Gin cocktails

The Best Gin Brands To Drink in 2022

Food & Drink /


From long-standing distilleries to artisan newbies, these are the gins you need on your radar

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Gin is in – and it’s going nowhere. It’s predicted that annual UK sales of gin will rise to 10 million in 2023, helped by an influx in both small-batch, craft producers and flavoured gins, which have soared in popularity in recent years. But with so much choice, it can be hard to know which bottle to go for. So, we’ve rounded up the best gin brands to drink in 2022 – whether you’re a hardcore straight sipper, have a penchant for the pink variety or simply love a jazzed up G&T, there’s something for everyone.

The Best Gin Brands To Drink in 2022

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A bottle of Nicholson Blood Orange Gin lying on grass

Nicholson Gin

Nicholson Gin is one of the great spirit brands. It created the first London Dry Gin in 1736 and at its height, the company had a global reach, importing and exporting spirits to 130 countries, with its own brewery and a chain of 80 pubs. The company was sold in the mid-1980s but in 2015 two descendants of the original family, Tim Walker and Nick Browne, bought it back and by 2017 Nicholson Gin was in production once more with its original London Dry. The last twist in this classic tale came in August 2021 with the acquisition of the Nicholson brand by Alex Johns, the new CEO, and Steve Goldman, the new COO, and a group of investors keen to make it a truly great British brand again. Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, Nicholson Gin is now listed in several top British hotels, including The Goring and The Marylebone Hotel, as well as premium retailers such as Fortnum & Mason. Top of the focus list for 2022 is a new range of environmentally friendly packaging, a line of ready to drink beverages (RTDs) which will launch in the summer, as well as a carbon offset programme. nicholsongin.com

NO3 GIN FEB 2021 @lateef.photography-17

No. 3 Gin

Take London’s oldest wine and spirit merchant, add a team of spirit specialists and give them two years to create the perfect balance of juniper berries, zingy citrus peel and warming spices. And what do you get? Why, you get No 3 Gin, which, as producers Berry Bros & Rudd say, is ‘the world’s best gin’. And the world agrees. No 3 Gin has been awarded World’s Best Gin four times since its launch more than a decade ago, including last year when it won World’s Best Gin for Pairing with Tonic at the People’s Choice Awards. This was certainly a deserved win: the flavour palate is perfect for cocktail making, whether that’s a classic G&T, a crisp martini or a distinctive negroni. no3gin.com

Manchester Gin

Manchester Gin

Spot the Manchester worker bee adorning the bottles of this Northern brand. A company that began only in 2016 from the living room – literally, its founders were inspired by a G&T to produce the first batches right from their front rooms – Manchester Gin is now one of the most award-winning gins in the UK. Distilled under the arches of the city’s former train station, every G&T bottle produced by this brand truly embodies Mancunian spirit. manchestergin.co.uk

Caorunn Blood Orange Gin

Caorunn

The Speyside region of the Scottish Highlands is renowned for its whisky – but it also produces some excellent gin. It’s here that Caorunn gin is created, in the Balmenach Distillery. Caorunn (pronounced ‘ka-roon) is from the Gaelic word for ‘rowan berry’ – one of the five unique Celtic botanicals that sits at the heart of this gin. It’s hand-foraged from Scotland’s natural pantry along with four other botanicals, which are then paired with six traditional gin botanicals to create the special Caorunn recipe. It’s distilled in the world’s only working Copper Berry Chamber too, in a unique process which allows maximum flavour to be extracted from the botanicals. Our top pick is the Blood Orange bottle, a citrusy, refreshing gin enhanced with blood orange and chilli. caorunngin.com

Tanqueray No. TEN

Tanqueray

In 1830, Charles Tanqueray began a journey to create unmistakable gin influenced by flavours from right across the globe. Three hundred recipes later he landed on the perfect blend of four botanicals, which remains the unchanged recipe of Tanqueray London Dry Gin, its name reflecting both its distillation process and its origin in Bloomsbury, London. Today, Charles Tanqueray’s pioneering spirit lives on through the brand’s range of award-winning gins, and Tanqueray No. TEN adds an ultra-premium offer to his legacy. Tanqueray No. TEN is distilled in small batches using a unique copper still called a Tiny Ten, which holds just 500 litres. During the process, whole grapefruits, oranges, limes and chamomile flowers are distilled alongside the finest hand-selected botanicals to give a flavour that is unmistakably fresh, light and refined. Only the highest quality distillate is used, giving the gin a smooth finish. The result is an explosion of fresh citrus with every sip – hence why it’s a firm favourite with bartenders and mixologists at the world’s top bars, restaurants and hotels. tanqueray.com

Mermaid Gin

Mermaid Gin

Not only is this one of the prettiest gin bottles around, it’s also certified net zero and completely plastic-free. Made by the Isle of Wight’s sole distillery, Mermaid Gin is designed to live in harmony with the natural world – just like its namesake. Its bottles are fully recyclable – though part of the reason founders Xavier Baker and Conrad Gauntlett created such a beautiful bottle was to encourage people to repurpose it. The brand also gets involved with a number of environmental projects, including a recent collaboration with The Ocean Foundation, a company working to protect the Jobos Bay Reserve through its SeaGrass Grow project. isleofwightdistillery.com

Warner's Gin

Warner’s Gin

Husband and wife team Tom and Tina Warner founded their gin distillery in 2012 on Falls Farm, which still operates as a working livestock farm. Championing the farm-to-table method, Warner’s gin is made using water from the farm’s own spring, botanicals from its gardens and fresh honey from its beehives. Waste ingredients such as discarded citrus peel, meanwhile, are rescued and used in recipes. Not only this, but the company has planted over five acres of wildflower meadow in the local area to create conservation areas and habitats for pollinators. Alongside the classic London Dry Gin, there are a wide collection of flavoured bottles such as Sloe Gin, Honeybee Gin and Elderflower Gin. warnersdistillery.com

Hendrick's Gin

Hendrick’s Gin

The world-renowned Hendrick’s Gin launched in southwestern Scotland in 1999, though its origins dates back many years, being the brainchild of fifth generation distillers William Grant & Sons. In 1966, Charles Gordon – the great-grandson of William Grant – went to an auction and acquired an 1860 Bennet Still and a 1943 rare Carter-Head still. Yet it would be another 33 years before he worked out what he wanted to do with them. In 1989, he enlisted expert distiller Lesley Gracie to invent an elixir which used both stills, which came to fruition ten years later using a production process unique to Hendrick’s. Its gin has been distilled the same way ever since at the Hendrick’s Gin Palace in the seaside village of Girvan, with just 500 litres crafted at a time. The taste is smooth, with infusions of rose and cucumber creating a floral aroma. hendricksgin.com

Roku gin

Roku

The House of Suntory’s Japanese gin, Roku, translates as the number six, as this is how many special botanicals you’ll find inside each bottle. These are designed to provide a whistle-stop tour of the four seasons, including Sakura leaf for spring, sencha tea for summer, sansho pepper for autumn and yuzu peel for winter, giving the gin a light and almost fruity flavour. It’s the first gin released by Suntory – one of the oldest distilleries in Japan, which operates from a base in Osaka and is known for its high-quality spirits. rokugin.suntory.com

Food & Drink Gift Guide - Salcombe Gin 'Seamist' Gin & Liquid Garnish Gift Set

Salcombe Gin

Based in the sunny seaside town of Salcombe in Devon, this is one of the world’s only distilleries directly accessible by boat. Its co-founders, Angus and Howard, have a nautical background too, having met while working as sailing instructors in the local area. Some years later, they reconnected over their common love of gin, and went on to launch Salcombe Distilling Co., opening a distillery on Island Street called The Boathouse. Gins on offer include the multi-award winning Start Point, a classic citrus-led London dry; and Rosé Sainte Marie, a pink gin inspired by the aromas of the South of France. salcombegin.com

The Botanist Gin

The Botanist Gin

Located on the southwestern tip of the Hebridean island of Islay, the Bruichladdich Distillery dates back to 1881, but the Botanist Gin wasn’t added to its collection until 2010. It’s made using a whopping 31 botanicals, 22 of which are hand-foraged from the island by expert forager James Donaldson, creating a distinct floral flavour with a hint of citrus. The Botanist also has stellar environmental credits, being the only whisky and gin distilling company in Europe to become a certified B Corp. thebotanist.com

Gin Experiences

Sipsmith

Another player in the modern day ‘ginaissance’ is Sipsmith, which is distilled from English wheat spirit in London. In 2007, childhood friends Sam Galsworthy and Fairfax Hall joined forces with drinks aficionado Jared Brown to create the world’s best London Dry Gin. The final recipe was perfected two years later, and so Sipsmith was born – the name inspired by the ‘smithery you can savour with every sip’. Its classic London Dry Gin is, as the name suggests, particularly dry, with a zesty, citrus finish – ideal for a martini or G&T. Those who enjoy a sweeter taste, meanwhile, will like the Lemon Drizzle Gin, which has hints of lemon peel and lemon verbena. sipsmith.com

Bombay Sapphire

Bombay Sapphire

Bombay Sapphire’s tantalising, complex taste is based on a 1761 recipe that combines ten botanicals, from Moroccan cubeb berries to West African Gains of Paradise. Though gloriously exotic, every drop of Bombay Sapphire gin is made in the brand’s home distillery at Laverstoke Mill in Hampshire. While ordinary gins boil their botanicals directly in the spirit, Bombay Sapphire uses the Vapour Infusion process via its refurbished 1830s Carterhead stills, Tom and Mary, alongside Henry and Victoria, two state-of-the-art 12,000 litre copper pot stills. You can see it for yourself on a distillery tour, or have a go at whizzing up your own cocktails at one of its interactive workshops. bombaysapphire.com

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