Looking for more like this? Check out our reviews section for over 400+ reviews, including more expert taste tests such as the top 5 most unusual gins we’ve tried, plus round ups of the best pink, sloe, citrus and rhubarb gin, plus gift guides like the best letterbox gifts to order online.
Best classic gins at a glance
- Best overall classic gin: Hayman’s London Dry Gin, £21
- Best historic classic gin: Plymouth Gin, £20
- Best budget classic gin: Tanqueray London Dry Gin, £18.99
- Best Italian classic gin: Engine Gin, £27.75
- Best navy strength classic gin: Sipsmith VJOP, £39.69
- Best spiced plain gin: Pickering’s 1947 gin, £37.95
- Best Old Tom-style gin: Jensen’s Old Tom gin, £30.75
- Best premium classic gin: Martin Miller’s Westbourne Strength, £36.95
- Best rare classic gin: Beefeater Burrough’s Reserve, £76
Best classic gins to buy 2023
Hayman’s London Dry Gin
Best overall classic gin
As a descendant of the family that created Beefeater Gin, Christopher Hayman knows a thing or two about our beloved juniper juice. The Hayman family have developed a quality range of gins, but it’s their London Dry that roars from the hymn sheet. The juniper stands proud alongside the citrus embodying a true classic flavour profile. This makes a lip-smacking G&T.
Best historic classic gin
The Blackfriars distillery is as iconic for the City of Plymouth as the bottle of Plymouth Gin is for the bartender. The distillery has stood in the old Blackfriars since 1793 and the stills remain firing. Plymouth Dry sings with juniper vigour and brings citrus and cardamom to the party. A Martini made with Plymouth gin is one of life’s true pleasures.
Tanqueray London Dry Gin
Best budget classic gin
The shape of this world-renowned bottle is inspired by a cocktail shaker, making Tanqueray an immediate hit with the home bartenders amongst us. The recipe is on a secure lockdown – a shrouded secret never to be told. Word on the street is it contains no citrus and only four botanicals. Its strength of 43.1% ABV in the UK ensures it’s a key player in the make-up of any drink it’s used in.
More like this
When you think of alcohol from Italy, you’ll probably think of wine – but now you should be thinking of gin too. Produced in northern Italy with 100% organic Italian ingredients, the botanicals include locally grown sage, Sicilian lemons and juniper berries from Tuscany. The result is fresh and crisp. The unique fuel can-inspired packaging makes for a fun gift, too.
Best navy strength classic gin
This bottle is the pièce de résistance of master distiller Jared Brown’s flavour-making career. Triple-macerated juniper and a navy strength ABV of 57% would have you thinking the V.J.O.P (which stands for ‘very junipery over proof’) will blow your head off, but the genius of it is that it tastes smooth and goes down oh-so easily.
Best spiced plain gin
This gin derives from a tale of discovery. Through a touch of well-timed luck, a close friend of the Pickering’s founders procured a historic recipe with roots in 1947 Bombay around the same time as the distillery was under construction. This warming, considered, spiced gin with a cosy hug of cinnamon takes control of your drink and offers you a little glimpse of the past.
Master of Malt (£37.95)
Jensen’s Old Tom
Best Old Tom-style gin
Old Tom was a style of gin resigned to a place in the annals of history until its recent resurgence. Bermondsey was an area of London designated to the distillery graveyard, so who stood in better stead than the Bermondsey Distillery to lead the Old Tom renaissance? Traditionally Old Toms are slightly sweeter but you’ll find that Jensen’s is still dry with vegetal and menthol notes running through. Charge your Tom Collins with this, then take up a seat in your favourite easy chair, put on a record… sorted.
Martin Miller’s Westbourne Strength
Best premium classic gin
Launched as the first super-premium gin in 1999, Martin Miller’s wanted to do something a little different. They added cucumber as an ingredient and also focused on the water used in diluting their gin. They decided the naturally mineralised water of Iceland was the right route to tread, enabling them to create a fresh and delicious gin. Martin Miller’s is distilled in two batches – one is made with juniper and spices and the other citrus, and they’re then blended. The Westbourne sits at 45.2% ABV too.
Beefeater Burrough’s Reserve
Best rare classic gin
Distilled in Beefeater’s mystical still number 12 to Beefeater founder James Burrough’s original 1860 recipe, this baby breaks the mould. The production process takes it low and slow, and after distillation the gin is placed in oak casks. This isn’t just any old wood though – the barrels previously housed Lillet vermouth. The resting accentuates the spiciness of the gin while mellowing it so it’s velvety to the sip. No need to mix here. Just pour the gin, light the fire, rock that chair and enjoy reaching gin nirvana.
Waitrose Cellar (£76)
This review was last updated in May 2023. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have a favourite bottle of gin? Let us know if you think we’ve missed something off our list…