While London remains the mecca of gin, home to gin-themed bars and many of the world’s best gin distilleries, the appellation, “London Dry Gin”, can, and often is, given to gins distilled outside of the Big Smoke. Prior to the invention of “Dry Gin”, the floral, juniper-flavored spirit was so impure and nauseating that it had to be ameliorated with licorice root, honey, and other sweeteners. In 1832, the Coffey still brought a new standard of distillation to London, popularizing a “London Dry Gin” that focused on the pure juniper taste of the spirit. Today, a “London Dry Gin” must exceed 37.5% ABV, exclude artificial flavors, and have minimal added sweetener. This, and not the source of distillation, determines a “London Dry Gin.”
This youthful spirit harkens to the gin enthusiasts of old, when the emphasis was on the balance of citrus and juniper, not the saccharine concoction of flavored gins. Since their outset in 1999, achieving a pure gin taste was the goal of Martin Miller’s Gin. In that pursuit, Martin Miller’s Gin has raised the bar, having received more accolades than any other gin distillery in the past ten years. Unadulterated, authentic, this is a must-try for enthusiasts.
90 proof, dangerously smooth, and affordable at $26-per-bottle, this gin rivals it’s pricier competition with ease. This gin foregoes the typical citrus profile, to instead blend nine botanicals, including sage, nutmeg, coriander, and juniper, for a unique, balanced taste.
While three centuries ago, gin distilleries sprouted up in London like juniper trees in midwinter, today, there’s only one home in London that distills gin. That gin is Sacred Gin.
After losing his job as a natural scientist at Cambridge, Ian Hart put his academic background to use, constructing a fully-functioning distillery in his home in north London. Selecting unique array of botanicals and developing a revolutionary vacuum-distilled process, Hart’s fresh, creamy gin is one-of-a-kind.
Stretching the boundaries of what you’d expect from a “London Dry Gin”, this Australian gin uses locally-sourced juniper berries, wattle, bush tomatoes in its mix. This earthy blend is the strongest of the list, at 100 proof. You can’t find a better Australian gin, and while such a list wouldn’t be very long, West Winds Cutlass Gin has won awards on the world stage.