The history of gin is often tied to British culture — a“gin craze”took over London in the 18th century, while English soldiers in India were known to drink gin and tonics to protect themselves against malaria.
But today the juniper-infused liquor is loved by all kinds of people the world over, from British bar patrons to American rap stars (think Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice”).
The masterminds at FindTheBest have made a list of the best bottles of gin you can buy for less than $US30.
Some of the labels are traditional London dry gins, distilled with the classic juniper flavours that have been used for centuries. Others are more modern, making use of a variety of other botanicals and fruits.
To rank the bottles, FindTheBest used weighted scores from the Beverage Testing Institute, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, the International Wine and Spirit Competition, and performance reviews from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition for every year since 2000.
10. New Amsterdam Gin ($14)
This is a modern gin flavored with citrus peel and juniper. According to the Beverage Tasting Institute, it’s “a fruity, very approachable gin to drink neat or on the rocks.”
9. Ethereal Gin ($30)
Ethereal is a limited-edition gin from Berkshire Mountain Distillers, and the exact recipe and label change with each batch.
8. Blue Ribbon London Dry Gin ($29)
Blue Ribbon is a traditional London Dry gin with flavours of coriander seed, juniper, pepper, and thyme.
7. Bellringer London Dry Gin ($17)
This well-balanced, traditional gin was a double gold medalist at the 2010 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
6. Hayman’s London Dry Gin ($27)
Juniper, coriander, lemon and orange peel are steeped for a full day before the distillation of this classic dry gin.
5. Brandon’s Gin ($30)
The distillers of this modern gin use a unique vapor infusion process that keeps the juniper flavour from overpowering the other botanicals.
4. Voyager Single-Batch Distilled Gin ($30)
This is a London Dry-style gin predominantly flavored with juniper and hints of orris root, citrus, angelica, cardamom, and cassia.
3. Monopolowa Vienna Dry Gin ($16)
According to the Beverage Tasting Institute, this Austrian-distilled traditional gin has “delicate aromas of pepper jelly, floral bath talc, pine sap, and lemon curd.”
2. Van Gogh Gin ($25)
This London Dry gin incorporates ingredients from all over the world, including cassia bark from India, coriander and licorice from the Middle East, and juniper berries from the Netherlands.
1. Tanqueray No. 10 ($30)
Tanqueray No.10’s distinctly fruity flavour earned it a rating of 100 out of a possible 100 from FindTheBest. According to the distillers, it’s “the only gin distilled with handpicked fresh fruit and botanicals, including white grapefruits, oranges and limes.”
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