Gin is becoming more and more popular in bars, pubs and restaurants. Whether you like a classic gin and tonic or you enjoy a fancy gin cocktail, there are lots of amazing gins to choose from.
One of the best types of gin is London Dry Gin. London dry gin is not a term used to describe gin that is produced in London. It is actually used to describe any kind of dry gin that is made predominantly with juniper berries (also called juniper-forward gin).
London Dry Gin is versatile as it works well with tonic and various mixers, but it is also perfect for gin based cocktails. There are plenty of different types of London Dry Gin, also called American Dry gin. But which ones are the best?
We have put together this list of 10 of the best London Dry Gins that you should try. Keep reading to find out more.
What Is Gin
Before we delve into the best types of gin, we first need to understand what gin is actually made of.
The base of gin is a neutral grain alcohol. This base is distilled with juniper berries and various other plant materials to create a spirit that is usually very fragrant.
To create different flavors in the gin you can use other types of fruit and berries like sloe berries, and you can introduce flowers and spices.
Gin is traditionally served with tonic. You can get lots of different types of tonic with various flavors. You can also mix gin with lemonade or other soft drinks. The mixer that works best will depend on the flavor profile of the gin.
Gin can also be used to make some wonderful cocktails like a negroni, a gin martini, or a gin fizz. There is no end to the possibilities when it comes to gin cocktails - it is a surprisingly versatile drink that can be paired with lots of different ingredients.
The Best London Dry Gins
Now that you know more about gin, it is time to have a look at the 10 best London Dry Gins.
OUR TOP PICK
Bombay Sapphire is a very well known brand of dry gin. Most gin drinkers will instantly recognize it on the shelf behind the bar as it has a distinctive blue bottle. It is a classic gin that is made in the United Kingdom.
The main flavor notes in this gin are citrus fruits and juniper berries. You might also be able to pick up hints of almond, coriander/cilantro, pepper and licorice.
Bombay Sapphire is a brilliant option for people who are new to gin. It has a well rounded flavor that is complex yet carefully balanced. It is sweet and bright and distinctly aromatic, with an alcohol percentage of 47%. It works perfectly in a martini.
Bluecoat is an American Dry Gin that is made in Philadelphia. It has a percentage of 47% and is more modern than classic in style.
The juniper flavor comes through, but not quite as powerfully as the bitter orange which is contrasted with the herby coriander/cilantro. A touch of cardamom spice adds some nice heat to the gin, and it has an overall woody aroma with an earthy taste.
This gin goes well with tonic or juice, but it is also the perfect ingredient for a gin cocktail like a Vesper, or a Jam & Gin/Breakfast Martini.
Tanqueray is another dry gin that is made in the United Kingdom. It has a chunky green bottle that is also very recognizable to gin drinkers.
The alcohol percentage is 47.3%. It has a strong juniper flavor, but there is very little citrus. Instead, you will notice punchy spices and some heat.
Notes of licorice and coriander/cilantro will come through strongly along with some cinnamon. The juniper also comes through strongly on the nose, and the gin has a warm finish on the palate.
The flavor of this particular dry gin is a bit powerful for some of the classic gin cocktails. However, it is an ideal choice for a gin and tonic.
Beefeater London is a classic London Dry Gin in every sense of the word, as it is made in the Beefeater distillery in London, United Kingdom. It has an alcohol content of 44% and is one of the most affordable gins on the list.
The flavors are well balanced, with plenty of juniper, a touch of spice, moderate citrus notes and some medium heat. The taste of pepper and almonds comes through, along with lemon and orange.
One of the things that you will notice about Beefeater London gin is the mouth feel - it has more body than a lot of other gins.
It is very versatile, working perfectly in both a gin and tonic and in gin cocktails such as a martini. It has a lovely aroma of juniper, bitter orange and a hint of licorice.
This gin is made in the Benromach distillery in Scotland. It comes in a lovely red bottle and has an alcohol percentage of 45%.
The citrus flavors of lemon and orange come through very strongly with this gin, along with juniper, heather, and coriander/cilantro. On the nose, you will notice bitter orange and piney juniper.
This gin has a long finish on the palate, with an almost floral yet earthy aftertaste. It tastes great mixed with soda, but is also the ideal candidate for a negroni cocktail or a martini.
Sipsmith is known for making a range of unusual flavors of gin, but we are concentrating on their classic London Dry Gin. It is made in the United Kingdom and has an alcohol percentage of 41.6%.
It is a great gin for beginners as it has a full-bodied but well rounded flavor. Tangy lemon, sweet honey and juniper are the main flavor notes. These are balanced with a little bit of cinnamon spice, nutty almond, licorice and coriander/cilantro.
One of the best features of this gin is the aroma - orange blossom, citrus fruits and sweet honey all come through on the nose as well as the classic scent of juniper.
This gin works well in all sorts of different cocktails from a Tom Collins to a classic dry Martini. You can pair it with different juices and mixers and it always tastes fantastic.
This classic gin is made in Liverpool, United Kingdom. It has an alcohol percentage of 43%. It has a moderate flavor palate that is nicely balanced, making it a versatile choice.
You will notice the juniper in equal measure to the lemon and orange citrus fruits, with some nice warmth and a coriander/cilantro note. The overall effect is quite mellow but pleasant, ideal for a range of gin cocktails.
If you are looking for something that is quintessentially British then this gin could be perfect. It is made in the Langley distillery, in the West Midlands of England.
Highclere Castle, the stately home used to film the famous British television show 'Downton Abbey', is featured on the front of the bottle. It is a classic gin with an alcohol percentage of 43.5%.
The lovely thing about this gin is the lavender flavor that comes through with the juniper and the citrus fruits. The lavender is balanced with lime flower and oats, a classic combination that is often used in British herbal tea.
This gin is complex both on the nose and the palate - herbaceous, earthy, fruity and floral - but delicately balanced. Even gin connoisseurs will be blown away by the caliber of this particular dry gin.
If you like your gin with plenty of spice then Hayman's will be an ideal choice for you. It is perfect for a winter gin and tonic or a classic cocktail like a Tom Collins.
The flavor is quite heavy on the citrus, along with piney juniper, herbaceous coriander/cilantro, and spicy nutmeg and cinnamon.
It has a deep aroma and a peppery taste, with a warm finish that is reminiscent of pumpkin pie. This gin is made in the United Kingdom and has an alcohol percentage of 41.2%.
To finish off the list we have another American Dry Gin. This one is made in the Mine Hill Distillery in Connecticut and it has an alcohol percentage of 41%. If you want a juniper-forward gin then it doesn't get much better than this.
Juniper and pine are the main flavor notes, equally balanced with a smoky, warm finish.
You will also pick up some spicy cardamon and peppercorns with a touch of licorice. This gin has a high mineral content, so some more advanced gin drinkers will pick up after-notes of stone and slate. The aroma is deep yet not too powerful.
This gin has great character and is wonderful when used in classic cocktails, especially those where the spirit is the main ingredient so the flavor can really shine. If you are paring it with a tonic, go for something classic and simple so the gin is not overpowered.
London Dry Gin is a particular type of gin that has juniper as one of the main flavors. No two dry gins are the same - they are each made with a unique blend of ingredients to create complex flavor combinations.
The more experienced you become with gin tasting, the more individual flavor notes you will be able to pick out. The 10 London Dry Gins we have included on our list are definitely some of the best, regardless of your gin experience levels.