Gin, gin, gin: we love it so. But which ones are the best?
Tired of having the same old gin? We know we are: sometimes you want to mix it up and break free of the Gordon’s/Beefeater duopoly and sample further wares. “There must be others out there, right?” we thought. And it turns out, yes. There’s bloody loads. Too many, if anything, so we’ve done you a solid and sieved through the rest and brought you only the best: It’s the world’s ten best gins.
Handcrafted in small batches at Balmenach Distillery in Scotland’s Speyside region, Caorunn is an unusually herbal experience thanks to its use of Rowan Berry. The well balanced fruity flavours of the gin make it exceedingly drinkable: dry and crisp when neat, use tonic sparingly so as not to lose its subtle notes.
This is our favourite summer gin thanks to its slight, but not intense, perfumed charm. A self-consciously ‘old-school’ gin (despite being first created in 1990), distiller Martin Miller wanted to create a gin that ‘tasted of gin’ and not, in his words, ‘of some highly flavoured confection’. Distilled in the Black Country from ten botanicals, Miller’s is blended with Icelandic water to simple, stunning effect.
Tanqueray No. Ten
Now this is one where you will need tonic. One of our writers described this as having ‘a huge bouquet’ before rather harshly being pelted with lemon slices. But he has a point: there’s an earthy richness twinned with citrus that really keeps you on your toes. Looks great to order, too, in its lurid green bottle, and tastes great to drink.
Brockmans Intensely Smooth
You might not be surprised to hear that Brockmans Intensely Smooth is… intensely smooth. Like having George Clooney pull out your chair and like you a cigarette… only a gin. Made with Bulgarian coriander, blueberries, blackberries, and bittersweet Valencia orange peels, the result is a gin bursting with flavour that doesn’t forgo balance for punch.
Oliver Cromwell London Dry Gin at Aldi
Yes, the worst kept secret in bargain food-shopping is also home to, officially, one of the world’s best gins. The Oliver Cromwell London Dry Gin won a gold medal at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in July and it’s hard to argue (especially with it’s price-tag set at a lip-smacking £14.19) with its bone dry and straight-forward flavouring, the Oliver Cromwell gin is unfussy and versatile with notes of juniper, lemon, and orange peel before fading to reveal hints of hot wax. Your booze cupboard deserves this bargain.
Just brilliant, isn’t it? You don’t need us to tell you that. Have it with cucumber, in the sun. Obviously.
Made in the heart of London at the Kennington distillery using a recipe that took eighteen months to develop, Beefeater 24 includes Seville orange peel, lemon peel, bitter almond, angelica root, angelica seed, juniper, liquorice, orris root, coriander, and a blend of Chinese green and Japanese sencha teas with grapefruit peel. What does that mean? Well, it means a liquorice-influenced finish means that you won’t forget drinking it. Save until late in the evening.
The branding says it’s floral, most reviews say it’s perhaps too perfume-y, but we just weren’t getting that. Not in a sickly way, anyway. Deliciously citrus, it’s easy on the juniper making it a great gin for non-gin loving gin drinkers… and we realise how odd that sounds. Essentially: if you want to start an evening with a gin, this is the one.
An incredibly fun gin that serves the purpose of getting sozzled better than all others. Haling from the Black Forest in Germany, the name comes from the number of botanicals that go into this unique gin, and the fact it’s bottled at bedtime-inducing 47% proof. Palate-wise it’s complex (there are, also, pleasingly, forty-seven different tastes packed in there). Woody, spicy, fruity, and herby: it’s pretty much everything a gin can be.
Our pick of the bunch. With flavours of juniper, apple and elderflower alongside subtle citrus, this is the ultimate tonic partner. Some serve with a slice of fresh apple but we like it just the way it is. The finished gin is distilled over 100 times with the entire process taking over two years, from orchard to bottle. You can genuinely taste the effort that goes into it. And it 48% you can taste the booze that goes into it. Treat it with care.
And, presented by 31Dover.com, one more for good luck….
Sharish Blue Magic
Not only does this exceptionally-smooth Portuguese gin come in a really cool-looking bottle, its deep blue hue also turns dusky pink when you add tonic. Something to do with the change in pH levels, apparently. It’s very clever. But ever better is the taste, which is rich and fruity, containing juniper, cinnamon, orange peel, lemon peel, Bravo Esmolfe apple, and lemon verbena, which leaves you with a refreshing citrus aftertaste.