There is a gin flavour to suit every set of taste buds - from sweet and fruity to aromatic and savoury. But when faced with the alcohol aisle at your local supermarket or the top shelf at your regular watering hole, you may tend to pick the most common brand name, rather than focus in on a gin that could really satisfy your tastebuds. Let us guide you through our picks of the best gin around right now.
- How about our round-up of the best Whisky?
- Fancy a tipple on the go? Check out our guide to the best hip flasks
Gin is known and preferred for the amount of flavour that it packs. Back in the day, juniper was the dominant flavour but now, distilleries are combining magical ingredients to bring you a sensational experience with every sip. From black pepper and liquorice to honeysuckle and camomile, gin-making has become a fine-art of infusion that is constantly stretching the boundaries when it comes to flavour combinations.
With the complexity of the ingredients, finding that perfect accompaniment has become a science- you wouldn’t go putting a strawberry in your roast dinner and you wouldn’t go putting a green olive in your chocolate cake. The same goes for gin - some combinations are just a no no.
You may also assume that gin is made to go with tonic, however many are best appreciated on their own. In our list of best gin brands, we’ve detailed the ideal way to enhance your gin experience, whether that’s with a garnish or a flavoured tonic water. Read on to find that vital information that you have been missing out on.
1. Tanqueray No. 10
A fruity gin to marry with your favourite tonic
Best for: Gin & Tonic | Main Botanicals: Juniper, Grapefruit, Orange, Lime | ABV: 41.7% | Garnish with: Lemon
If you love to sit back with a long drink on an evening or weekend, Tanqueray No. 10 will pair really well with your favourite tonic - make it a branded one rather than supermarket own! While embracing the traditional juniper flavour, hints of grapefruit, orange and lime give it a slightly sharp and tangy flavour that blends fantastically with the quinine in tonic - garnish your glass with a slice of lemon and your tastebuds will really thank you! At an ABV of 41.7%, it’s not the strongest gin in the books, but that does make it possibly the best gin in the world to sip over the course of an evening catch up with the team.
2. Williams Chase Elegant 48 Gin
Distilled 4 times to achieve a complex, aromatic flavour.
Best for: Quality | Main Botanicals: Juniper, Coriander, Angelica, Liquorice, Elderflower | ABV: 48% | Garnish with: Apple
Williams Chase Elegant 48 Gin celebrates the apple in many ways. Firstly, it is distilled from the brand’s own apples - keeping quality control at the forefront. Secondly, the combination of botanicals that have been infused into this particularly exclusive gin have been chosen because they marry well with the main event - apple! Discover layers of liquorice, elderflower and orange among other complex flavours as you sip it straight or with your favourite tonic. Slice off a green apple and pop in piece to add that extra kick of apple flavour. Because it’s the most expensive of our lot, we label it the best gin to drink on special occasions!
3. Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin
Experience flavours from around the world from your favourite chair
Best for: Winter drinking | Main Botanicals: Juniper, Spicy Cubeb Berries, Black Pepper, Coriander | ABV: 40% | Garnish with: Lime/fresh ginger/orange
Take a trip around the world with Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin. With spicy cubeb berries from Indonesia, black pepper from India and coriander from Morocco, expect to experience warmth with every sip - not quite soaking up the sun on a tropical Indonesian island but as close as you can get with less than £25 in your pocket! We call this one one of the best gin drinks for a winter warmer and you can see why from the combination of flavours. Add into the mix a slice of fresh lime and a slither of ginger and it really will warm your cockles!
4. Beefeater 24
Pick Beefeater for a complex, yet perfectly balanced gin experience
Best for: Citrus notes | Main Botanicals: Juniper, Liquorice, Angelica Root, Bitter Almond | ABV: 45% | Garnish with: Grapefruit
Beefeater 24 won the 2015 Silver Outstanding Medal in the International Wine and Spirits Competition and when each batch is carefully formulated over 18 months, we aren’t surprised that it has earned itself this proclaimed award. For the taster, this means they get to experience a note of fresh berry accompanied by subtle infusions of liquorice, angelica root, pine cone and eastern touches of Japanese Sencha and Chinese Green Tea. Mix it up if you love to explore some of the best gin cocktails, or serve with grapefruit and orange peel to enhance its delicate citrus flavour.
A cool, classic taste.
Best for: Drinking straight | Main Botanicals: Juniper, Bulgarian Rose, Cucumber | ABV: 44% | Garnish with: Cucumber | RRP: £28.00
Hendricks is another well-known name on the gin scene and tastes great on its own with a slice of cucumber. However, if you are new to gin you may find that Hendricks is a little tasteless compared to some other gins on the market. The bottle is striking and makes for a great candle holder when finished with; definitely one to add to your collection.
6. Jinzu Gin
A Japanese inspired gin full of flavour
Best for: Unique taste | Main Botanicals: Juniper, Sake, Cherry Blossom, Yuzu | ABV: 41.3% | Garnish with: Green Apple/Candied Cherry Blossom
If you want to try something a bit different but don’t like the sound of Opihr, then Jinzu Gin is the one to try. It uses Japanese botanicals to create a powerful and contemporary flavour that overpowers the traditional juniper aroma. It is far from a traditional London dry gin but is a versatile spirit which tastes great with Fever-Tree tonic water.
Gin not your favourite tipple? Check out T3.com's round up of the top 10 vodkas instead.