Originally used as a medicine throughout the 14th and 15th century, the juniper-based drink that we’ve come to love and know as Gin has a long medicinal history.
Over 600 years ago Europe suffered one of the worst plagues in the history of really bad plagues; The Black Death. Through a constant struggle to try and save the population, a wide range of elixirs were created as ‘cures’. These ‘cures’ made use of juniper berries, and after not working very well, Europe decided it was a bit better for drinking instead. Fast forward a couple hundred years to the 19th century and Gin arrives in London.
London Dry Gin is considered one of the very first gins to make it to the mass market in Britain. And when we say mass market we really mean the upper echelons of society. With the British empire quickly growing, the gin industry did too.
So with the history of British gins now firmly in your mind, it’s time to discover the very best British gins on the market. With such a rich history and a growing resurgence of craft gins, it becomes particularly difficult to find the right one for you.
You can probably guess as to why Tanqueray London Dry Gin comes first on our list. Distilled in 1830 by Charles Tanqueray in London, this British gin is Citrussy and full-bodied. Throughout almost 200 hundreds years, the recipe hasn’t significantly changed and it’s long-standing heritage can be proven in the distillery expertise of this famous gin.
Bloom Gin is the perfect gin for those not all too keen on gin. Due to its light floral and earthy aroma, Bloom Gin is an easier gin to swallow. The flavour of the juniper berries take a back step to make room for honeysuckle, pomelo and chamomile of which provide a sweet flavour that isn’t too sharp on the lips.
Originating in the small island of Islay in Scotland, The Botanist Gin has become a popular choice for gin-lovers looking for a more premium and smooth aroma. Nine classic gin botanicals are augmented by 22 local herbs and flowers, foraged responsibly and by hand from the hills, shores and bogs of the fertile Hebridean island of Islay by a team of botanical scientists.
Created by gin enthusiasts, Karl & Cathy Mason launched the gin brand on International Gin Day in 2013. Despite not having profound knowledge of distilling gin, the couple have made a tasteful and bold gin with notes of liquorice and fennel, with a hint of parma violet.
Opihr gin, despite containing numerous exotic spices outside of Britain, is distilled in Britain’s oldest distillery. Named after a biblical region famous for wealth, Opihr gin is distilled in G&J Greenall, a distiller dating back all the way to 1761. Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin makes use of Cubeb berries from Indonesia, Black Pepper from India and Coriander from Morocco. Easily ranked as one of the most exotic British gins.
Born in a small town along the Suffolk coast, Fishers Gin takes once-forgotten English botanicals to create a premium British gin which is influenced by the wild open sea. The gin was created by botanist James Firth, who after studying Botany at Oxford University, dedicated his life to creating a truly English gin. Fishers Gin has been crafted from distilled barley, sourced entirely from East Anglian farmers. Mixed with Spignel, Rock Samphire, Wood Aven & Bog Myrtle, Fishers Gin offers a unique and natural drinking experience.
Fancy something a little peculiar? Distilled in Scotland, Hendrick’s Gin is crafted from an infusion of Bulgarian Rosa Damascena and specially selected cucumbers. Hendrick’s gin is for the unusual suspects.
“Hendrick’s wondrous botanical signature consists of flowers, roots, fruits, and seeds from the world over. They function to complement and set the stage for our delicious duet of infusions: rose petal and cucumber.”
Despite small in production, this Little Bird packs a punch. Fresh juniper and seductive pink-grapefruit provides for this London Dry Gin’s tangy flavour. Developed from a friendly round of taste tests, each bottle contains a pleasant surprise. With the pin-up Miss Ginger girl mascot on the front, it’ll be hard not to find one in your next venture out in London.
Look over the Surrey hills and you might just find a pool full of Gin..well it’s not really full of gin. Originating in the county, Silent Pool Gin is full bodied at heart and a crispy clean gin worth trying. Produced using 24 botanicals and the cool, clear spring-water from the Silent Pool in Guildford. The gin includes floral notes of lavender and fresh lime for a sharp taste.
Fancy some raspberries? We know the list has been missing a bit of pink: Pinkster British Gin is distilled in the same place as Opihr, but what sets it apart is the use of raspberries. With hints of fresh, nectar-filled raspberries the Pinkster British Gin is exceptionally smooth and juicy. Perfect for a fancy cocktail.
The south and Scotland have had their fair share of truly British Gin, but great gin can come from northern England too and that’s thanks to Manchester-born Thomas Dakin Gin. Featuring zesty notes of sweet orange and spicy horseradish makes for a warm but sweet dry gin.
Using the finest of botanicals, Tiger Gin is a delicately smooth and enjoyably sweet gin from Shropshire. Hand crafted by artisan master distillers, the gin is made using traditional methods in a copperpot (no we aren’t referring to the credit union) with the best quality grain alcohol and pure English water.
Using a special flame-fired copper pot still in north Cornwall, the team at Tarquin make luxuriously modern gin in bottles worth framing. Distilled with 12 hand-selected botanicals including fresh citrus peel and hand picked violet, you can find up to 6 varieties of Tarquin’s. If the stunning bottle designs haven’t already surprised you, the various flavours will.
Originally distilled in the late 1920s, Trevethan is another Cornish gin that is pleasantly full of surprises. Taking recipes from a socially booming London back in the day, Norman Trevethan utilized the roaring twenties to create this luxurious elixir. With tradition at heart, Trevethan Gin has earned a place on our list of British gins.
Despite only being newly founded in 2013, Two Birds Spirits is an award winning gin brand from Leicestershire that produces small batches of gin by hand, and checked by hand. If the London Dry Gin doesn’t take your fancy then the salted caramel vodka just might.
We’ve added a HoneyBee gin to our list for the simple fact that it tastes undeniably delicious. Warner Edwards create unique and whacky gins that come in luxurious flavours. From Victoria’s Rhubarb Gin to Harrington Elderflower, there’s a flavour for even the pickiest gin lover.
Blue Bottle Dry Gin contains a heady mix of botanicals, juniper, nutmeg and cubeb pepper for an intense flavour. Each batch is meticulously crafted in the copper still at the Three Fingers Distillery on Guernsey. Packaged up and shipped across to the main island for our enjoyment.