10 best gins

Raise a glass to World Gin Day (June 11) with a drink from some of the planet's finest distilleries

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The Independent Online

It is a hard job but someone had to do it. We have sipped, shaken and mixed our way through a whole platoon of gins to bring you the very best on the market. From traditional London Dry to gin with a Japanese accent, we’ve got it covered.

1. Tanqueray 10, 47.3%: £32, amazon

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Tanqueray 10 was distilled specially to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Tanqueray distillery in Essex. Viva Basildon! Because this gin is a star. Order a gin martini and ask the bartender to use this – instant brownie points. It is the best martini gin we know.

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2. Langley’s No. 8, 41.7%: £32, amazon

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The number eight in the name of Langley’s gin refers to the eight secret botanicals used in this 100 per cent English grain spirit. What isn’t so secret is this gin’s quality: it’s as smooth as a No 10 spin doctor. Goes particularly well with a wedge of grapefruit and a sprig of basil, if you are so disposed.

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3. Filliers Pine Tree Blossom, 42.6%: £34, amazon

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This premium dry gin is based on Firmin Filliers’ (born 1888, died 1965) recipe and so is infused with a touch of pine, which is very unusual.  It is rich, earthy and fresh as a forest. We like it with a plain, non-sweet tonic but you could also try it with vermouth.

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4. Daffy's Premium Gin, 43.4%: £36, Waitrose

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This is made by a Scottish distiller using French grain and eight botanicals - Spanish lemon, Lebanese mint, angelica root, coriander, juniper, and orange peel, cassia bark and orris root – which makes for a deeply flavoured, but well balanced, finished product. 

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5. Brooklyn Gin, 40%: £38, amazon

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This is made in a copper pot still at a fruit orchard in New York’s Hudson valley, so as you might expect it is a world away from the British stuff. They use Albanian juniper, Brazilian cocoa nibs and Persian limes in this pleasingly artisan concoction.

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6. Gin No. 209, 46%: £33, amazon

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This San Francisco gin is distilled five times and has one of the most complex flavours of all the gins we tried. On first taste, you find coriander, maybe even bergamot, but what follows is orange and even pepper. A very interesting spirit.

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7. Blackwoods Gin, 40%: £25, amazon

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This is as bracing as a North Seas wind, which is perhaps appropriate given it is made using botanicals from the Shetland isles. Made to a Nordic recipe, it contains wild water mint, sea pink, angelica and juniper berries, all of which are picked by local crofters.

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8. Jinzu Gin, 41.3%: £36, amazon 

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Created by bartender Dee Davies, Jinzu was inspired by Japan and Davies’s travels in the country. It has many characteristics of British Gin, though to spice things up, there are also yuzu and cherry blossom flavours, as well as a touch of sake. East meets west and makes merry.

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9. Eden Mill Love, 42%: £34, amazon

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This so-called "love gin" is made with juniper, coriander seed, rhubarb root, goji berry, angelica, rose petal, elderberry, marshmallow root and raspberry leaf. It's wonderfully fragrant and infused with hibiscus flowers, too, post-distillation. 

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10. Gin Mare, 42.7%: £36, amazon

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Basil, thyme, rosemary, and Arbequina olive – this Mediterranean gin is a stalwart of the best bars, and after a couple of G&Ts, you can see exactly why. It’s a corker.

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Verdict

Top of the tree for us is the Tanqueray 10, a sophisticated gin which is hard to beat in a martini. More accessibly priced is Blackwoods gin, which is sophisticated and punchy and nice with tonic.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing

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