Best flavoured gin 2023 – taste test

If you’re looking for a memorable gin gift, check out our picks of the top 5 most unusual gins we’ve tried. For more, visit our reviews section to find more than 400 practical buyer’s guides, including taste tests of gin, vodka, rum and brandy, plus round-ups of the best rhubarb, pink and citrus gin.

Best flavoured gins at a glance

  • Best rhubarb gin: Warner’s rhubarb gin, £30.09
  • Best red wine gin: Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz gin, £42.95
  • Best lemon gin: Malfy Gin Con Limone, £29.95
  • Best raspberry gin: Whitley Neill raspberry gin, £27.75
  • Best flavoured gin for autumn: Bathtub damson and bay gin, £34.95
  • Best plum gin: Edinburgh Gin plum and vanilla liqueur, £14.94
  • Best pineapple gin: Boutique-y Gin Company spit-roasted pineapple gin, £33.95
  • Best sloe gin: Elephant sloe gin, £32.75
  • Best upgrade for gin liqueur fans: Edinburgh Gin rhubarb and ginger gin, £24.45
  • Best strawberry gin: Didsbury strawberry and Sicilian lemon gin, £24.95
  • Best orange gin: Sipsmith zesty orange gin, £32.24
  • Best cherry gin: Gordon’s Morello cherry, £18.50
  • Best passionfruit gin: Gordon’s tropical passion fruit, £18.50
  • Best rosemary gin: Bathtub rosemary and grapefruit gin, £34.95

How we tested flavoured gins

We looked for the best examples of popular flavoured gins (the kind you’d find in bars and pubs) – so predominantly fruit-based gins, such as rhubarb, raspberry or lemon. Alongside these classics, we also looked for creative flavours, such as red wine or oak-aged gins.

The flavour of the fruit or spice should be identifiable when tested blind. Flavoured gins can often be overpoweringly sweet – we wanted well-balanced gins that weren’t sickly and still had enough bitter notes from juniper and aromatics. Gins were tasted with plain tonic and then with lemonade to judge how well they tasted with different mixers. Read more on how we test and review products at BBC Good Food.

Best flavoured gins to buy 2023

Warner’s Victoria Rhubarb Gin

Best rhubarb gin

Size: 70cl
ABV: 40%

This Northamptonshire-based distillery is owned by husband-and-wife team Tom Warner and Tina Keogh-Warner, who have combined seasonal English fruit with their already hugely popular Harrington Dry Gin. Rhubarb is the flavour of the moment, and this fine example – which traces its origins to the original crop of rhubarb grown in Buckingham Palace’s kitchen garden during the reign of Queen Victoria – has a wonderful tangy, crisp freshness, backdropped by a delicious fruity note. Drink it lengthened with a dry tonic over ice and you’ve got yourself a perfect summer sipper, fit for a king or queen.

Available from:
Amazon (£30.09)
Waitrose Cellar (£38)

Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz gin

Four Pillars Shiraz Gin

Best red wine gin

Size: 70cl
ABV: 37%

What’s not to like here? A premium Australian gin from industry favourites Four Pillars, combined with the dry spiciness of Shiraz grapes. The grapes are left to infuse in the gin for eight weeks before the juice is pressed and blended with yet more gin, taking on a wonderful dark purple hue in the process. It makes for a killer bramble cocktail, or add a hearty measure to a glass of prosecco.

Available from:
The Whisky Exchange (£42.95)
Amazon (£38.95)

Malfy Gin Con Limone

lemon-gin-4ea8a0e

Best lemon gin

Size: 70cl
ABV: 40%

Produced in Turin, this flavoursome Italian beast brings together some classic botanicals (including Italian juniper, angelica and coriander) and then adds in an infusion of very zesty lemons, which are sourced from Sicily and the Amalfi Coast. An undeniable burst of citrus dominates the flavour, but in a marvellously refreshing way. Works best with tonic, plenty of ice and, if you’re still craving more citrus, a twist of oily Amalfi lemon zest.

More like this

Available from:
Amazon (£26.50)
Waitrose (£26.50)
Spirits Kiosk (£28.95)

Edinburgh Gin plum and vanilla liqueur

edinburgh-plum-gin-360fe7b

Best plum gin

Size: 20cl
ABV: 20%

Technically a liqueur because of its 20% ABV, this is a wonderfully fruity homage to lost summer days in the garden, sipping on a tall glass of something. The tangy, sweet plum notes combine with an aromatic Madagascan vanilla flavour, alongside orange peel, lemongrass, mulberry, lavender and pine buds. It’s a great ingredient in a spritz, or perfect with prosecco.

Available from:
Amazon (£16.50)
Master of Malt (£14.94)

Boutique-y Gin Company spit-roasted pineapple gin

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Best pineapple gin

Size: 70cl
ABV: 40%

Pineapple works sensationally well with gin. This variety uses whole pineapples, which are spit-roasted with demerara sugar to give them a caramelised coating. The resulting flavours are then extracted and combined with a bold, juniper-forward gin. It’s sweet, pineappley and distinct, but it’s also surprisingly moreish and almost liqueur-like. Mix with sparkling water and ice for a long spritzer-style drink.

Available from:
Master of Malt (£33.95)
Amazon (£32.52)
Not on the High Street (£34.95)

Elephant sloe gin

sloe-gin-ccc355e

Best sloe gin

Size: 50cl
ABV: 35%

Elephant is a fine example of this classic gin flavour. Plump sloes are macerated in an award-winning London dry gin (made in Germany) for several months, before being sweetened and bottled. The result is a very fruity, tart, rich spirit, which isn’t cloyingly sweet like some other examples on the market. Try this over ice with a Sicilian lemon tonic and you may find you have a new summer classic on your hands.

Edinburgh rhubarb and ginger gin

Rhubarb and ginger gin

Best upgrade for gin liqueur fans

Size: 50cl
ABV: 20%
Star rating: 4/5

If you like the sweetness of a gin liqueur, this is the perfect way to dip your toe into a higher percentage gin. Having originally launched as a gin liqueur, the success of Edinburgh Gin’s rhubarb and ginger flavour inspired the brand to launch this as a full strength gin. The addition of stem ginger adds warmth and subtle spice that leads the palate, followed by sweet and tart rhubarb. Best served with tonic to let the rhubarb shine.

Didsbury strawberry and Sicilian lemon gin

Strawberry gin

Best strawberry gin

Size: 50cl
ABV: 40%
Star rating: 5/5

We were intrigued by this combination of flavours. Strawberry gin has the potential to be sickly sweet, so the pairing here with tart Sicilian lemon (plus Didsbury’s 11 botanicals) is inspired – plenty of jammy sweetness from British strawberries, tempered by zesty lemons. You can dial up the sweetness by pairing with lemonade – a great summer drink that’s sure to be a crowdpleaser, and a good alternative to Pimm’s in the sunshine.

Available from:
Not on the High Street (£24.95)

Sipsmith zesty orange gin

Zesty orange gin

Best orange gin

Size: 70cl
ABV: 40%
Star rating: 4/5

Based on a classic London dry gin, this bottle lives up to its ‘zesty’ title. Both fresh and dried orange peel alongside fragrant bergamot zest makes for a gin that bursts with citrus flavour. It develops into tangy marmalade notes and gentle spice to prevent it from being too sweet. This orange gin would be great in cocktails – we’ve got plenty of citrus cocktail recipes for inspiration – and Sipsmith suggests adding a splash to hot chocolate, too. We also tried the Sipsmith lemon drizzle gin, which was pleasingly tart and again delivered a punch of citrus flavour.

Whitley Neill raspberry gin

Raspberry-gin

Best raspberry gin

Star rating: 4/5
Size: 70cl

ABV: 43%

Whitley Neill has a huge range of flavoured gins, including lime, rhubarb, violet and even quince, but the raspberry gin is our top pick. Whitley Neill gins are made in their City of London distillery and the raspberry gin has won the silver award at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in 2020 and 2021. Made with Scottish raspberries and balanced with punchy juniper, liquorice and coriander, this is a versatile and vibrant flavoured gin.

Bathtub damson and bay gin

Bathtub Gin damson and bay

Best flavoured gin for autumn

Size: 70cl
ABV: 43.3%

The latest flavour from the ever-expanding Bathtub, this complex damson and bay gin is just the thing to sip throughout autumn and winter. One that is likely to appeal to sloe gin fans, this makes a great seasonal alternative – you could even add a splash to mulled wine too. The aroma of jammy stewed damsons is clear from the initial nose, and the palate has deep, rich red fruit flavour. There’s a pleasant unexpected almond note as the flavour develops, with the herbal bay blending with classic Bathtub botanicals to provide a herbal, almost spiced edge.

Available from:
Master of Malt (£34.95)

Gordon’s Morello cherry gin

Red bottle of Gordon's morello cherry gin

Best cherry gin

Size: 70cl
ABV: 37.5%

Gordon’s is an instantly familiar name in the world of gin, with its trademark green bottles visible at many pubs and bars. They’ve recently been expanding into flavoured gins – the refreshing Mediterranean Orange variety launched back in 2020 is an example of a citrus gin done simply and well. The Morello Cherry is one of their latest launches, blending the classic London dry gin with juicy Morello cherries that lend sweet yet tart depth to the gin along with their deep red-pink colour. Try using in a bramble cocktail for an interesting complement to the blackberry liqueur.

Available from:
Sainsbury’s (£18.50)

Gordon’s tropical passion fruit gin

Gordons gin in a yellow bottle with purple accents

Best passion fruit gin

Size: 70cl
ABV: 37.5%

Another easy-to-find launch from Gordon’s. Perfect for summer days, this tropical twist on Gordon’s classic London Dry is sunshine in a glass. The passion fruit aroma is subtle to pick out on the nose, but comes through pleasantly in drinking. It is well-balanced without being too sweet, with clear juniper notes present. Serve in a refreshing tall spritz or use to add an extra boost of tropical tartness to a passion fruit martini.

Available from:
Amazon (£18.50)
Sainsbury’s (£18.50)

Bathtub Gin grapefruit & rosemary

Bathtub gin with black lid

Best rosemary gin

70cl
ABV: 43.3%

Grapefruit & rosemary marks Bathtub Gin’s first flavoured gin variety. It’s unique in that the flavour was chosen by consumers, with more than 2,500 votes deciding this new launch.

On the nose, its classic juniper forward along with the aromatic rosemary adding almost savoury notes. Fresh grapefruit is clear on the palate even as the rosemary deepens, but the flavour of Bathtub gin itself is still clear. It’s a great option for those without a sweet tooth: herbal rosemary and tart grapefruit don’t add the sugary sweetness that can be present in gins that are flavoured with berries or sweet tropical fruit. This makes it best in a simple gin and tonic – add a slice of grapefruit to garnish.

Available from:
Amazon (£34.95)
Master of Malt (£34.95)

What is gin made from?

Gin is made by distilling a neutral grain alcohol (such as vodka) with juniper berries and other botanicals. To be classed as gin, it must contain juniper berries – but the other chosen botanicals can vary and this is what makes each gin distinct. In a flavoured gin, fruit (whether fresh, dried or zest) or aromatics are also added. These, along with the botanicals, are infused into the raw spirit to release their flavours and potentially add colour, too.

What is pink gin?

The term pink gin originally referred to a cocktail of Plymouth gin and Angostura bitters, created by the British Navy. Today, pink gin is normal gin that has been flavoured with fruits or aromatics (such as rose petals) to lend it a pink hue and usually extra sweetness, without adding sugar or lowering the alcohol percentage. Pink gins can vary from subtle, pale rose-tinted tipples to bold and juicy berry gins.

How to drink gin

There’s no right or wrong way to drink gin – there’s plenty of options depending on your personal preference.

  • Neat: high quality spirits can be drunk neat, aka on their own without mixers. This allows you to taste the flavours and aromas of the gin itself without being distracted by aromatics from tonic water or sugary lemonade. Add ice to have it ‘on the rocks’.
  • Gin and tonic: perhaps the most familiar way to drink gin. Our collection of gin and tonic recipes has plenty of ideas for matching different garnishes to gins, and also includes gin-infused bakes.
  • Cocktails: from a long fizzy spritz to a classic negroni or martini, gin is the basis for lots of popular cocktails. We’ve got over 50 gin cocktail recipes to get you started – experiment with different flavoured gins to add extra flavour.

What are the best gin glasses?

Once you’ve got the perfect bottle, find the best gin glasses to sip your G&T from, whether that’s a roomy goblet or chic tumbler.

John Lewis Connoisseur gin glasses

John Lewis gin glasses

A classic way to serve gin in style. These glasses follow the traditional ‘copa’ style, a glass shape recommended for a gin and tonic. The long stem is reinforced to hold the heavy bowl above, and the wide bowl lets the flavours and botanicals of your chosen gin and tonic pairing breathe.

Available from:
John Lewis & Partners (£25/set of 2)

Oliver Bonas Rina green gin glasses

Oliver Bonas gin glasses

This quirky gin glass duo is great for gifting to a gin lover. A modern take on a traditional gin bowl, these have a short colourful stem and textured design to the glassware.

Available from:
Oliver Bonas (£19.50/set of 2)

Lakeland crystal-look acrylic tumblers

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If you’re planning a picnic or want drinks in the garden, these acrylic tumblers are a lightweight, shatterproof alternative to glass. They look like expensive crystal glassware with a roomy 350ml capacity – much more chic than plastic cups or gin from a tin.

Available from:
Lakeland (£19.96)

Root 7 geo tumblers

root-7-geo-black-cutout-crop-2bbb5d2

For short gin cocktails or sipping gin neat, a short tumbler is just what you need. This modern, geometric style has stylish metallic edging and is available in plain, gold or black designs. They’d stand out on a bar cart and also make a great gift for a gin lover.

Available from:
Amazon (£21.99)

Gin recipes and buyer’s advice

Sloe gin recipes
Gin cocktail recipes
10 gin & tonics with a twist
10 gin cocktails you can make in minutes
How to make your own sloe gin
The best gin to buy as a gift
The best classic gin
The best sustainable spirits to buy

If you have any questions or suggestions for future reviews, or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk.

Have we missed your favourite flavoured gin off our list? We’d love your suggestions…

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