If you're searching for the perfect gin to give as a Christmas gift, Joel and Neil from World's Best Spirits have rounded up their favourite craft, flavoured and indie gins.
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Best... bottle design
A gin that looks as great as it tastes – the aqua blue of the Silent Pool bottle is mesmerising to look at. A delicious mix of chamomile, lavender and honey flavours, it's made on the Albury Estate in the Surrey Hills so it's a real product of its location. Popping a bottle of this under someone's Christmas tree will definitely earn you brownie points this year.
Best... flavoured gin
Tappers Hydropathic Pudding
Some gin drinkers prefer a flavoured variation of gin, which adds a certain sweetness to the overall drink. This particular bottle is classed as a ‘fruit cup’. That’s a gin-based drink flavoured with herbs, spices and fruits – the gin version of Pimms, essentially, made in small batches in West Kirby. It's perfect when lengthened with lemonade and should be served cool in the summer, or warm in the winter.
Available from Tappers Gin (£33).
Best... innovative gin
Curio Rock Samphire Gin
Run by husband-and-wife team William and Rubina Tyler-Street on the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall, this is a craft gin that explores the local terroir of the area. Rock samphire is used to give a fragrant balance of botanicals to the gin and brings a slight waft of coastal sea spray through into the taste. It's refreshingly different and will make a great present for the adventurous gin drinker in your life.
Best... budget gin
Beefeater London Dry
Nothing beats a classic and Beefeater is arguably the grandfather of gins. Crafted in central London, the distilling process still utilises copper pot stills to this day and from the distillery’s home in Kennington, you can see directly into the Oval cricket ground. With juniper at its heart and balanced with botanicals, drink your Beefeater simply mixed with tonic and ice. It never goes wrong as a decent bottle to hand over at Christmas and is widely available in supermarkets if you need something last-minute.
Best... blow-out gin
Ki No Bi
If you can't push the boat out at Christmas, when can you? The first dedicated craft gin distillery in Japan, Ki No Bi creates a bold yet classically styled gin with luscious herbaceous juniper, but also distinctive notes of Japanese yuzu, hinoki and sansho pepper. Perhaps worth purchasing for someone tired of British gins (if that's even possible). Kampai/cheers!
Best... for a classic G&T
No.3 London Dry Gin
Produced by Berry Bros & Rudd (the oldest wine and spirits merchant in the UK, by the way) this gin takes some beating. Expect to find citrus, cardamom and lashings of all-important juniper. No.3 subscribes to the ‘if it ain’t broke, don't fix it’ mentality and is all the better for it. Outstanding, simple and a crowd-pleaser.
Best... present for mum
Star of Bombay London dry gin
With its distinctive blue bottle, Star of Bombay is produced in the beautiful surroundings of the Bombay Sapphire distillery at Laverstoke Mill. Star Of Bombay is a punchy gin and is big on juniper, coriander and bergamot, bringing added intensity to your G&T. Do pay a visit to the distillery if you get the chance – its glasshouse is a thing of unadulterated beauty.
Best... present for dad
In a world where most craft gins seem to stuff tens of botanicals into their recipes, this wonderful brand from America stands out for its simplicity. Death’s Door uses just three botanicals: juniper, coriander and fennel. The result is an earthy gin sure to impress for its outstanding balance.
Best... for Secret Santa
Drinks By The Dram gin tasting set
Why try one gin, when you can try a flight of them? Drinks By The Dram specialise in small sample and tasting packs with a variety of different gins. Perfect as a small gift and easy for Santa to get down the chimney.
Available from Master of Malt (prices start from £19.95).
Best... for an impressive gift
Four Pillars, Rare Dry
An Aussie gin built on the four pillars of a copper still, water from the Yarra Valley, local botanicals and a whole lotta love! Beautifully balanced, full-bodied and full of Aussie personality. Bring a ray of sunshine from the southern hemisphere to the chilly UK this Christmas.
Best... for new gin drinkers
Abelforth's Bathtub Gin
Know a new gin drinker slightly baffled at where to start when it comes to experimenting with different types? One of the new wave of gins to hit shelves in the past few years, Bathtub gin is ‘compounded’, by adding the botanicals into a neutral spirit and steeping them till the flavour develops. The result is a gin that is delicate yet balanced and perfect for the beginner.
Best... for trendsetters
FEW barrel-aged gin
An aged gin? FEW is an independent outfit from Chicago where the distillers make their own spirit from scratch (a fairly rare occurrence). It is then re-distilled with juniper, lemon peel, cassia bark and angelica before being enhanced by resting it in an oak cask which adds a vanilla complexity and a golden colour.
Available from The Whisky Exchange (£44.45)
Best... for a martini
The martini is having a moment once again. The question is: how do you like yours? If you enjoy it with an olive rather than citrus zest, then Gin Mare is the one for you. Rich and smooth, this Spanish gin has a distinct savoury backbone.
Best... for a chef
When it comes to flavour, chefs know more than most. Hepple is distilled in the north-east and is the brainchild of well-known chef and uber-forager, Valentine Warner – and it shows. This is a gin made with passion and flavour at the very heart of it and can be enjoyed simply over ice.
Best... for collectors
Martini Riserva Speciale Ambrato
Vermouth is to gin what McCartney was to Lennon – together, in a martini for example, they make a great pair. However as individuals, they're also star performers. For anyone you know who is building a decent collection of different gins, try giving them a bottle of Martini’s latest. It's spicy yet delicate, with blossoming elderflower notes.
Best... non-alcoholic alternative to gin
If you know someone teetotal, simply having a break from booze, or being the designated driver for an evening, then Seedlip is the perfect go-to drink. Seedlip Garden 108 is a gin-like alcohol-free distilled spirit that pairs brilliantly with tonic.
For all of the products mentioned in this review, various retailers have been suggested by our affiliate partner Monetizer 101 and are not suggested or chosen by BBC Good Food. For more information on how these retailers are selected and the nature of our partnership, please read the Monetizer101 FAQ page.
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This review was last updated in November 2017. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.