Top 10 Gins

Whether you like it with tonic and ice, or in cocktails, it’s important to have the right gin. Here is our pick of the Top 10 Gins with their flavour profile and recommended serve presented in alphabetical order:

Aviation Gin

Aviation Gin (42% ABV) is a new dry style of gin, the first partnership between distiller and bartender in American history. Made especially for the American palate, it falls into a new “western gin” category that is fast growing and developing.

Aviation Gin – Aviation Cocktail

Aviation Gin saw its beginnings in a wine bottle before it recently changed the design into a square hip flask shape. Made from a 100% neutral rye base with seven botanicals (juniper, cardamom, lavender, Indian sarsaparilla, anise seed, coriander, dried sweet orange peel), it has floral and savoury notes with pronounced lavender, cardamom, and Indian sarsaparilla that capture the flavours of the Pacific Northwest.

Try it in a dry Martini or a classic Aviation Cocktail made with 45 ml Aviation Gin, 1 tsp Crème de Violette, 15 ml Maraschino Liqueur, 7.5ml simple syrup, 25 ml freshly pressed lemon juice, shaken with ice, strained and garnished with a cherry.

Bombay Sapphire Gin

Bombay Sapphire Gin (40% ABV) is easily recognised by its striking and contemporary design in a distinctive blue bottle.

Ten botanicals go into making the gin with juniper, lemon peel, grains of paradise, coriander, Cubeb Berries, orris root, almonds, cassia bark, liquorice and angelica. Unlike other gins that boil the botanicals in the spirit, Bombay Sapphire is created through the Vapour Infusion process. The neutral grain is pot distilled and as it heats to vapour, it moves up the columns towards the perforated copper baskets containing the botanicals.

Bombay Sapphire Gin – Bombay Sapphire Collins

Sip it with tonic, in a traditional dry Martini or a Bombay Sapphire Collins with 50 ml Bombay Sapphire, juice of half a lemon, 2 tsp caster sugar, 100 ml chilled soda water, ice and garnished with a wedge of fresh lemon.

The Botanist

From the Bruichladdich distillery created by Jim McEwan comes The Botanist Gin (46%), the first and only Islay dry gin. The small-batch, artisanal gin is made with nine of the classic gin aromatics including orris root, cassia bark, coriander seed, plus a harvest of 22 wild, native island botanicals such as gorse flowers, sweet cicely leaves, mugwort leaves and red clover flowers.

The Botanist Gin – Dry Martini

Slow-distilled for 17 hours in a Lomond pot-still called “ugly betty”, the process yields enhanced floral and aromatic notes in a big and bold, gin, rich and mellow on the palate with citrus freshness.

Enjoy it in a classic Dry Martini with olives.

Broker’s Gin

A quintessential symbol of Englishness, Broker’s Gin is well recognised by a gentleman (a broker) wearing a pin-striped suit, a bowler hat and holding an umbrella. The gin was created in the late 1990’s and is produced in a 200-year-old distillery in England using a recipe just as old. This London Dry Gin style is available in both 40% and 47% ABV. Big on juniper, it uses 10 traditional botanicals including coriander seed, cinnamon, cassia bark, liquorice, orris root, orange and lemon peel, angelica root and nutmeg.

Broker’s Gin – Broker’s Promise

The flavour profile has fresh botanicals that are well balanced with spicy juniper. A sweet, ripe citrus fruit palate finishes with a smooth, warm peppery fade.

Enjoy it in a Broker’s Promise made with 60ml Broker’s London Dry Gin, stirred with 60ml cranberry juice, 30ml lemon & lime soda and with 2 sliced strawberries.

The Cutlass West Winds Gin

Uniquely Australian, West Winds Gin produce the award winning The Sabre and The Cutlass, both handcrafted in small batch and distilled using pristine Margaret River Water and a blend of native Australian and imported botanicals. The name West Winds is a tribute to the ocean breezes that brought travellers to the shores of the west coast of Australia where the gin is made.

The Cutlass West Winds Gin – Gibson

The Cutlass is a pirate sword and with 50% ABV, the gin uses Australian bush tomato, cinnamon myrtle, and wattleseed with a lot of coriander to produce a strong and aromatic gin with a distinctive Australian flavour.

The Cutlass is a savoury gin and goes well with a good tonic, lots of ice, and a slice of green capsicum. For a special drink, try it in a Dirty Martini with 90 ml of The Cutlass, 15 ml of Dolin Vermouth and muddled olives. Alternatively, try it in a Gibson with 75 ml gin, 25 ml sweet vermouth, 1 bar spoon of pickled onion juice, stirred on ice and strained into a Martini glass.

Gin Mare

Heralding from Spain just south of Barcelona, Gin Mare (42.7% ABV) is the first authentic Mediterranean Gin made with ten botanicals found in the region. It uses thyme from Turkey, basil from Italy, rosemary from Greece, citrus fruits from Spain and Arbequina olives – which are the only olives in the world to have a denomination of origin – with juniper, coriander, cardamom, lemon, orange and mandarin.

Gin Mare – Bloody Mare

Each botanical undergoes an independent maceration and distillation process with the citrus fruits macerated for more than a year in earthenware jars. A savoury profile with notes of rosemary, thyme and pepper, the juniper comes as a secondary flavour to the herbal gin.

Try it in a signature Gin Mare and Tonic, with a sprig of rosemary or crystallised basil. It goes well in a Bloody Mare made with 35ml Gin Mare, 10ml sherry, 150ml tomato juice, 3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce, sea salt and black pepper, 4 drops of Tabasco, lemon juice, horseradish on a celery salt rimmed glass.

Martin Miller’s Gin

Launched in 1999, Martin Miller’s Gin (40% ABV) is made to a traditional London Dry style in flavour profile and dryness but using a mix of two separate distillations.

Martin Miller’s Gin – Dry Martini

Juniper, coriander, angelica, liquorice root, cassia bark, florentine iris and a small proportion of lime peel go into the first distillation. This is subsequently blended with another distillation of bitter orange peel, lemon and lime peel. A small distillate of cucumber acts as a ‘drying agent’ which imparts a fresh, long dry finish. Icelandic spring water is used as it is renowned to be the purest and softest water.

Strong on citrus, the juniper notes emerge mid palate and lead to a clean and soft finish.

Enjoy it in a chilled Dry Martini with a lemon twist to highlight the crisp citrus flavour.

No 3 London Dry Gin

With a distinctive dark green bottle, No. 3 London Dry Gin (46% ABV) is distilled to a proprietary recipe of Berry Bros. & Rudd, London’s oldest wine and spirit merchant. No.3 refers to the address in London’s St James’s Street which has been home to the gin since 1698. The key on the bottle was inspired by the key to the lock of The Parlour inside.

No. 3 London Dry Gin – No 3 Negroni

Juniper from Italy is at the heart of this gin which uses just three fruits and three spices distilled in traditional copper pot stills. Other botanicals are sweet Spanish orange peel, angelica root, Moroccan coriander seed, grapefruit peel and cardamom pods.

No. 3 London Dry Gin has plenty of citrus zing complemented by the soft gingery spiciness of coriander. Enjoy it with a tonic or a classic Dry Martini with a lemon twist to highlight the citrus character. The gin is equally good in a No 3 Negroni with 35ml gin, 35 ml red vermouth, 35 ml Campari bitters with a slice of orange and lemon zest.

Plymouth Gin

Plymouth Gin (41.2% ABV) is based on a recipe which dates back to 1793 using a unique blend of 7 botanicals, soft Dartmoor water and pure grain alcohol. Made at the historic Black Friars Distillery, the oldest working distillery in England, it bears an image of a friar at the back of the bottle.

Plymouth Gin – G&T

Fresh juniper with a lemony bite is a characteristic of this gin with a long and dry finish. The gin was first specified in Stuart’s Fancy Drinks and How to Mix Them, in the first ever recipe for a Dry Martini.

Plymouth is ideally served in a G&T. Sip with CAPI tonic water over ice and a squeeze of lemon or lime.

Sipsmith Gin

From the heart of London’s Hammersmith comes Sipsmith Gin (41.6% ABV), an artisanal gin made with English barley neutral spirit and distilled in a 300L copper pot still, “Prudence”. Ten traditional London dry gin botanicals go into making the gin with juniper, coriander seeds, angelica root, liquorice root, orris root, ground almond, cassia bark, cinnamon, Seville orange peel and lemon peel.

Sipsmith Gin – Sipsmith Classic G&T

With a clean taste, Sipsmith Gin has a rich mouthfeel and starts strong on juniper and coriander and leads to zesty citrus and spice with a hint of liquorice. Every bottle has a batch number which can be traced to the date when it was made.

This is a well-rounded gin that goes well in a Martini and in a Sipsmith Classic G&T with 50ml Sipsmith London Dry Gin, 200ml Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water, Squeeze of lime or lime curl in a tall glass filled with 1/3 ice.

** Click HERE for the Top 10 Australian Gin.**

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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is a drinks writer, author of GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN, SHRUBS & BOTANICAL SODAS and founder/editor of Gourmantic, Cocktails & Bars and The Gourmantic Garden. She has been writing extensively about spirits, cocktails, bars and cocktail gardening in more recent years. She is a spirits and cocktail competition judge, Icons of Whisky Australia nominee, contributor to Diageo Bar Academy, cocktail developer and is named in Australian Bartender Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential List. Her cocktail garden was featured on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia and has won several awards. She is a contributor to Real World Gardener radio program and is featured in several publications including Pip Magazine, Organic Gardener, Australian Bartender and Breathe (UK). Read the full bio here.