, Beefeater 24 is a unique tasting gin that actually works well in place of a dessert wine due to its sweet flavour notes. Beefeater’s Master Distiller in Japan would mix this gin with chilled green tea which is how this recipe came to include tea, along with liquorice root, angelica seed, orange and grapefruit peels, almond and Japanese sencha. The inclusion of these floral Japanese botanicals gives a sweeter flavour to this gin and it really comes to life when it’s paired with a slice of grapefruit to bring out the citrusy notes.
- An award-winning gin with 12 botanicals and exotic teas
- Has a balanced yet complex profile
- Works well with tangy citrus ingredients in cocktails
Brooklyn Gin has a clean citrus taste that has hints of spice and works well with a slice of orange or lime and some fresh thyme. The prohibition-era style bottle has an art deco appearance that really looks great as part of your drinks collection and would be brilliant to bring out at a party or event. As the name suggests, this is an American gin that consists of fresh citrus peels that are peeled by hand, along with hand-cracked juniper. Brooklyn gin is made in small batches so the taste can be controlled more easily and is so clean-tasting that it’s delicious straight up with ice. From lavender and lime peel to angelica root and orange, there are some unique flavour combinations in this gin that work really well together for a flavoursome drink.
- Stylish bottle that looks great in a drinks cabinet
- Has a fresh but complex flavour profile
- Creates wonderfully flavourful cocktails and works particularly well with fresh ingredients
Portobello Road No. 171 is a fresh-tasting gin that works brilliantly as the base to a range of gin cocktails. The bottle is on the simpler side compared to some of the others in this list but the striking label harks back to Old London and the flavour doesn’t let you down. It has a traditional taste with classic spices and botanicals, from juniper and nutmeg to coriander and angelica root. It has a sweet but pepper finish that lingers on the tongue and is lightly herbal without being too overwhelming, so it’s great as a mix with other ingredients if you want to create a delicious cocktail out of it.
- Best served with a grapefruit twist and chilled tonic
- Bottled at 42% that helps sustain the flavours used in its creation
- Has a peppery finish due to the use of nutmeg and liquorice
Brockmans is a Scottish gin that was created to be so smooth you could enjoy it neat with just ice. The result is an incredible-tasting summer gin that is rich and sweet. It has notes of citrus and berries and works brilliantly with ginger ale and a few fresh berries to enhance these accords even more. The dark black bottle has a great feel to it and looks really striking and is distilled in a 100-year-old copper still in the traditional way. Brockmans includes a range of interesting but classic botanicals, including blackberries and blueberries, coriander, orris root and almond. This is a gin that those seeking something a bit different will really warm to, particularly in the warmer months of the year.
- Flavoursome enough that it can be enjoyed neat over ice
- Made using a high-quality neutral grain spirit with 10 botanicals
- Distilled for up to eight hours for the best taste
Bloom London Dry is a wonderful summer gin that works great as a dessert drink due to the sweet and floral ingredients. It has citrus tones and a floral nose, with ingredients such as pomelo, honeysuckle and chamomile. Bloom was created by one of the world’s first and leading female Master Distillers, Joanne Moore, and has an understated bottle design that lets the gin really shine. It has a rich but smooth taste and a lightly floral afternote that pairs brilliantly with fresh fruit for a more delicate gin experience. For those new to gin or enthusiasts looking for something a bit milder, this is a perfect choice.
- Has a clear and bright taste with a floral flavour and earthy aromas
- Best served with fresh strawberries and tonic to enhance the floral notes
- Includes chamomile, honeysuckle and pomelo