It is no surprise that gin is one of the most popular spirits / liquors there is and over the last 10 years or so there has been expanded perception of a maybe dull drink to that of a now trendy, hip and cool tipple, so hats off to the distillers that have almost re-invented the drink to these new dizzy heights.
So, with the growth of the gin category what are the top gin brands I hear you ask, well before we get into that lets first understand what ingredients can be used in a gin.
Ingredients used in a gin
The one common ingredient that is used in all gins is juniper berries that are used in the mash
cycle of the process, so no matter where the gin is regarding the type of product e.g. value or premium product they all have this ingredient. The other common ingredient is coriander which exists also in every gin distilled, after this the ingredients vary but however most gins include approximately nine or more botanicals (different plants or plant life).
Other popular ingredients include but are no way limited to:
• Angelica root
• lemon peel
• Orris root
• Bitter almonds
• Orange peel (usually sweet)
• Cubeb berries
• Grains of paradise
Other ingredients you may not thought of include, lavender, cranberry, fresh lime, ginger, turmeric, star anise, pepper berry, lemon myrtle, finger limes, rosemary, basil and even thyme.
Top gin brands
The following is a list of twenty brands, the first eight are based on volume, with the first being the most popular in terms of volumes sold per year. From the ninth onwards I have selected several different premium brands, some may be new to you although they are still premium all the same and certainly worth acquiring a bottle to sample.
|Global Brand Name||Global Brand Owner|
|1||Ginebra San Migue||San Miguel|
|3||Bombay Sapphire||Bacardi & Co Ltd|
|5||Beefeater||Pernod Ricard Groupe|
|6||Seagram’s Gin||Pernod Ricard Groupe|
|7||Larious||Suntory Holdings Ltd|
|8||Hendrick’s||William Grant & Sons Ltd|
|9||Roku Japanese Gin||Suntory Holdings Ltd|
|10||American Aviation Gin||Davos Brands LLC|
|11||Fitzgerald Gin||Du Nord|
|12||The Botanist Gin||Bruichladdich Distillery|
|13||Monkey 47 Schwarzwald||Alex Stein|
|14||HH Bespoke Gin||Astra Luna Brands|
|15||Highclere Castle||Adam von Gootkin|
|16||Nolets Gin||Nolets Family|
|17||Four Pillars Navy Strength Gin||Four Pillars Distillery|
|18||Sipsmith’s, VJSOP Gin||Sipsmith Distillery|
|19||Tarquin’s Cornish Gin||Southwestern Distillery|
|20||Gin Mare||Girot Ribot Family|
Popular gin cocktails
Gin is an extremely versatile spirit and can be used in several different cocktails and is not just relegated to the gin and tonic bench.
When I was young my parents used to pick sloes from the fields and at night, I would help them prepare them for the wonderful drink “sloe gin”. I recommend this drink to anyone that either likes gin or does not its fantastic. We used to prick the slows with a needle multiple times so the juices could come out and place them in an empty bottle of spirits. Once about 35-40% full of sloes we added granulated sugar and then topped up with gin. Leave as long as possible 2 months plus is best although not essential, shake the bottle once a week so the sugar dissolves and when you literally cannot wait any longer unscrew the lid and savour this exquisite tipple.
Some of the well known cocktails that can be crafted are shown below along with the ingredients and of course all should be served over ice with the appropriate garnish for the cocktail.
• Singapore Sling – Gin, citrus, cherry brandy and soda
• Classic Gin Martini -Gin and dry vermouth
• Classic Gin Fizz – Gin, maple syrup, egg white and lemon juice
• Gimlet Cocktail – Gin, lime syrup or juice,
• Pink lady – Gin, grenadine, and egg white
• Strawberry Gin – Gin, fresh strawberries, and sugar
• Tom Collins – Gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup and soda water
• Dirty Martini – Gin, olives and some of the brine and dry vermouth
• Long Island Iced Tea – Gin, vanilla vodka, tequila, rum, triple sec, lime juice and cola
• Pink Negroni – Pink gin, rose or sweet white vermouth and Aperol
• Apple & Elderflower Gin – Gin, elderflower cordial and apple juice
Your favorite gin tipple?
We have explored the wonderful world of gin regarding what ingredients are used, what the top brands are and then several popular drinks that you can make with gin. There are several things to consider labelling your favorite way to drink this wonderful spirit.
I would recommend that you start with the old favourite, gin and tonic with ice and a slice of lemon but one word of caution is not to make the drink too strong as if so it can spoil the otherwise refreshing and enjoyable experience. You can always increase the strength on a gradual basis.
I would recommend trying one of the premium brands at an early stage and especially brands with differences in the botanicas used as this really does make a big difference and why now enjoy from the comfort of you own home, available from Ace wines, beers & spirits by clicking this link.
Last but not least I recommend slow gin however if you can’t find this available and you are not able to make your own then a slow gin cocktail or another cocktail would give your taste buds a special treat.
Enjoy savoring these wonderful examples of gin and Cheers!