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The Top 21 Best Gin Brands to Try in 2021
Gin is continuing to pick up momentum as a spirit of choice for those looking to get more individualized, interesting flavors.
The gin boom is mirroring the increased focus that other traditional spirits have achieved in recent years.
Gin varieties are evolving as access is made more accessible and independent and big distillers bring new innovations to the fore.
The following list of 21 different gins present some of the world’s best offerings for a range of different drinkers, whether it’s the classic taste of London Dry Gin, or an independent Shiraz gin mix from Australia.
1. Hendrick’s Gin
Hendrick’s Gin is the result of combining two different spirits from rare and unusual stills to create a smooth and unusual flavor.
This small batch Scottish gin brand, crafted in tiny 500-liter batches, is produced by William Grant & Sons and infused with cucumber, rose petal and traditional juniper berry at the brand’s distillery.
The more individual process creates a flavor of subtle flowers, roots and seeds, which marry well with stranger cocktails looking to balance sharp, dry gin against sweet or salty flavors.
2. Cotswold’s Dry Gin
Cotswolds Dry Gin blends nine carefully considered botanicals to create a well-balanced juniper berry gin with crisp citrus flavor and a touch of spice.
The expression of traditional London dry style comes from the juniper, coriander and angelica root, to which a mix of Cotswolds lavender and bay leaf, grapefruit, lime, black pepper and cardamom seed are added to for distillation, before being finishing with local Cotswolds spring water.
For those who enjoy classic London dry gin a bottle from the craft distillery at Cotswold’s is likely to rank very highly on your personal rankings without reaching the top shelf of your drinks cabinet.
3. Glendalough Wild Botanical Gin
This Irish gin marries the wildness of freshly foraged botanicals with a painstaking distillation process to maximize the taste of the gin.
Glendalough employs a full time forager to sustainably forage wild plants from the mountains around the distillery
They then go fresh (not dried) into the still within hours of foraging and distilled slowly in batches of less than 250 liters to add authenticity and individuality to the flavor creation.
Glendalough Wild Botanical Gin offers a spirit for connoisseurs and newcomers alike by offering a smooth taste at an afforable price.
4. Tanqueray London Dry Gin
I came up in the late 1990s with Snoop Dogg’s gin and juice cranking my sound system. Tanqueray was the gin to buy then, and remains popular whether it’s for home mixology or at the bar, where it’s the go to gin for bartenders.
Tanqueray London Dry Gin blends four distinct botanicals – juniper, coriander, angelica and licorice – to create a perfectly balanced dry gin with a unique herbal flavor.
Fully imported from the UK with a 47% ABV Tanqueray London Dry Gin is the versatile mid-price spirit that all types of gin lover can enjoy.
5. Aviation American Gin
Aviation American Gin is made in the traditional dry style with anything but a traditional flavor profile.
Aviation Gin explores the flavor of lavender, cardamom, and sarsaparilla which results in a gin product that famous owner Ryan Reynolds is happy to tell everyone is the best tasting gin around.
The craft spirit – Aviation American Gin is batch distilled – refreshes in a simple mixed drink but works equally well when paired with fresh fruit and mixers to create wonderful cocktails
6. Barr Hill Reserve Tom Cat Gin
Barr Hill Reserve’s beautifully bottled red hued Tom Cat Gin is aged 4-6 months in charred American white oak barrels to help add a finish of oak and spices to the taste of juniper and honey.
The Vermont distillery has made their Tom Cat in reflection of the 18th century England’s Old Tom gin, while their standard Barr Hill Gin is some of America’s most awarded.
Gin was outlawed in the UK by the Spirits Act of 1750, which caused defiant pub owners to hang a wooden plaque shaped like a black cat to inform the passerby of the spirit’s availability.
The gin lover would deposit coins into the cat’s mouth, then a bartender would pour a ration of Old Tom gin through a tube between the cat’s paws.
7. Whitley Neill Rhubarb & Ginger Gin
This handcrafted flavored gin has been described as the gin and tonic choice for those who don’t like gin.
The use of rhubarb adds a tartness to the base English gin flavor, while the ginger extract warms the palate for a full-bodied finish that tastes welcoming yet peculiar for your average dry gin drinker.
If rhubarb and ginger don’t tickle your fancy, Whitley Neill also have blood orange gin and pink grapefruit gin available. In these expressions orange peel and grapefruit peel are part of the distillation process to infuse the gin with an overtly tangier flavor.
Great for drinking over ice or for taking a gin cocktail in new and exciting directions, the bright and punchy Whitley Neill Rhubarb and Ginger Gin could be the most daring on this list.
8. Roku Japanese Gin
Roku (which means 6) is the premium Japanese craft gin created by the House of Suntory in Osaka. The key to Roku’s excellence is the concept of Shun, which is the tradition of enjoying food and drink in the proper season.
Six Japanese botanicals, sakura (cherry blossom) flower, sakura leaf, yuzu peel, sencha tea (green tea), gyokuro tea (refined green tea) and sansho pepper, give Roku it’s individuality and Japanese soul.
The six Japanese botanicals combine with eight traditional gin botanicals – juniper berry, coriander seed, angelica root, angelica seed, cardamom seed, cinnamon, bitter orange peel, and lemon peel – in a multi distillation process to create a unique but authentic gin taste.
9. The Botanist Islay Dry Gin
The Botanist was born out of the world renowned Bruichladdich Distillery. Former Bruichladdich Distillery Master Distiller Jim McEwan wanted to express the heart and soul of the remote Scottish island of Islay.
Botanist Gin was helped given life with the help of professional botanists, Dr. Richard and Mrs. Mavis Gulliver. They were instrumental in the selection of the herbs, leaves and flora that would eventually make up the 22 unique botanicals that are infused in The Botanist Gin.
The expert crafting and choosing of herbs combined with the precise distillation process creates a remarkably smooth premium gin, effective for a simple gin and tonic water or for use in a classic cocktail such as gin fizz or martini.
The Botanist is the only gin distillery in Europe that is B Corp Certified, adhering to their detailed standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.
10. Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin
Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin is made with 47 botanicals and bottled at 47% ABV. There’s a lot going on, but the resulting taste is a sharp mix that is enjoyed by the bartender and gin drinker alike.
Proudly German, Monkey 47 introduces black forest lingonberries into the mix, as is the local spring designed keep the taste pure and clean.
One of the more expensive gins on this list, Mokey 47 is a premium gin for all occasions and great for a gin fizz or dry martini. Make sure to keep your eye out for the 1-liter big bottle!
11. Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin
Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin is crafted at The Shed Distillery by distiller PJ Rigney, who used medieval copper pot stills to meld eastern botanicals, fruits and herbs with local Irish plants.
The distinctive craft gin created is described by the company as “unique, extraordinary and remarkable as the elusive creature pictured on the label, the Drumshanbo Jackalope.”
12. Uncle Val’s Gin Botanical Gin
Uncle Val’s is a small-batch botanical gin inspired by Zio Valerio’s love of gardening, cooking and Tuscan cuisine.
Uncle Val’s uses botanicals common to classic Italian cooking in the lengthy distillation process; lemon, cucumber, sage and lavender help build a crisp, heady taste around the juniper.
Perfect for a Gin Fizz or to pair with a premium tonic water, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more refreshing modern botanical gin.
13. Bols Genever Original Gin
Bols, the oldest spirit distiller in the world (Born in 1575), has brought back their 200-year-old Bols Genever Gin brand.
Bols Genever gin (also called Dutch gin) is a triple grain malt spirit with 22 unique botanicals. It’s a rougher, riper, fuller flavor spirit whose taste belies its abv (42%).
Bols genever suits the experienced dry gin lover looking for a different taste, or those who prefer something with more pronounced flavor than classic Lond dry style gins.
If you are unfamiliar with genever, find the flavor overwhelming, or are more used to English gins; you might like to consider chilling it in the freezer where it neutralizes the taste a little more.
14. Beefeater Pink London Dry Gin
Beefeater is famed for its original gin – a clean, uncomplicated dry gin catering to all palates at an affordable price. But rather than add that one to this list, I’ve opted for the bright Beefeater Pink gin for a different dimension.
Smooth and intense, Beefeater Pink is a gin fusing strawberries, citrus and dill to the juniper flavor for a unique tasting gin experience.
Change up your G&T or upgrade a range of cocktail favorites with the pink gin bottle designed to draw comment.
15. Sipsmith Sloe Gin
Sloe gin differs from classic gin as it uses sloe fruit from the blackcurrant plant rather than juniper berries, and comes with a lower %ABV
The Sipsmith Sloe gin distillation combines stone fruit, seville orange peel, red currant, cassis and ripe cherry flavors, which are balanced by the sloe berries and a touch of juniper to create a smooth, velvety taste.
Sipsmith sloe gin works brilliantly as a fruity alternative to dry gin and tonic, while providing a zesty cocktail base for mixologists to play with.
16. Few Spirits Barrel Aged Gin
One of the first companies to create barrel aged gin, Illinois’ Few Spirits Barrel Aged Gin offers a tremendous flavor profile, where the gin is sweetened and polished by aging in oak.
Gin doesn’t have to sit in barrels as long as whiskey to pick up flavors from the wood, but it does have a tremendous effect on the classic gin flavor.
If you’re looking for a craft gin looking to push traditional boundaries, the Few Spirits Barrel Aged gin is a great option to try.
17. Empress 1908 Gin
Empress 1908 Gin is a collaboration between Victoria Distillers and the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia.
The gin uses eight signature botanicals, including juniper, grapefruit peel, rose petal, coriander, ginger, cinnamon, exotic butterfly pea blossom and a bespoke blend of tea made just for the Empress.
The unique blossoms balance the citrus notes of gin with a warm herbal touch and create a deep, natural indigo colored spirit that changes color depending on the mixer added.
Empress 1908 gin is the type of spirit to slot comfortably into your drinks cabinet for all manner of uses, from sipping neat to gin fizz and Arnold Palmer classic cocktails.
18. Greenhook Ginsmiths American Dry Gin
Greenhook Ginsmiths American Dry Gin is made from organic, New York State grown wheat spirit.
The botanicals add flavor of Tuscan juniper, coriander, chamomile, elderflower, citrus, Thai blue ginger, Ceylon cinnamon, orris root and elderberry.
The floral notes flourish on the palate, while the texture from the chamomile creates a lovely finish amplified by the sweeter spices used in distillation.
Greenhook is a gin made for use with tonic water or a simple mixed spirit cocktail such as a Negroni or Martini.
19. Gin Mare
Mediterranean tastes are rapidly gaining a foothold in the gin market, with fresh botanical usage that balances well against the traditional flavors of juniper.
Four classical Mediterranean ingredients – Arbequina olive, basil, thyme, and rosemary – are united with juniper, coriander, cardamom and citrus to provide a uniquely Mediterranean Gin.
Each of the botanicals are steeped during a period of more than twenty-four hours and are distilled separately to create a versatile and flavorsome gin best enjoyed over ice with herb sprigs of basil or thyme.
Perfect for those looking for a headier flavor profile, Gin Mare and other European gins of this ilk are going to be trending up for newcomers and the experienced gin drinker alike.
20. Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin
An Australian Shiraz Gin Four Pillars melds Victorian Yarra Valley Shiraz grapes steeped in rare dry gin for 8 weeks with no added sugar.
The palate of Four Pillars gains sweetness from the shiraz grape, with juniper and spice noticeable in the finish.
The bright, ruby color gin turns iridescent pink when mixed with soda, so you’ll know Four Pillars on sight.
It has the scent of fresh pine needles, incredible spice, and a peppery, dense raspberry taste.
Enjoy Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz gin with lemon tonic, club soda, or a simple citrus wedge.
21. Nikka Coffey Gin
Nikka Coffey Gin is produced with 11 botanicals, including yuzu peel, kabosu, amanatsu, and shequasar citrus from Japan.
Traditional botanicals include juniper, angelica, coriander, lemon peel, orange peel, and apple juice, while sansho pepper adds the suggestion of complex spice in the finish.
These expressions are the integration of Nikka’s Coffey stills, and the cumulative expertise in distilling since the 1960s and blending skills inherited from the founder of the brand.