Perhaps no spirit has made a heartier and more edgy comeback than gin. Gone are the days of gin being the dismissed drink of older gentlemen. Today, gin is hotter than ever, and countries around the world are getting in on the game. While our favorite spirit has historical ties to the ancient and bustling metropolis of London, the floral spirit is gaining popularity in bars and restaurants around the world. From the classic G&T’s, to the finest modern cocktails, this classic staple can be found on nearly every menu around the globe.
But just where are all these new gins coming from, and which ones are the best? The answer might surprise you. Join us, as we explore the top 10 gins from around the world.
10. Anchor Old Tom, USA
Starting off our countdown at a not-to-be-snubbed at number ten, Anchor Distilling’s Old Tom Gin is a blast from a past. This Tom styled gin is a sweet gin, modeled after the popular gin recipes of the mid-late 1800s. This gin, catering to a population that was crazy for sweet, sugar-laced drinks, fell out of favor as London dry gin came on to the scene. Well, Anchor Distilling, based in San Francisco, has brought Tom style gin back with a vengeance. Running around $30 per bottle, this is a craft gin, with a citrus nose and strong, sweet taste. Gin enthusiasts will also instantly notice a nice woody flavor after some time venting, which is complemented by a nice licorice finish. And, sitting at a stalwart 90 proof, Anchor Old Tom Gin carries a lot of bang for the buck.
9. Edinburgh Gin, Scotland
Coming in at number nine is the ever-dependable Edinburgh Gin. This is an exceptional gin, and produced, you guessed it, in Scotland. While this is often considered a “contemporary” gin, due to its wide range of flavors and options, this gin is actually distilled with all the classic gin botanicals. But, true to its roots, the Edinburgh Gin Company carefully sources many of the ingredients locally, using only the best Scottish juniper, pine, heather and even milk thistle. This gives the gin a distinct, but pleasurable, earthy flavor that is complimented by a strong floral nose and sweet finish. Also, coming in at $32 on average, it’s an absolute steal. It’s also recommended as a great starter gin, boasting an array of flavors for every palate, including: elderflower, mandarin orange and raspberry.
8. Highwayman Gin, Poland
While this gin is technically produced in England, it begins with a creamy vodka base produced by Vestal Vodka in Poland. Don’t let the somewhat unsettling image of vodka spoiling perfectly good gin turn you away from this incredibly delicious and exclusive gin. This wonderful concoction can only be purchased by sending an email directly to the stockist of Vestal Vodka. Distilled in a humble copper pot, this is a gin that also throws a brief nod towards the gins of the past. With an unbelievably smooth flavor, there are strong hints of citrus and juniper with a nice peppery finish. This is a spirit that the true gin nerds out there can truly enjoy from start to finish.
7. Monkey 47, Germany
This is possibly one of the oddest gins you will ever encounter, but not one to be missed. Produced in the Black Forest of Germany, this gin contains one of the most odd ingredients found in a gin — cranberries! While most gins are created with around 20-25 botanical ingredients, this gin features 47 different ingredients, which can be found in the namesake, Monkey 47. The 47 also indicates the perfect proof of the spirit, which tops out at a respectable 47%. Flavor profiles of this gin vary greatly, but is found to be pleasant across beginner and advanced palates. Starting off with a fresh, earthy and citrus nose, this gin follows through with a robust burst of spice, herb and fruity flavors. It wraps up its taste journey with a lovely woody, heavy finish. This is a gin that just screams “shaken, not stirred”.
6. G’Vine Nouaison/Floraison, France
This is another pleasant surprise on this world-tour-of-gin list. This is actually a 2-for-1 gin, and comes in the more dry Nouaison flavor or the more floral Floraison flavor. While the difference might only be palpable to the more advanced gin drinkers out there, the two proofs vary distinctly, with the G’Vine Nouaison weighing in at 43.9%, while the G’Vine Floraison option comes in at a not-to-be-laughed-at 40%. The Nouaison opens the palate with woody, grapey notes, while it finishes with a fruity, herbal air. The Floraison, true to its name, opens with a very wine-like nose, with heavy hints of grape and citrus. It finishes with a very clean and sweet flavor, which makes it a delightful spirit for hot summer days. Running anywhere from $30-$40, this French experiment in gin is not something any gin fan should miss.
5. Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin, Australia
This gin comes to us from a small distillery in Yarra Valley, Australia. The name, Four Pillars, comes from the distilleries four foundational principles or focuses: the still (named Wilma), the waters, the botanicals and the final ingredient — love. That love shows in the very making of the gin; the water used in distilling — which is brought in from the surrounding Yarra Valley – is triple distilled. Many of the ingredients used are sourced locally, such as the Tasmanian pepper berry and local lemon myrtle. This gin starts with a really clean citrus and mint nose, then quickly swoops into a warm, cinnamon palate. To finish, there is a nice and dry wrap, with a strong flavor or licorice and lemon zest. This gin can sometimes be found at the higher end of the purchasing scale, usually topping out at around $40.
4. Principe De Los Apostoles Mate Gin, Argentina
Principe De Los Apostoles Mate Gin might be one of the most interesting gins on our list, and shows its class by coming in at a well-earned number 4 on our list. Hailed as Latin America’s “first premium gin”, this spirit is picking up momentum in liquor stores and off licenses around the globe. Produced in Mendoza, Argentina, this gin has a complex flavor, which can be experienced through its truly unique ingredients list. Among these ingredients can be found peppermint, eucalyptus, yerba mate, and pink grapefruit skin. This gives the gin a truly satisfying taste from start to finish, and embodies that flavor of the Latin country it is produced in.
3. The Botanist Islay Dry Gin, Scotland
Okay, okay. We know. We’ve already shown Scotland on this list, but the gin there is so good, we just had to feature this country twice. This time, the land of William Wallace comes in with one of the finest gins out there at the moment, The Botanist, created by the fine people at the Bruichladdich Distillery. Featuring 31 botanicals, nearly all of which are sourced locally in and around Argyll, this gin has a taste that is fresh and refreshing, while not being too overwhelming. This one is practically bursting with strong floral and citrus notes, with a nice, long finish that oozes with spice. Critics across the globe hail The Botanist Islay Dry Gin as one of the finest gins currently on the market, and it’s hard to disagree.
2. Gin Mare, Spain
This gin hails from the land of sun and romance. That’s right, Spain! This gin is another crowd favorite, and coming in at number 2 on our list, it’s hard to argue. This gin is one that is sure to please gin enthusiasts of all tastes and experience. It starts with an enticing nose of berries and perfume-like florals. The first drink will immediately tell you this is not your grandpa’s gin, as your tongue is suddenly set alight with a tart juniper, coriander and lemon zest palate. To finish, this gin spices it up with a nice spicy, zesty roundup. This is another gin that goes fantastic with martinis, and with a price tag of about $35, it won’t break the bank either.
1. Nolet’s Reserve Dry Gin, The Netherlands
Topping our list at number one, Nolet’s Reserve Dry Gin is the most exclusive, and expensive, gin currently on the market. With a whopping price tag of $680, this is not a gin that you will find on every shelf, but it is commonly accepted as the best gin in the world. This gin features an array of botanicals, each one of which is distilled separately. The ingredients are combined by hand, and upon completion, the concoction is then tested by Carolus Nolet, Sr. himself, to ensure the finest quality and taste. This gin also includes the truly unique ingredient, saffron, which gives it a beautiful, rich amber color. If you’re looking for a gin to break the bank with, Nolet’s Reserve Dry Gin is the gin for you.