The best gins for 2023
Play your cards right and you might find yourself on Santa’s good list this year. And you know what that means, right? A bottle of the tastiest gin waiting for you in your stocking on Christmas morning.
We’ve lost count of the amount of new and exciting gin bottles hitting the shelves each year and find the process of buying gin quite puzzling. With so many cracking bottle designs out there, it’s easy to get carried away with aesthetics and so, to help you out this Christmas, we’ve found the prettiest gin bottles which taste as good as they look.
In case you were ever in any doubt, gin is still very much Britain’s most-loved tipple. And as the festive season arrives, it’s probably sensible to have your gin cupboard fully stocked. Alternatively, a cracking bottle of gin also makes a great failsafe gift for someone – so if you’re present-hunting, why not have a browse?
Hot new flavour alert: try Caorunn’s blood orange gin. There’s a warming, subtle streak of chilli throughout as well as lashings of blood orange juice. The gin itself is dry and tangy on the lingering finish, so it could even be sipped neat over ice for a Christmas Eve tipple. Available from Master of Malt (£30).
Making it your objective to buy gifts that give back this year? Amarula African Gin is the only gin in the world made from South African marula fruit spirit. The marula fruit is loved by South African elephants who gather underneath the fruit’s trees at the start of the harvest to signal to the local people that the fruit is ripe enough to be picked. £1 from every litre of every Amarula African Gin sold goes to the Amarula Trust which supports elephant conservation, and the local communities. So what does it taste like? It’s citrussy, vibrant and has a slightly spiced undertone to it, making it unlike any gin you’ll have tried before. We love it with an Indian tonic and a grapefruit garnish. Available from Amazon (£28).
For some, it just isn’t Christmas without a sloe gin. And there’s no finer sloe berries than those found in the Black Forest. This premium spirit is fruity but rich, and tastes oh-so-festive inside a Christmas cocktail like a sloe gin fizz (which contains sloe gin, soda water, syrup and ice). Available from The Whiskey Exchange (£43.75).
That bottle. We can’t. stop. staring! Behold, the latest festive arrival from gin legends Edinburgh Gin, which pays homage to Scotland’s iconic dessert Cranachan. A raspberry base is created with fresh Perthshire raspberries balanced with oaty undertones. The gin is then matured with staves from an ex-Glengoyne single malt whisky cask allowing the gin to extract notes of vanilla and whisky. Finally, East Lothian honey is added delivering a balanced sweetness. It’s a great one for the flavoured gin fans. We reckon it’ll FLY off the shelves this year. Available from John Lewis (£40).
The perfect stocking filler, or just a nice option if you’re stuck on which flavour to go for, this four-set of tipples from Malfy Gin contains their original Italian gin alongside three fruity varieties all inspired by the Amalfi Coast. There’s the vibrant Con Limone (lemon), the Con Arancia (blood orange) and the Rosa (pink grapefruit) offering a taste of ‘La Dolce Vita’ this Christmas. Available from Selfridges (£15.99).
There’s a trend going around for bright and decisive spirits. This clean and light flavoured gin made in Scotland is exactly that, and is a welcome addition to any gin lover’s collection. Distilled with Scottish ingredients such as blackberry leaves, sloe berries and elderflower, it’s a refreshing spirit that makes for a crisp gin and tonic but also works wonders in a martini. The tartan design of the bottle with the beautiful Scottish highlands on the bottles makes this gin look as good as it tastes on your drinks trolley, and it feels aptly Christmassy too. Available from Master of Malt (£39.95).
Bayab gins are made by Spearhead, a black-owned business started by Chris Frederick and Damola Timeyin who wanted to bring diversity into the drinks sector both from the perspective of who’s behind the business and what goes into the drinks. The new burnt orange expresion from Bayab is festive in flavour, with marula fruit handpicked from the Elephant tree infusing the spirit alongside orange. This drink is particularly lovely in a festive martini with some vermouth. Available from Value Africa (£30)
For a bottle with a bit of magic, try Cotswold’s cloudy Christmas gin. Its notes of sweet clementine and cardamom offer a hint of warm spice on top of that traditional clean juniper flavour, and the joy of this gin is that it radiates a cloudy glow when ice or tonic is added. And who doesn’t love a bit of theatre when it comes to at-home cocktails? Available from Cotswolds (£34.95).
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