Looking for unusual gins to try? We already have an expert guide to the UK's best gins here, but there’s also plenty to explore beyond Britain. Want to try a European gin? We've got you covered – from a German spirit crafted in the Black Forest to a herbaceous bottle from Spain. We’ve also gone further afield and scoured the globe to sniff out exotic juniper-led spirits – with gins from South Africa, Japan, Argentina and beyond...


Want to discover more unique gins? Try our best gins, favourite Scottish gins, Welsh gins, flavoured gins and British gins. For a sunny boost to your G&T, check out our round up of citrus gins. For post-supper sipping, check out the best digestifs to try, or take a look at the best sustainable spirits to try for more conscious drinking.

Looking to really impress fellow gin lovers? Bring the bar to your home and store your favourite gins on one of our favourite drinks trollies. After, check out our favourite online bottle shops to stock up your home bar.

Best international gins to try at a glance

  • Best South African gin: Bayab African Grown Classic Dry Gin, £30.74
  • Best citrusy Japanese gin: Nikka Coffey Gin, £43.99
  • Best New Zealand gin: The Source Pure Cardrona Gin, £56.99
  • Best citrusy Italian gin: Engine Gin, £27.75
  • Best Kenyan gin: Procera blue dot gin, £75.90
  • Best Spanish gin: Gin Mare, £39
  • Best French gin: CAP gin, £43.77
  • Best Venezuelan gin: Canaïma Gin, £35.50
  • Best floral Japanese gin: Ki No Bi Gin, £44.45
  • Best gin from Finland: Kyrö Gin, £29.99
  • Best herbal Italian gin: VII Hills Italian Dry Gin, £40.82
  • Best German gin: Monkey 47 dry gin, £38.45
  • Best Indian gin: Stranger & Sons gin, £34.95
  • Best Australian gin: Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin, £36.49
  • Best American gin: Perry’s Tot navy strength gin, £36.49
  • Best African gin: Elephant Gin African explorer, £45

16 of the world's best gins to try in 2023

Bayab African Grown Classic Dry Gin

Bayab dry gin

Best South African gin

Made in the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal, this South African gin uses the fruit of the baobab tree as a botanical, which gives it a clean and bright lemony flavour that marries beautifully with soft juniper and fragrant spicing.

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Flavour profile: citrus

Botanicals: Juniper berries, Zambian baobab, coriander, rosemary, cinnamon, salt

Perfect pairing: Garnish with a lemon twist.

Available from:
Master of Malt (£30.74)

Nikka Coffey Gin

A bottle of Nikka Coffey gin with a green label

Best citrusy Japanese gin

Japanese whisky brand Nikka produce this rather lovely gin, made in their traditional coffey stills. 11 different botanicals form the backbone of a fresh, zesty gin that's surprisingly light considering its hefty 47% ABV. The botanical bill includes four different Japanese citrus fruits so it's no surprise that there's plenty of fragrant, lemony citrus in aroma and flavour, along with a touch of fruity sweetness and delicate, peppery spice.

Flavour profile: citrus

Botanicals: yuzu, kabosu, amanatsu, shequasar, juniper, coriander seeds, angelica, lemon and orange peel, apple juice, sansho pepper.

Perfect pairing: garnish with a slice of green apple.

Available from:
Amazon (£43.99)

The Source Pure Cardrona Gin


Best New Zealand gin

This award-winning Kiwi gin hails from the Cardrona Valley in the Southern Alps of New Zealand, and features locally sourced rosehips as well as a host of more traditional botanicals. Despite being a hefty 47%ABV, this is a really fresh and elegant gin, with soaring piney notes, fragrant lemon peel and rich floral undertones.

Flavour profile: juniper-led

Botanicals: rosehip, juniper, coriander seed, angelica root, lemon and orange zest.

Perfect pairing: mix with apple juice.

Available from:
Amazon (£56.99)
Master of Malt (£56)

Engine Pure Organic Gin

A can of Engine Pure Organic Gin

Best citrusy Italian gin

Engine’s striking, playful packaging – it looks like a vintage oil-can container – comes as no surprise given that its founder, Paolo Dalla Mora, is a former marketing director for Italian fashion brand Moschino. It’s a bright, accessible gin that delivers on its aesthetic appeal with fresh, super-aromatic notes of lemon peel, piney juniper and herbaceous sage.

Flavour profile: citrus

Botanicals: juniper, lemon peel, sage, Damascene rose, liquorice root

Perfect pairing: Try in a martini with a twist of lemon peel.

Available from:
The Whisky Exchange (£27.75)
Amazon (£23.99)

Procera blue dot gin

A bottle of gin with a wooden stopper in front of a mountain image

Best Kenyan gin

Procera is the world’s first gin to use African procera berries, a variety of juniper grown in the sun-soaked highland forests of Kenya. These hand-picked, air-dried berries add a uniquely nutty and earthy character to the gin, along with a rare variety of African botanicals. The combination of floral Moroccan orris root, citrusy Kenyan pixie orange and Swahili lime, Somalian acacia honey and warm spices including Zanzibari cardamom, Nigerian Selim pepper and Madagascan pink peppercorns to finish, provides a complex gin true to its African terroir. The stunning hand-blown glass bottle and palm wood stopper are created in Nairobi by Kenyan artisans.

Flavour profile: juniper

Botanicals: procera berries, Madagascan pink pepper, Moroccan orris root and coriander, Kenyan pixie orange, Swahili lime, Somalian acacia honey, Zanzibari cardamom and Mace, Nigerian selim pepper

Perfect pairing: neat over ice or in a martini

Available from:
Master of Malt (£75.90)
Amazon (£78.85)
Amathus Drinks (£77.80)

Gin Mare

Gin Mare Bottle

Best Spanish gin

With rosemary, thyme, olive and basil included in the botanical line up, this savoury, herbaceous Spanish number evokes Mediterranean summer like no other gin. Drink in a copa de balon glass with plenty of ice for ultimate holiday vibes.

Flavour profile: herbaceous

Botanicals: rosemary, thyme, olive, basil, orange, lemon, coriander, juniper and cardamom

Perfect pairing: Fever-Tree Mediterranean tonic water, a sprig of rosemary and a slice of fresh orange

Available from:
Amazon (£37.40)
Waitrose Cellar (£39)
Master of Malt (£39.90)



Best French gin

A truly Mediterranean gin, CAP is made in the Côte d’Azur and is designed to reflect its iconic location.

Rose, mimosa and fleur d’oranger (flavours synonymous with the French Riviera) are layered over a traditional juniper and coriander base to create a fresh and elegant gin. Ridiculously easy-drinking, CAP is one of the more refreshing gins out there – ideal on a sunny day, with fridge-cold tonic and a slice of citrus. It’s well-balanced, sophisticated and clean.

Flavour profile: juniper

Botanicals: juniper, coriander, angelica root, mimosa, pink peppercorns, fleur d'oranger, lemon peel, rose, orange peel

Perfect pairing: tonic water and orange peel, or as a standout ingredient in a French 75 cocktail

Available from:
Master of Malt (£35.95)
Amazon (£43.77)

Canaïma Gin

Canaima Gin2

Best Venezuelan gin

A South American gin, straight from the Amazon rainforest. 10 indigenous botanicals makes for a grassy, refreshing and herbaceous spirit. There’s a peppery kick and a general earthiness, as well as a lingering, fruity sweetness. Totally unique.

Flavour profile: herbaceous

Botanicals: merey, açaí, uva de palma, túpiro, seje, copoazú

Perfect pairing: try with pink grapefruit soda

Ki No Bi Kyoto Dry Gin

Dark Grey Bottle of Ki No Bi Gin

Best floral Japanese gin

Meaning ‘the beauty of the seasons’, this Japanese creation is made using a rice spirit base distilled with regional botanicals including yuzu, hinoki wood chips (Japanese cyprus), sansho pepper and gyokuro green tea. A decidedly elegant gin, whose classic juniper notes match well with the unusual local ingredients.

Flavour profile: floral

Botanicals: yuzu, hinoki wood chips, orris, lemon, ginger, red shiso leaves, bamboo leaves, sansho pepper and gyokuro green tea

Perfect pairing: tonic water and yuzu peel, or as a 'sonic' with a mixture of soda and tonic

Príncipe de los Apóstoles Gin

Príncipe de los Apóstoles Gin, Argentina

Best Argentinian gin

The botanicals in this unusual gin include eucalyptus, peppermint and yerba mate leaves (an evergreen tree used to make a popular South American tea). The end result is a boldly flavoured spirit, with refreshing but not overwhelming menthol notes and a sprightly herbaceous character. Try if you prefer less juniper-forward gins.

Flavour profile: herbaceous

Botanicals: yerba mate leaves, eucalyptus, peppermint, grapefruit, juniper and coriander seeds

Perfect pairing: tonic water and a sprig of mint

Available from:
The Whisky Exchange (£37.25)
Master of Malt (£36.74)

Kyrö Gin

A bottle of Kyrö Gin

Best gin from Finland

Made using rye grain spirit and locally foraged botanicals including cranberries, sea buckthorn and birch leaves, this crisp, refreshing gin from Kyrö Distillery Company is designed to evoke a Finnish meadow in flavour and fragrance. Take on your next camping trip.

Flavour profile: herbaceous

Botanicals: sea buckthorn, cranberries, birch leaves, meadowsweet, citrus, cumin and juniper

Perfect pairing: tonic water, a sprig of rosemary and fresh or dried cranberries

Available from:
Master of Malt (£30.95)
Waitrose Cellar (£31)
The Whisky Exchange (£31.25)

VII Hills Italian Dry Gin

Seven Hills Gin Bottle

Best herbal Italian gin

Expect headily herbal, almost vegetal aromas and subtle citrus flavours from this unconventional Italian gin, which its makers claim is the perfect gin for a negroni.

Flavour profile: herbal

Botanicals: artichoke, celery, blood orange, chamomile, rose hip, pomegranate and juniper

Perfect pairing: a negroni – but try swapping the Campari for another Italian aperitif, the artichoke-based Cynar.

Available from:
Ocado (£36)
Master of Malt (£36)
The Whisky Exchange (£37.75)

Monkey 47 dry gin

Monkey 47 Gin Bottle

Best German gin

Using an impressive 47 botanicals (hence the name), this critically acclaimed gin is made in Germany’s Black Forest. Rich and seriously complex, this is a full-on number with robust herb and spice notes.

Flavour profile: spiced/herbaceous

Botanicals: cranberries, lingonberries, spruce shoots, bramble leaves, sage, verbena and chamomile, amongst others

Perfect pairing: tonic water and cranberries

Available from:
Master of Malt (£38.45)
Waitrose (£48.50)
Amazon (£47.25)
The Whisky Exchange (£41.95)

Stranger & Sons Gin

Stranger and Sons Gin

Best Indian gin

The debut gin from the Goan Third Eye Distillery – using spices foraged or cultivated along the Goan and Keralan coasts – this has a lovely, warming spice character, with pepper, nutmeg and liquorice notes. An ideal gin for winter.

Flavour profile: spiced

Botanicals: coriander seeds, black pepper, angelica, liquorice, cassia bark, nutmeg, mace, Gondhoraj lime, Indian bergamot, Nagpur orange and juniper

Perfect pairing: a Gibson martini with dry vermouth and a pickled onion garnish

Available from:
Master of Malt (£42.95)
The Whisky Exchange (£34.95)

Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin

Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin

Best Australian gin

This Australian gin is made in the Yarra Valley and combines native botanicals (Tasmanian pepperberry and lemon myrtle) with spices and whole oranges. Expect juniper and other traditional gin flavourings, but the regional twists add depth and interest to this antipodean spirit.

Flavour profile: citrus/spiced

Botanicals: Tasmanian pepperberry, lemon myrtle, star anise, cardamom, coriander seeds, lavender, angelica root and oranges

Perfect pairing: tonic water and a wedge of orange

Perry’s Tot Navy Strength Gin

Perry’s Tot Navy Strength Gin

Best American gin

New York Distilling Co uses wild-flower honey from upstate New York in this juniper-forward gin, which is characterised by warming spice and earthy orange notes. One for those who like the higher-proof styles.

Flavour profile: juniper

Botanicals: juniper, cinnamon, cardamom, lemon, orange and grapefruit peel, star anise and wild-flower honey

Perfect pairing: sparkling water and a wedge of lime

Available from:
Amazon (£37.99)
Master of Malt (£36.49)
The Whisky Exchange (£41.50)

Elephant Gin African explorer

Elephant Gin

This limited-edition bottle was released to celebrate Elephant Gin’s 10-year anniversary. Full of citrus and cassis from aromatics – like African buchu leaves and grapefruit, and with herbal and ginger notes – this is best served in a classic G&T, or use in a negroni. Plus, 15% of the profits go to support the African Wildlife Foundation, which helps protect the endangered African Forest Elephant in Cameroon.

Flavour profile: Herbal

Botanicals: Buchu leaves from South Africa, African nutmeg, white ginger from Cameroon, Sumbala seeds from Burkina Faso, the savannah’s “superfruit” Baobab, and floral Lion’s Tail, among other botanicals, including bergamot, grapefruit and mint.

Perfect pairing: In a classic G&T or negroni

Available from:
Elephant Gin (£45)


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Best flavoured gins to try
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Hannah Guinness olive magazine portrait
Hannah GuinnessSenior sub editor and drinks writer

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