Top 6 Gins: Our Picks for When You're Povo VS. Burning Your Rent On a Bottle

 
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Don’t recognise the difference between Orris and Angelica root?

How about cardamom and coriander?

Fear not because our new guide’s just freshly dropped to help you avoid committing sin when it comes to choosing the right gin.

Unfortunately an awful night on the Mother's Milk as a teenager is no longer a valid excuse for Australian drinkers and here's why...

 

Gin’s definitely come a long way since its British origins and the London Drys of yesterday. Today, gin is the largest growing alcohol in Australia with over 40 distilleries opening up around the country in recent years. These craft distillers are taking advantage of our surroundings here in Aus, showcasing our fantastically unique indigenous botanicals and creating some very unique Aussie gins. It's also National Gin and Tonic Day this week so if you aren’t already a professional G&T connoisseur, then it’s about time you hopped on the bandwagon don’t you think?


To help you get started, we’ve selected six fantastic gins that we recommend from the cheaper great value labels that won't make you sick to the silky smooth stuff you'll have to reach a bit higher on the shelf for that will burn a hole in your wallet but not your mouth.

Our Spirit of the Month

Hendrick's Gin 700ml, 41.4% ABV ($$)

Hendrick's Gin was born in 1999 in the tiny seaside village of Girvan, Scotland and is the brainchild of a fifth generation of family distillers who rapidly establishing Hendrick's as a serious player in international gin sales over the past 18 years. The origins and inspiration for Hendrick's was first discovered when master distiller Charles Gordon enlisted the help of Lesley Grace, firing up two very unusual stills in collaboration to produce a rather odd symphony of botanicals consisting of a number of flowers, roots, fruits, and seeds from across the world.

These botanicals compliment and further enliven Hendrick’s curious infusions of cucumber and rose petal which aims to recreate the feel of a classic British scene of enjoying cucumber sandwiches in the garden for tea with Grandma but with a bit more fowl language and dancing involved.

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Botanicals:

11 botanicals and infused with rose and cucumber

  • Yarrow              • Cubeb Berry
  • Juniper             • Orris Root
  • Elderflower    • Lemon
  • Orange Peel      • Chamomile
  • Angelica Root  • Coriander
  • Caraway

Our Homegrown Pick

The West Winds Gin's The Cutlass and The Sabre are perfect examples of this Australian in-gin-uity. A small local craft distillery out of Margaret River, TWW Gin was envisioned by four adventurous Aussies who wanted to create a world-class gin which utilised some unique local Australian flora as botanical infusions. 

The Cutlass and The Sabre gins were both submitted to the 2011 San Francisco International Spirits Competition, taking Double Gold and Gold awards respectively which is a first for any Aussie gin producer.  Both gins have gone on to reap other global awards including a second Double Gold for The Cutlass after a second entry in the San Francisco Competition again in 2013.

The West Winds Gins: The Sabre 700ml, 40% ABV ($)

The Sabre is one of two choice Aussie gin recipes by WW Gins and at it's price represents incredible value. Described as the unashamedly classic expression of an Aussie traditional gin that mixes the old world with the new, The Sabre uses quintessential native Australian flora including lemon myrtle and wattle seed as two of its 12 infused botanicals and spices.

We didn't find any Vegemite infusion this time but this local gin is led with an undercurrent of citrus helped along by the lemon myrtle that we reckon, works a treat. The addition of wattle seed adds depth and a creamy texture. Perfect for Aussie style Negroni or a gin and tonic with a hefty serving of lemon as a garnish.

Wattle seed pods

Wattle seed pods

Botanicals:
12 spices and botanicals including;

  • Juniper
  • Lemon myrtle
  • Lime peel
  • Wattle seed

 


 

The West Winds Gins: The Cutlass 700ml, 50% ABV ($$$)

If you’re looking for something a bit fancier that’s still homegrown, look no further than Australia’s most awarded and a West Wind’s premium gin recipe – The Cutlass. Hand-crafted in smaller batches to ensure the perfect infusion of indigenous botanicals and cut with triple distilled Margaret River rainwater, the Cutlass gin also has a bolstered ABV of 50% and carries delicious Aussie aromas.

The introduction of Australian bush tomato pairs up with an increase in coriander seed to produce a headstrong but beautifully aromatic and very drinkable gin. For the seasoned gin drinker - serve with lots of ice, a splash of premium tonic and a sliver of green capsicum.

Dried Australian bush tomatoes

Dried Australian bush tomatoes

Botanicals:
13 spices and botanicals including;

  • Juniper
  • Lemon myrtle
  • Cinnamon myrtle
  • Lime peel
  • Wattle seed
  • Australian bush tomato

 


Our Brit Picks

Bulldog: London Dry Gin 700ml, 40% ABV ($)

Bulldog is an incredibly independent spirit born from an incredibly independent spirit...did we say that right? This is far from the stuff in your Grandmother's G&T with Bulldog having reinvented the London Dry Gin to be a balanced style with a stronger citrus base.

The 12 botanicals used in Bulldog are infused in the last of four separate distillations balancing their exotics flavours just right with loads of floral notes from Bulldog's unique botanicals which make this gin perfect for spring. The result is an great valued, ultra-smooth and fresh tasting gin with depth and subtlety that is pliable and versatile for maximum mixability.

Lavender sprigg

Lavender sprigg

Botanicals:

  • Angelica
  • Juniper
  • Lemon peel
  • Coriander
  • Orris
  • Almond
  • Liquorice
  • Cassia
  • White Poppy
  • Lavender
  • Dragon Eye
  • Lotus Leaf

Beefeater Gin 24 700ml, 45% ABV ($$$)

We couldn't flex with a gin guide without offering some quality British labels from the gin's motherland. Beefeater 24 is a clever, sophisticated amalgamation of exotic eastern teas and fine classic gin botanicals. This East-meets-West gin came about after Beefeater’s Master Distiller Desmond Payne visited Japan during a period where quinine was banned from tonics and sweeter mixers were used instead. Payne discovered how excellently teas worked as a botanical in gin when chilled green tea was used as a substitute for sweeter mixers in his G&T.

The result is a unique gin blend with 12 hand-selected botanicals and including Japanese Sencha and Chinese Green Teas which distinguish Beefeater 24 from other gins. Now we’re not exactly recommending using a Lipton’s Green Iced Tea as a mixer for this gin but let it be known that the flavours work! Unique tea and citrusy aromas. Smooth and effortlessly mixable in modern and classic cocktails.

Chinese Green tea

Chinese Green tea

Botanicals:

  • Juniper
  • Japanese Sencha
  • Chinese green teas
  • Grapefruit peel
  • Lemon peel
  • Almond
  • Orange peel
  • Coriander seed
  • Orris root
  • Liquorice root
  • Angelica root
  • Angelica seed

 


Our International Pick

Bombay Sapphire - Star of Bombay 700ml, 47.5% ABV ($$$)

Named after the famous Indian sapphire on display at the Smithsonian, Star of Bombay is a much bolder and far more luxe expression of Bombay Sapphire’s signature gin style, adding an additional two botanicals onto the classic ten which are infused into Bombay’s gin. Bombay Sapphire take a lot of pride in only sourcing the finest of botanicals and other ingredients from all corners of the globe to produce the best possible quality gin. Their botanicals are gathered after nurturing ongoing, personal relationships with each of their international growers to maintain the highest quality ingredients. 

We can really taste the unique world flavours found in a glass of Bombay. The inclusion of Ecuadorian Ambrette seeds and gently dried bergamot orange peel hand-picked from Calabria add a rich new dimension to Bombay’s original recipe and with the botanicals distilled for far longer to ensure deeper flavours. In our opinion, there’s nothing better to make a classic and very dirty martini with…

Dried Cubeb berries

Dried Cubeb berries

Botanicals:

  • Juniper berries
  • Grains of Paradise
  • Coriander seeds
  • Cassia bark
  • Orris root
  • Liquorice
  • Lemon peel
  • Cubeb berries
  • Angelica root
  • Almonds
  • Orange peel
  • Ambrette seeds