The Top 10 Gins of 2023

The Top 10 Gins of 2023

As the weather warms up, a young man’s fancy turns of course to lighter fare, with gin one of the most essential pieces of the springtime cocktail puzzle. We sampled plenty of outstanding gins over the last year, and with this feature we profile the greatest hits of 2023.

Need more picks? Check our top gin lists from 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022. You can also search multiple stores at wine-searcher to find the best prices on all these products and more.

1. Citadelle Gin Vive le Cornichon – There is something about the combination of gin and pickles, and Maison Ferrand’s Alexandre Gabriel knows it. He personally designed this special edition – still widely available – of the classic French Citadelle Gin, building it around cornichon pickles, which give the spirit a bright and lightly vinegary note, variously evoking green olives, lemon, and thyme. Perfect in a martini – and just about anything else. 87.6 proof. 87.6 proof. $30 (700ml) -CN

2. Silent Pool Gin – Bright and complex, yet somehow also familiar, the UK-based Silent Pool Gin will appeal to virtually all fans of the London dry style. It bursts with piney juniper and citrus coupled with lavender, chamomile, and a touch of honey. It is delicious on its own and in cocktails, as it manages both to stand out and to blend in seamlessly. Always delightful. 86 proof. $55 -RL

3. Bombay Sapphire Murcian Lemon Gin – Bombay Sapphire cranks out plenty of special editions, but this one stands out thanks to its inclusion of Spanish lemons plus mandarin and navel oranges, really brightening up the citrus qualities in the spirit. Exuberant and lemonade-like, with touches of spice visible throughout, it is a beautiful mixer in long drinks and more citrus-forward fare. 94 proof. $40 (700ml) -CN  [BUY IT NOW FROM RESERVEBAR]

4. Citadelle Extremes No. 4 “Sergent Pepper” Gin – Our second Citadelle selection for 2023 is this rarer offering, initially developed in 2021 but something that trickled out internationally pretty slowly. Only 1000 bottles were produced, but gin fans need to get one, as its inclusion of two varieties of fresh pepper – one allegedly the rarest in the world – give it a gorgeous and unique nose and palate, bold with the spice but never overwhelming in the slightest. 90.8 proof. $100 (700ml) -CN

5. Drumshanbo with California Orange Citrus Gunpowder Irish Gin – The flagship gin from Ireland’s Drumshanbo is a standout on its own, but this special edition (one of two in the lineup) adds a flavorful twist by substituting Chinese lemon in the classic gin bill for sweeter and juicier California orange citrus. While it still retains much of the standard offering with lots of green tea and dried herbs, the aroma is distinctly citrus-forward while the palate is a bit brighter with a lingering, summery orange peel note. A gin tailor made for warm weather cocktails. 86 proof. $37 -DB

6. Farmer’s Organic Gin – This certified organic gin from Chatham Imports (of Michter’s whiskey fame) is distilled from organic wheat grown on 1,000 Springs Mill Farm in Buhl, Idaho and boasts a mix of botanicals including juniper, elderflower, lemongrass, coriander, and angelica root. While on paper that recipe is rather traditional, this gin is anything but ordinary, with an aroma of blueberry, rose, and baking spice and a more classic palate of mint and juniper that is nevertheless unique in its balance and creamy texture. Almost too good to mix. 93.4 proof. $35 -DB [BUY IT NOW FROM RESERVEBAR]

7. Eda Rhyne Pinnix Gin – How many gins are named for someone’s grandmother? Asheville’s Eda Rhyne Distillery’s Pinnix gin takes its name from founder and distiller Rett Murphy’s “guerrilla gardener” grandma who would surely be proud of this uniquely earthy gin made with foraged eastern hemlock and angelica, among other more classic botanicals. It’s green and woodsy on the nose with a palate of tea leaves, baking spice, and pine needles. A mountain hike in a bottle. 92 proof. $37 -DB

8. Freeland Spirits Forest Gin – This isn’t a gin for everyone, but for some, it will be a new favorite. The gin couples juniper with boldly earthy umami notes that don’t really work in a G&T but which serve brilliantly in a dirty martini and even better in a Gibson: rich, deep, and delicious. If you like a more savory martini, you have to give this gin a try. 90 proof. $40 -RL

9. Mr. Pickles Gin – As gentle as the sweet dog that appears on the bottle, Mr. Pickles Gin is a real crowd pleaser. It shows soft, well integrated notes of pine, licorice, citrus, and pepper along with just a touch of umami, making for a gin that has enough sophistication on its own while serving as a solid base for a lovely, refreshing G&T. 86 proof. $35 -RL

10. MXXN London Dry – Here’s a wildcard for ya: A “gin” made not with alcohol but rather with cannabis, emulating gin with vague greenery notes while eschewing the booze altogether. Don’t worry, the 6mg of THC in each serving of your MXXN and tonic will still get the evening started right, with some high-grade quinine helping to bring the evergreen and citrus notes into focus. And boom, now you’re just a little bit high. N/A. $80 -CN

Additional reporting by Drew Beard and Robert Lublin.

Citadelle Gin Vive le Cornichon

$30
9.5

Rating

9.5/10

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

1 Comments

  1. Stephan Bartender on February 23, 2024 at 10:06 pm

    “Fantastic blog post! Your exploration of the top 10 gins is both insightful and informative. The detailed analysis and engaging writing style make it a must-read for anyone interested in this fascinating subject. Keep up and thank you for sharing

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