Gin is a drink that dates back centuries. Originally used for medicinal purposes, gin has now become one of the best loved alcoholic spirits around due to its aromatic blend of juniper berries and other botanicals.
- The best vodka: 10 we recommend
So whether you’re a fancy martini or plain and simple G&T kind of person, the gin you use will have a great impact on the flavour of your drink.
There have been many different types of gin distilled over the years, some which stick with the classic juniper infusion while others mix and range of botanicals such as angelica root, berries, rose and other exotic fruits.
There are a range of different gins to suit certain drinkers too; so if you’re a classic G&T drinker we recommend you opt for citrus flavours, whereas those who like it straight up will likely enjoy fresh flavours such as cucumber.
Then there are the warmer, spicier flavours that work fantastically with or without tonic and offer different and unusual flavours to the norm for anyone looking for a something a little 'out there'. Just remember, the price of a gin doesn’t always indicate the quality, but rather the botanicals and flavours.
Whether you are looking to add to your collection, or simply want something to drink this weekend, we’ve rounded up some of the best gins to cater to all tastes and budgets.
Our pick of the best gin to buy today
Roku gin is the first gin to come from Japan’s Suntory distillery and it’s a triumph. It’s infused with six unique Japanese botanicals: Sakura flower, Sakura leaf, Yuzu peel, Sencha tea, Gyokuro tea and Sansho pepper. It also features eight traditional botanicals: juniper berries, coriander, angelica seed and root, cinnamon, cardamom, bitter orange and lemon peel. This leads to a spirit that’s aromatic, clean and crisp that works particularly well in a gin and tonic. The bottle is something to enjoy, too: it’s hexagonal, embossed with the six Japanese botanicals with a label printed on washi paper. A top choice for the drinks shelf.
Tanqueray No. 10 is a well-loved gin for classic gin and tonics and works well in martinis also. This is a small-batch, premium gin without an overly hefty price tag, making it ideal as a gift or simply to put in your drinks cabinet ready for the weekend. Tanquery No. 10 makes our top spot for being a great all-rounder loved by both novices and aficionados in the gin world. It’s a great tasting spirit that isn’t too overpowering, but isn’t too tasteless either. For those who are not too keen on the botanical aromas that you find in a lot gins, this is a fresh and smooth option that simply tastes great with a slice of lemon or lime.
Opihr is a very different type of gin, made with botanicals from places such as Morocco and Indonesia. The clue is in the ingredients; this is a warm and spicy gin that works well mixed with tonic or ginger ale and makes a great choice for winter drinking. It's highly likely that you will either love or loathe Opihr, but if you like richer, warmer tasting spirits in general, the chances are you will love this.
William Chase Gin is one of the most expensive gins on the list, but the quality of its taste is exquisite. Made by the same guys who produce the smooth tasting Chase Vodka, this gin is distilled from organic apples along with a range of 11 different botanicals; giving it a mix of traditional and more exotic flavours. This creates a unique herby taste that is actually pretty great for drinking straight if you like your spirits dry. If you want to splash out on a gift for the gin lover in your life, they won't be disappointed with this one.
If you know anything about gin, you'll know the name Hendrick's. This brand has been around for years and is renowned for it's small batch production method. Hendrick's distills in tiny batches of 500 litres, meaning that great care and consideration goes into the taste of every bottle. If you like a more subtle tasting gin that isn't overwhelmingly packed full of botanical flavours, then this is the perfect choice. Smooth, delicate and perfect with a slice of cucumber.
If the fruity, floral taste of gin is what draws you in, you might find that you'll fall in love with this one. Whilst some gin drinkers might complain that Bloom Gin lacks the traditional gin flavour of a Tanqueray or Hendrick's, the fruity undertones of this spirit makes it ideal for cocktails. Bloom's sweetness makes it perfect for adding to a Gin Fizz or indeed for making a classic Gin and Tonic. Not a traditional choice but it's unique flavour earns it a spot on our top list.
Made in Scotland, inspired by Japan and blended using sake and yuzu... this isn't your standard bottle of gin. If you are into your gin or know someone who is, you'll want to get a bottle of this just to say you've tried it. This really is something a little different. In terms of taste, this is a citrusy gin that is actually quite mild when sipped straight. If you are trying to find something new and unusual but don’t like the sound of Opihr's earthy taste, then give Jinzu Gin a go.
Called Beefeater 24 because the botanicals are steeped in the spirit for a 24 hours, this gin is a fragrant one. Unlike all the other gins on this list, Beefeater 24 is made from 2 different types of tea as well as a whole host of botanicals, giving it a fruity flavour with a strong fragrant aroma. If you think that Bloom sounds sweet then this twist on the classic Beefeater Gin might not be for you, but if you are looking for a gin with a bit of depth and richness, this is one to add to your collection.
If you want to try some unique flavours of gin but Opihr and Jinzu don’t tickle your taste buds, then Whitley Neill has a few flavours to choose from such as Blood Orange, Rhubarb & Ginger and Quince. The African botanicals give these flavoursome gins a unique taste and the bottle looks very sleek and sophisticated if you're after a gift. Not for a gin novice and perhaps not for the aficionado either, but a great novelty choice when looking for something different.