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Best British Gins

Best British gins

Here are our favourite British gins, from well known brands such as Tanqueray, Hendrick’s and Bombay Sapphire to craft gins including Pickering's and modern classic Portobello Road

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We love gin here at olive magazine, but with so much choice out there, how are you supposed to know which bottle to buy? Here the olive drinks experts share top gins produced in the UK, all with varying flavour profiles, from spiced to floral, citrus to juniper-forward. Which British gin will you pick?


We’ve also peppered this piece with gin-inspired recipes, from gin cocktails to cakes, just in case it gets you in the mood! To learn more about the world of gin, click here for our expert guide.

Want to discover more unique gins? Try our favourite Scottish gins, Welsh gins and flavoured gins, or travel the world from your home with our unusual international gins.

Looking to really impress fellow gin lovers? Bring the bar to your home and store your favourite gins our best drinks trolley ideas.

Our favourite British gins to try (in no particular order)…

Buy top British gins here…

Audemus Spirits Umami Oak Finished Gin, £34.95/50cl, The Whisky Exchange

Named after the fifth taste – savouriness – this gin may be a Marmite affair for those with a sweeter tooth, but we loved it. With some out-there botanicals including Italian capers and Parmigiano Reggiano, it could easily have been over the top, but instead this is a moreishly savoury gin with a subtle briny twang and woody notes from ageing in ex-cognac barrels.

Flavour profile: savoury

Botanicals: Sicilian capers, juniper, Parmigiano-Reggiano, bergamot

Perfect pairing: this is smashing in a gibson martini with a pickled onion garnish.

A bottle of Audemus Umami Gin

Cambridge Distillery Three Seasons Gin, £90/70cl,

We’ve come to expect great things from the Cambridge Distillery and their latest release doesn’t disappoint. Designed to evoke the changing seasons of an English garden, this is a botanical powerhouse of a gin. Featuring lemon verbena, blackcurrant leaf and rose, it’s fresh yet richly floral, with herbaceous citrus notes, hints of dark fruits and a complex, evocative finish. Yes, it’s priced on the steep side, but with a beautiful bottle it would make a special gift for a gin lover. The more budget conscious should try their excellent Cambridge Dry Gin, at £39.99.

Flavour profile: floral and citrus

Botanicals: Lemon verbena, rose, blackcurrant leaf

Perfect pairing: we think this richly complex gin would shine in a dry martini.

A bottle of Cambridge Distillery Three Seasons Gin

HYKE Gin Very Special, £36/70cl,

HYKE’s first (delicious) gin was made from surplus table grapes and they’ve continued the theme for their next release, using English wine grape pomace (crushed grape seeds, stems and skins leftover from winemaking) to make their base spirit. There’s also a secret ingredient – a tiny drop of specially aged brandy in each bottle. This is a full-bodied and aromatic gin, heady with juniper and black pepper, and subtle floral notes.

Flavour profile: juniper-led

Botanicals: Juniper, coriander seed, angelica root, orris, liquorice root, black pepper, cubeb, ginger, dried lemon peel, sambrani, earl grey, lapsang souchong, red sandalwood, angelica seed, grapefruit peel, lemon peel, lavender, chamomile, timur pepper

Perfect pairing: A strip of lemon zest.

A bottle of HYKE gin

Bullards Coastal Gin, £40,

Inspired by the Norfolk coastline, this is the gin equivalent to a fresh sea breeze, with a subtle salty, savoury profile and complex notes of sea vegetables, citrus and fennel. We were also impressed with their eco-friendly refill service, which offers 700ml pouches of gin to top bottles back up (and you can post the pouch back to Bullards free of charge for recycling).

Flavour profile: herbaceous

Botanicals: juniper, sea purslane, marsh samphire, sea aster, Douglas fir

Perfect pairing: Try in a dirty martini, with a couple of raw oysters alongside.

Buy it now

A bottle of Bullards Coastal Gin

Porter’s Gin, Aberdeen, £29/70cl

Made in Aberdeen, this is a classic gin with bold juniper and bright citrus notes. It’s created using a combination of old and new techniques. Light flavours are extracted from delicate botanicals through cold distillation so as not to damage them with heat, while other more robust ingredients are distilled at one of the UK’s oldest gin distilleries, allowing the unique characteristics of each to shine through.

Flavour profile: juniper forward

Botanicals: juniper, angelica, almond, coriander, liquorice root, lemon, orange, buddha’s hand, pink peppercorn, orris root, cassia bark and cinnamon

Perfect pairing: pink peppercorns

Buy it now

Porter's Gin Bottle

Slingsby Gooseberry Gin, Yorkshire, £40.25/7cl

Slingsby’s rhubarb gin was a hit at olive HQ and now the Yorkshire distillery has released another tart and zesty winner. Here, tangily fruity gooseberries (also sourced in Yorkshire) marry perfectly with the citrussy notes of the base gin.

Flavour profile: citrus

Botanicals: severn sea rosemary, silver posie thyme, green and jasmine tea, citrus thyme, garden thyme, rhubarb, sage, lovage, chervil, nettle, sweet cicely, rose hip, angelica, cassia, orris root, coriander, liquorice, grapefruit and juniper

Perfect pairing: the gin’s creamy mouthfeel means it would be lovely sipped neat with ice, or try topping up with some sparkling white wine for a spring-like spritz

Buy it now

Slingsby Gin

Cambridge Distillery Japanese Gin, Cambridge, £65/70cl

One of the first gins to focus exclusively on Japanese botanicals (with each distilled individually and then blended together, as per the brand’s distinctive distillation process), this is an elegant, complex yet balanced gin, with cool, vegetal cucumber notes, citrus from yuzu, earthy spice and subtle pepperiness. Combine with a beautiful bottle and this would be a great gift for a gin connoisseur looking for something more unusual to try.

Flavour profile: citrus

Botanicals: juniper, sesame seeds, shiso leaf, cucumber, sansho and yuzu

Perfect pairing: tonic and a slice of green apple

Buy it now

Cambridge Distillery Gin Japanese Gin

Want to try the best pink gins?

Click here for the results of our taste test

Flavours include:

  • Pinot noir gin
  • Pink grapefruit gin
  • Rhuabrb gin

Four bottles of pink gin lined up in a row

Biggar Gin, Scotland, £34.95/70cl

This award-winning gin, made in batches of just 200 bottles at a time, uses botanicals local to the Scottish town of Biggar, where it’s made. As to be expected from a London dry gin it’s got plenty of juniper character, as well as vibrant orange notes, subtle herbaceousness and spice, and a restrained sweetness. It’s also super smooth to drink, with a lingering finish.

Flavour profile: juniper

Botanicals: rowan berry, rosehip, nettle, pink peppercorns, coriander seed, cardamom pods, lavender cassia bark, orris root

Perfect pairing: tonic and a few pink peppercorns

Buy it now


Darnley’s Spiced Gin, Scotland, £29.95/70cl

One for those who can find some spiced gins a little overpowering, this Scottish number has a subtle, restrained spice that’s balanced by juniper, with a lingering, peppery finish.

Flavour profile: spiced

Botanicals: juniper, cloves, grains of paradise and ginger

Perfect pairing: drink with ginger ale

Buy it now

Darnley’s Spiced Gin

Salcombe Gin by Start Point, Devon, £40/70cl

Devon distillery Salcombe Gin ‘s London dry is a classic, super-smooth affair. Though earthy juniper is dominant, it’s followed by bright, zingy citrus – as well as a subtle, warming spice.

Flavour profile: juniper

Botanicals: juniper, coriander seed, ruby grapefruit, lemon, lime, cubeb

Perfect pairing: slice of red grapefruit

Buy it now

Salcombe Gin

Ramsbury Gin, Wiltshire, £35/70cl

This single-estate gin is made in Wiltshire by a distillery whose ethos is very much grain to glass – the gin’s base spirit is distilled onsite using wheat grown on the Ramsbury estate (and chalk-filtered water from their own aquifer). A lovely, balanced London dry gin with heady citrus and floral aromas on the nose and a smooth, fruity finish.

Flavour profile: citrus

Botanicals: juniper (picked nearby on Salisbury plain) and homegrown quince

Perfect pairing: tonic and a twist of orange peel

Buy it now

Ramsbury Gin

Tarquin’s Gin, Cornwall, £32.50/70cl

With English wine growing in stature internationally, and Craft distilling moving from urban hubs and out into the countryside, Tarquin’s Gin isn’t just representative of a burgeoning movement; it’s one of the leading lights within it.

To taste, Tarquin’s Dry Gin is a well-balanced gin with all the classic botanicals coming through on both the nose and the palate. The juniper is prevalent (as it should be) but a strong lemony coriander reminds us of a deep pine forest on a hot summer stroll – earthy notes and warm orange blossom faintly joining in.

Distiller and owner Tarquin Ledbetter’s Devon violets (which he grows in his back garden) only come through after a couple of sips, but are balanced by the amount of citrusy and rooty/earthy botanicals mingling around.

Flavour profile: citrus

Botanicals: juniper, coriander seeds, orange, lemon, grapefruit, angelica root, orris root, green cardamom seeds, bitter almond, cinnamon, liquorice root, violets

Perfect pairing: twist of grapefruit peel

Buy it now

Tarquins gin bottle and a glass of gin and tonic on a beach with blue water in background

East London Liquor Company Batch No.2, London, £33.95/70cl

The first gin distillery in London’s East End in over 100 years, ELLC distills its gin in hand-built copper stills in an old glue factory in Bow Wharf. June is Negroni Month, so we’ve chosen this herbaceous and savoury gin as it stands up really well in a negroni.

Flavour profile: herbaceous

Botanicals: Batch No.2 gin is made with eleven botanicals inspired by an English herb garden – thyme, winter savoury, sage, bay leaves, lavender, fennel seeds, orris root, coriander seeds, lemon peel, angelica root and juniper berries

Perfect serve: this gin is made specifically for negronis, so combine with equal parts of Campari and Cocchi Storico Vermouth Di Torino for the perfect serve

Buy it now

East London Liquor Company Gin Bottle

Fishers Gin, Suffolk, £39.95/70cl

This unusual gin features a host of rare botanicals foraged on the Suffolk coast. Herbaceous and subtly saline on the nose (we were reminded of sea vegetables), it’s slightly sweeter to taste, with aromatic cardamom notes.

Flavour profile: herbaceous

Botanicals: spignel, rock samphire, wood avens and bog myrtle

Perfect pairing: try it in a dirty martini

A bottle of Fishers gin on a pebbly beach

Hendrick’s Gin, Scotland, £28.29/70cl

Clean, floral and refreshing, since launching in  2001 Hendrick’s Gin has been the success story that has set the template for modern gin brands to follow,   spearheading a resurgence in the spirit. It can now be found in all bars across the globe, with glasses of Hendrick’s and tonic served with cucumber instead of lemon or lime. We’d recommend that if you don’t like gin or don’t know where to start, this is the place to do so as Hendrick’s is not a juniper-forward gin.

Flavour profile: floral

Botanicals: juniper, rose, cubeb berries, elderflower, chamomile, yarrow, coriander, angelica root, lemon & orange peel, orris root

Perfect pairing: tonic and a slice of cucumber, or a twist of lemon peel

Buy it now

Hendricks gin bottle on a table with a Hendricks teacup with a chest in the background

Recipe: try our rhubarb and rose gin fizz

We’ve given a classic gin fizz an update, swapping orange blossom water for rose water and adding a touch of homemade rhubarb syrup to give it a blush of pink. It’s delicate in flavour and creamy enough to replace dessert, and is bound to impress.

Valentines Cocktail For Gin Fizz With Rhubarb Syrup

Tanqueray No.10, London, £32.50/70cl

Launched in 2000, Tanqueray No. 10 is an exceptionally smooth and fresh tasting gin. It’s handcrafted in small batches using an unique quadruple distillation process, with the heart of the gin created in the affectionately named Tiny Ten still. Using fresh, whole citrus fruits during the process greatly adds to the depth of character inherent in Tanqueray No.10 Gin.

Indisputably a step up in class, this gin is smoother than Tanqueray’s classic offering. It has a full-bodied grapefruit and citrus hit and is recommended by many bartenders as the perfect choice for a martini gin. There’s still plenty of juniper in the mix, as well as a lovely floral note on the nose. The smooth citrus finish and the relatively high strength (47.3% ABV) makes this gin one of the very best on the market.

Flavour profile: citrus

Botanicals: juniper, grapefruit, lime, orange, chamomile flower, coriander, angelica, liquorice root

Perfect pairing: tonic and a wedge of grapefruit or a bay leaf

Buy it now

Tanqueray gin bottle with a coupette glass of gin and a slice of orange peel in front

Star of Bombay, Hampshire, £35.25/70cl

Featuring two additional botanicals – Bergamot orange peel from Calabria in southern Italy and Ambrette seed from Ecuador – on top of the 10 botanicals that feature in its flagship gin Bombay Sapphire, Star of Bombay is packaged in a sexy-looking bottle with an amazing amount of detail. It is slightly musty on the nose, with dried flowers and an underlying spice.

Almost strangely, the classic notes of juniper, angelica and coriander have been intensified, but ambrette is immediately apparent. It’s jammy to taste, with piquant spice, bergamot and ambrette seeds offering an exotic twist. It’s an intense gin, but one that also retains the lightness of Bombay. At 47.5% ABV, the finish is both long and richly aromatic, but not oily or full – just rich when it hits and leaves behind a vivid memory.

Flavour profile: spiced

Botanicals: juniper, grains of paradise, coriander seeds, cassia bark, orris root, liquorice, lemon peel, cubeb berries, angelica root, almonds, bergamot peel, ambrette seeds

Perfect pairing: tonic and a wedge of orange

Buy it now

Star of Bombay Gin

Portobello Road Gin, London, £25/70cl

Portobello Road Gin has established itself in bars and cabinets alike over the past three years, with its classic flavour and a name that’s reminiscent of an iconic bar.

Designed by the team at Portobello Road and distilled at Thames Distillery nearby, this is a gin that is hard to knock. With its booming juniper, classic coriander seed core and peppery nutmeg finish, it’s a perfect choice for those who like a classic G&T with a wedge of lime. Great price and great design – expect it to be a lot more visible in the next few years, as legions of gin fans discover this modern classic.

Flavour profile: citrus/spiced

Botanicals: juniper, coriander seed, angelica root, orris root, lemon peel, orange peel, liquorice root, cassia bark, nutmeg

Perfect pairing: tonic and grapefruit peel and cracked black pepper

Buy it now

Portobello Road gin bottle on a table with a glass tumbler in front filled with gin and tonic, ice and a grapefruit peel

Recipe: try our double lemon, gin and tonic cake

This double lemon, gin and tonic cake combines two of our favourite things. It’s easy to make and sure to please a crowd – a new way to enjoy your G&T.


Gin and Tonic Cake Recipe With Lemon

Caorunn Gin, Scotland, £28/70cl

Distilled and bottled in Scotland, Caorunn firmly takes on the mantle of a national product. The distillery is situated in the heart of the Cairngorm National Park, at the foot of the Haughs of Cromdale. It’s inspired by the landscape that surrounded them – Simon Buley (one of the distillers) wanted to use the ancient skills and recipes of spirit-making, using age-old Celtic botanicals that grow on the surrounding hills of Balmenach Distillery.

Drunk on its own, the gin is crisp, dry and well-balanced yet still full-bodied. The botanicals jump out in the palate with spices, citrus and floral notes all working well to compliment a dry juniper note that leaves you with a crisp, clean finish.

Flavour profile: floral

Botanicals: juniper, coriander, lemon peel, orange peel, angelica root, cassia bark, rowan berry, heather, dandelion, coul blush apple

Perfect pairing: tonic and thin wedge of red apple

Buy it now

Caorunn Gin, Scotland

Warner’s Gin, Northamptonshire, £32.75/70cl

Created by best friends Sion Edwards and Tom Warner, Warner Edwards Gin is made in a 200-year-old converted barn in Harrington, Northamptonshire.

Its flagship Harrington Dry is soft on the nose, with warm citrus from the orange peel and piney juniper. There’s a touch of juniper on the nose and a good dose to taste. It’s orange forward gin for sure, but coriander, cardamom and juniper anchor the gin while balancing out the flavour profile. Warner Edwards is a beautifully soft and crazy smooth gin with a sweet and moreish lingering aftertaste. It’s a must try for any gin fan.

Flavour profile: spiced

Botanicals: juniper, cardamom, black pepper, orange peel, coriander

Perfect pairing: tonic and a twist of lemon peel

Buy it now

Warner Edwards dry gin

Hayman’s Royal Dock Gin, London, £30.75/70cl

The advantage of having been in the gin making business for generations is that one can always look to the archives to find inspiration from the past. This is very much the case with Hayman’s Royal Dock Gin, as records show that it was supplied to both the Royal Navy and trade from 1863. More precisely, it was delivered to the Royal Dock in Deptford, South London (established in 1513 by Henry VIII) on the River Thames.

The Royal Dock and the surrounding areas were known as one of the largest Navy food and drink headquarters, with London being the largest port in England. Other ports famously made their own Navy Strength Gins, notably Plymouth and Liverpool, but with the Navy’s thirst for gin reputed to be several tens of thousands of barrels a year, the London dock would have been awash with the stuff.

Navy Strength Gins are at 57.5% ABV and as a result, Hayman’s Royal Dock has an aromatic nose with citrus and floral notes, namely orange blossom wafting out as soon as you begin to pour. The mouthfeel is smooth, but also carries an unrivalled botanical intensity of flavour thanks to the higher strength. It’s a classic of the genre and a must-have gin for lovers of this over proof style.

Flavour profile: juniper forward

Botanicals: juniper, citrus, coriander

Perfect pairing: tonic and a wedge of lime

Buy it now

Hayman's Royal Dock Gin

Rock Rose, Thurso, Scotland, £32/70cl

Proving the British craft distilling movement has gone all the way to the northern tip of Scotland, Rock Rose harnesses its regionality in its gin. One of the few craft distillers to have a British-made still, it vapour-infuse all the botanicals in a steam basket at the neck of their custom-made John Dore & Co beauty.

Rock Rose is bright and packed with fruity berries and a delicate astringency. Combined with a beautiful ceramic bottle and a passionate team, this gin is perfect for summer.

Flavour profile: floral

Botanicals: juniper, rose root, sea buckthorn, rowan berries, bilberries, cardamom, coriander seed, verbena

Perfect pairing: tonic and a sprig of rosemary

Buy it now

Rock Rose Gin Scottish Gin

Recipe: try our Bramble gin cocktail

This recipe for a classic Bramble cocktail is a great one to have in your repertoire. Invented by Dick Bradsell in the 80s and is now a modern classic.

Bramble gin cocktail

Ophir Oriental Spiced Gin, £29/70cl

A well-balanced gin, perfect for colder nights, with exotic, spicy botanicals that make it warming and easy to drink.

Flavour profile: spiced

Botanicals: juniper, cubeb peppers, cumin seeds, coriander, black pepper, orange peel

Perfect pairing: tonic and a slice of fresh ginger

Buy it now

Glass bottle of Ophir gin

Silent Pool Gin, Guildford, £33.89/70cl

A clean juniper-driven spirit that uses an impressive 24 botanicals and fresh spring water from the Albury Estate, where the gin is made. The end result has gentle citrus and perfumed floral notes that make it the perfect summer tipple.

Flavour profile: floral

Botanicals: juniper, chamomile, lavender, citrus, honey

Perfect pairing: tonic and a twist of orange peel

Buy it now

Bottle of Silent Pool gin

Aber Falls Small Batch Welsh Gin, £27/70cl

Piney juniper and lavender are surprise best pals in this subtly floral number, with peppery notes adding to its complexity. One for those who prefer sweeter gins.

Flavour profile: floral

Botanicals: lavender, rowan berries, black pepper, juniper, angelica and liquorice

Perfect pairing: tonic and a slice of cucumber

Buy it now

Aber Falls Welsh Gin

Victory Gin, London, £31.95/70cl

A peppery gin made with 10 botanicals, this cold-distilled gin is light and fresh with bright notes of orange and anise, warmth from cardamom and black pepper plus a subtle sweetness from liquorice and chestnut.

Flavour profile: spiced

Botanicals: juniper, coriander, liquorice root, angelica, orange, cassia bark, orris root, black pepper, cardamom, chestnut

Perfect pairing: tonic and a twist of orange peel

Buy it now

Victory gin bottle

Sipsmith London Dry Gin, London, £27.99/70cl

You can’t have a list of British gins and not include Sipsmith. In 2009 the first new licence to distill in London since 1820 was granted to Sipsmith Independent Spirits and since then, a raft of new micro-distilleries have followed. This original recipe is bold, complex and aromatic with a floral nose followed by dry juniper and citrus on the palate.

Flavour profile: juniper forward

Botanicals: juniper, angelica root, coriander seed, cassia bark, orris root, ground almond, cinnamon bark, liquorice root, lemon peel, seville orange peel

Perfect pairing: tonic and a wedge of lime, or a few coriander seeds

Buy it now

Sipsmith London Dry Gin Bottle

Boatyard Double Gin, Northern Ireland, £38.95/70cl

You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but this smooth, juniper- led gin lives up to its classy label. It also has a hint of floral sweetness thanks to the wild sweet gale that’s foraged from Boatyard’s farm in Fermanagh. 

Flavour profile: juniper led

Botanicals: juniper, sweet gale, grains of paradise, angelica, lemon, orris, liquorice root, coriander

Perfect pairing: tonic and a twist of orange peel and juniper berries

Buy it now

Boatyard Double Gin

LoneWolf gin

The first gin from beer legends BrewDog, made from their own malted barley spirit and using a BrewDog yeast to create the desired flavour combination. It’s a precise and thorough labour of love. To taste, there’s an initial whack of citrus, especially lemon peel, with underlying lavender tones. Next, a hint of lingering pine needles, a little coriander seed and lemongrass. But the overall impression is definitely a citrussy one. 

Flavour profile: citrus

Botanicals: juniper, Scots pine, grapefruit peel, lemon peel, coriander seed, cardamom, angelica root, orris root, Thai lemongrass, pink peppercorn, kaffir lime leaf, mace, almond, lavender flower 

Perfect pairing: tonic water and a sprig of lavender or, if you really want to ramp the citrus up, a slice of grapefruit

LoneWolf Gin

The best cask aged gin: The Collection oak-aged gin

This stylish juniper-led bottle has an impressive 22 botanicals and the result is a subtle, elegant gin with slight oak, spice and citrus notes, and intriguing hints of aniseed that don’t overwhelm the palate.

Buy it now

The Collection oak-aged gin

Make your own gin

So you like drinking gin? But how about making your own?

Recipe: try making your own clementine, ginger and bay gin

Infuse your own gin with festive flavours, wrap it up nice and give it to a special someone. It’s a unique and thoughtful gift that’s really easy to make.

Christmas Gin Recipe With Clementine, Ginger And Bay on a snow covered table with pine cones and clementine segments

Olivier Ward wrote the above, and all the gins he recommends are available from