Put down that same old bottle of gin. International Gin and Tonic Day is a great excuse to try creative and diverse formulations of this versatile spirit, starting with these London Dry Gins from around the globe.
Don’t London Dry Gins have to come from, well…London, you ask? While London Dry Gin did originate in England’s capital, the term has come to refer to a style of gin – regardless of its provenance. This style is set apart from distilled gin by a few parameters. First, it must be infused with all-natural botanicals, which can only be introduced through re-distillation. No artificial ingredients are permitted, and no flavors or colors can be added after distillation.
The process results in smooth, high-quality gins that showcase gin’s only essential ingredient — juniper — and that are perfect in G&Ts. This International Gin and Tonic Day and beyond, try these distinct London Dry Gins handcrafted in Scotland, California, and greater England — as well as the Big Smoke.
Speyside, Scotland may best be known as the heart of Scotch Whisky country, but it’s also home to this singular estate gin. Inspired by the famed region’s picturesque flora, fauna, lochs, moors, and glens, it’s named for the 22,000-acre Tulchan estate along the idyllic River Spey. Small batch and copper pot-stilled, it’s crafted with juniper, elderflower, and berries, with subtle notes of chamomile, sage, citrus, and pine.
Founded by 8th-generation distiller Johnny Neill, Whitley Neill Gin’s smooth take on a London Dry is a marriage between his English distilling heritage, and his wife’s African homeland. Made with traditional gin botanicals like juniper, coriander, and lemon – plus native African botanicals like Baobab and Angelica Root – it nabbed several awards recently, including gold at the 2022 London Spirits Competition and double gold at the 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Sipsmith makes just one thing at their distillery in West London: gin. The brand launched in 2009, when two childhood friends and a third co-founder turned their quest for the perfect traditional London Dry into a “modern-day gin-aissance.” Smooth and elegant, it has a bright and floral nose, a juniper- and citrus-forward palate, and a pleasantly spicy finish.
This bold spirit showcases a medley of hand-picked botanicals once found on the ancient Spice Route: cardamom and Tellicherry peppercorns from India, Moroccan coriander, and spicy cubeb berries from Indonesia. It won double gold in the premium London Dry category at this year’s International Spirits Challenge – due in part to the fact that it’s crafted at the world’s oldest continuous gin distillery. Located outside of Manchester, England, the historic distillery uses the same time-honored methods it’s been perfecting since 1761.
Notes of pink peppercorn, blood orange, spruce, whole cloves, and orris root flavor this zesty London Dry distilled from grapes by You & Yours Distilling Co. in San Diego. The distillery makes great canned G&Ts in regular and blood orange too.