We needn’t tell you that the world is awash in gin. Ever since the great gin renaissance of the 2010s, new brands have launched on what feels like a daily basis. Even Buckingham Palace now sells its own bottling, made from botanicals grown on the grounds – and if it’s good enough for the Royal Family, then it must make a decent gift for your mum, if you’re stuck for present ideas this Mother’s Day.
So, what makes the best gin? Like with a favourite perfume, or preferred pizza topping, it’s a deeply personal choice. Some swear it’s not gin unless it’s London Dry – bursting with resinous juniper, and earthy dried notes of coriander, angelica and liquorice. Others embrace modern gins, with exotic fruits, foraged herbs and pinky hues. While we haven’t gone so far as to include coloured gins in this list, we did feel it was important to include something for everyone.
What makes a gin “the best” also depends on your go-to serve. Every decent gin should be pleasant in a G&T, but some really shine this way; others are better in martinis, shaken into cocktails or even sipped straight. We’ve aimed for diversity in this department, too.
There are, however, a few standard boxes that all the best gins tick. Some are technical: the balance of botanicals, the intensity and complexity of the flavours, the length of the finish. Others are more philosophical: what gins do you remember (in a good way), long after trying? And which would you reach for again and again? All the gins on our list tick these boxes: not only are they well-made, and memorable, but we’d like to – and have – drunk them again and again.
Finally, value – rather than price – was a key consideration. The best gins aren’t the most (or least) expensive, but those worth their price tag. You wouldn’t expect the same thing from a £20 party-perfect gin as a £100 collector’s gin, and nor did we when compiling this list.
The best gins for 2023 are:
- Best overall – No. 3 London dry gin: £34.95, Thewhiskyexchange.com
- Best for British flavour – Conker Spirit Dorset dry gin: £32.99, Masterofmalt.com
- Best classic gin – Tanqueray London dry gin: £22, Amazon.co.uk
- Best for aficionados – Cambridge Distillery three seasons gin, 70cl: £90, Cambridgedistillery.co.uk
- Best for cocktails – Hernö old tom gin, 50cl: £35.44, Masterofmalt.com
- Best for the juniper-shy – Snowdonia Spirit Co. Welsh dry gin, 70cl: £35.95, Masterofmalt.com
- Best for negronis – Seven Hills Italian dry gin, 70cl: £34, Masterofmalt.com
- Best for a garden party – Hendrick’s flora adora gin, 70cl: £31, Clinkspirit.com
- Best for sipping – BeauFort fifty-seven smoked sipping gin, 50cl: £44.95, Masterofmalt.com
- Best for a holiday in a glass – The Story Wines gin, 70cl: £39.99, Simplywinesdirect.uk
- Best for G&Ts – Boatyard double gin, 70cl: £32, Masterofmalt.com
- Best for summery martinis – Tarquin’s cornish dry gin, 70cl: £29.99, Masterofmalt.com
- Best for innovation – Hyke gin, 70cl: £26, Foxholespirits.com
- Best for Asian flavours – Roku gin, 70cl: £32, Waitrosecellar.com
- Best for sustainability – Warner’s London dry gin: £28.25, Masterofmalt.com