Here at Women’s Health, we believe in a bit of everything in moderation. So with that in mind, we started our search for the best gin and got our testers on the case. They were on the lookout for bottles with the most beneficial botanical ingredients, and suggestions on the best ways to serve them.
Is gin the healthiest alcohol?
With pubs and restaurants reopening and social gatherings back on the cards, we sure as hell are looking forward to a few drinks in the sunshine.
And in terms of what to order, gin is a pretty healthy choice. A gin and slimline tonic only contains 60 calories, versus the 200 you’ll find in a large glass of wine or pint of lager. Garnish with fresh fruit — we love big grapefruit wedges and berries, both of which will contribute to your five a day — OK, not by much but it's better than a syrup filled cocktail.
Gin is also free of congeners (so you’re less likely to get a hangover!), and we’ve steered clear of any recipes with added sugar.
How we test
We don’t need to tell you, there are a LOT of gin brands out there. So the Women’s Health Lab whittled it down to 72 bottles, including classic London dry, flavoured and pink. They were looking for healthy botanicals and full-flavoured spirits that didn’t need sugary tonic in order to enjoy.
So without further ado, these are the best gins for 2021...
10 Best Gins 2021
Made in East London with cardamom, spicy cubeb berries, lemon and pink grapefruit peel, this is a kick-ass gin. It’s super smooth, a dream in cocktails and we think it’s excellent value for money too.
For a little post-tennis match refreshment, Sipsmith has taken last year’s Wimbledon strawberries, added a touch of mint and bottled it for our pleasure. It’s smooth, light and refreshing, and definitely not too sweet — make sure it’s waiting for you with a fresh slice of strawberry when you’re done on the court.
You might have thought pink gin was off the cards if you’re trying to hold on to your gains, but there’s nothing remotely sickly sweet about Malfy’s Gin Rosa. Testers likened it to “biting into a fresh grapefruit”, and if you pair it with a low-cal tonic and a wedge of fresh citrus, it’s almost as saintly too.
Created with foraged botanicals from Worcestershire’s Wyre Forest — including thyme, pine and lemon balm — our testers found that following the initial juniper burst, this gin develops creamy menthol notes. And better yet, you’ll also receive a packet of wildflower seeds with every bottle!
By using renewable energy and planting woodland for every bottle sold, this fresh and herbaceous Yorkshire gin is impressively carbon negative (meaning it sucks more greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere than it contributes). Packed with basil, lemongrass and clove, we’d suggest garnishing with fresh herbs to seve. It’s basically a green smoothie…
Made with Icelandic spring water (thought to be super healthy for its uniquely alkaline properties), this gin is all about the sour citrus fruit (think lemon sherbets!). We’d serve with a low-cal tonic, stick of cucumber and sprig of mint for a deliciously refreshing serve.
Ok, so it’s not cheap, but this English gin contains some of the rarest citrus fruits in the world. From Japanese yuzu to sweet Buddha’s hand, Seville orange to natsudaidai (an orange/pomelo hybrid), and lastly hirado buntan (a type of pomelo). Nope, we’d not heard of half of them either. It’s bittersweet, so if you like negronis, we think you’ll love this.
Looking for a gin to enjoy on the rocks? We’ve found it in this sharp, citrus-packed Scottish gin. The refreshing pine, mulberry and fresh hazelnuts are so unique that tonic would only get in the way, so save yourself the calories.
A London dry gin inspired by the soft golden glow of the setting sun you say? Sign us up! This limited edition expression combines peppery white cardamom, anti-inflammatory turmeric and gentle mandarin, for an exotic flavour that makes us feel like we’re on our hols.
Forget the dired botanicals found in other gins, you won’t taste fresher than in Gin Mare’s Mediterranean-inspired spirit. The medley of arbequina olives, basil, rosemary and thyme all add a savoury edge that’s as delicious neat, with tonic or in a martini.