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There’s a certain allure that comes with drinking gin, one you don’t get from any other spirit; there’s a certain sophistication and distinction that comes from a classic dry gin martini or the delicate clink of ice in a gin and tonic. Although gin might not be the best-selling spirit on the market, it’s arguably one of the best.

 

We’ve tagged five of the finest luxury gins on the market today. While most of the luxury gins presented here are known for their excellence and their fine production, one in particular is entirely unique.

 

Baffert’s

$25 to $30 per 750 ml bottle

 

Gin served in a crystal decanter? It’s true. In fact, Baffert’s bottle of luxury gin is so extravagant that it wouldn’t look out of place in the sideboard of the finest 1920s art-deco apartment.

 

Sweet on the palate, with a less pronounced juniper note, this luxury gin bills itself as “the vodka lover’s gin.” Indeed, Baffert’s was created to appeal to vodka lovers. So, while some gins are proud to talk in terms of blending in as many aromatics as possible, Baffert’s swings the other way and advertises itself as having the fewest botanicals of any gin in America.

 

It is, as manufacturers say, "a badly needed bridge between the vodka and gin categories."

 

You be the judge.

 

Van Gogh Gin

$40 per 750 ml bottle

 

Since gin is arguably one of Holland’s best inventions, why not name an ultra premium brand after one of the country’s best known native sons?

We can only assume that this was the thinking behind the production of Van Gogh Gin, probably the only alcohol in the world whose bottles are crafted by labourers in three countries before they are filled. Each bottle of Van Gogh Gin is built in Germany, etched in France, silk-screened in Belgium, filled in Holland, and capped with corks from Portugal. This luxury gin's bottle alone is a work of art worthy of its namesake’s signature!

 

Happily, this luxury gin is not all style over substance. With botanicals originating from nine different regions of the world -- including North Africa, West Asia, Java, Africa, China, Sri Lanka, the Mediterranean, Europe, and South Africa -- this is hardly a gin that lacks complexity.

 

Each bottle is distilled three times for smoothness and is crafted by hand in small batches for the best quality. The result is a super-smooth gin with a wonderful herbal aroma and a soft, smooth finish.

 

Tanqueray No. TEN

$80 per litre bottle

 

The newest member to Tanqueray’s gin family is a winner and a contender among premium gins.

 

A fairly recent addition to the luxury gin market -- launched in early 2000 -- Tanqueray’s No. TEN has emerged as a premium brand like no other. Four times distilled, it is the only gin in the world to be flavoured with the best hand-picked whole-fruit aromatics such as grapefruit, orange, lime, juniper, and chamomile.

 

No. TEN is distilled in small batches to ensure the best quality for this luxury gin. The distillers are so fussy about the production of this unique brand that they have a dedicated still -- called Tiny Ten -- specifically designed to provide the proper depth of flavour and character.

On the tongue, Tanqueray No. TEN is described as "sublimely fresh with depth and a complex flavour with a mouth-feel that can only be described as unctuous." How can you go wrong with that?

 

This luxury gin is so good that you’ll want to enjoy it chilled and neat, but if you must mix, it’s a winner in dry martinis and stands up brilliantly to tonic water.

 

Citadelle

$22 per 750 ml bottle

 

Another small-batch premium bottle, Citadelle gin is notable not only for its country of origin -- it’s French and made by the producers of one of France’s top cognacs -- but also for its exceptional quality.

 

Here is an extra smooth gin -- distilled four times for quality and purity -- with a rich, complex flavour that’s among the best you’ll ever taste. And while other gin distillers pride themselves on delivering up to a paltry 10 aromatics, Citadelle shatters the mould with 19:- Juniper berries, Coriander, Orange Peel, Cardamom, Licorice, Cubeb Pepper, Savory, Fennel, Iris, Cinnamon, Violets, Almonds, Cassia, Angelica, Grains of Paradise, Cumin, Nutmeg, Lemon Rind and Star Anise, sourced from all over the world:- France, Morocco, Mexico, India, China, Java, the Mediterranean, Italy, Sri Lanka, Spain, Indochina, Germany, West Africa, and Holland..

It is triple-distilled from wheat and spring water. Then before being steeped in neutral alcohol, the botanicals are carefully selected and then placed in a special bag. This infusion is then distilled to capture each separate aroma, so that the intermingled complex flavours can develop independently.

 

Citadelle’s motto is ”it’s in the details,” and that’s clearly not an understatement. We might also be inclined to agree with the manufacturer’s website’s boldest assertion: that this gin makes the best G&T in the world.

 

Hendrick’s

$40 per 750 ml bottle

 

While the Scots are famous for at least one distilled product, gin isn’t the brand that immediately jumps to mind.

 

Hendrick’s is small-batch gin, made by producers William Grant & Sons from an unusual combination of rose petals and cucumber. As such, this is a gin that’s not for everyone -- and the bottle’s label warns you of just that possibility. This is, as the distillery claims, ”a most peculiar gin” and one “for those consumers who refuse to follow the pack.”

 

Part of what makes Hendrick’s unique is that it is made from a blend of spirits produced from a Carter-Head still, of which there are very few still in existence, and a 19th century small-pot still. The combination of stills is said to produce a very different type of gin. The pot still, for example, imparts a heavy, oily, juniper taste and the Carter-Head still a much more subtle, floral taste.

 

Hendrick’s arrives in its own unique bottle: squat and brown and opaque, like an old medicine bottle, which is nicely appropriate. But here’s the real hook: the makers insist that you serve this one over ice with tonic and garnish with a slice of cucumber. Don’t ask why or how, but the cucumber just makes the drink better.

 

Those who like Hendrick’s swear by it. In 2003, the Wall Street Journal named it “The Best Gin in the World” and, the following year, it was a double gold-medal winner at the San Francisco International Spirits Competition. It’s velvety smooth with a citrus and mint undertone -- a bottle to be sipped and savoured.

 

And there you have it: five of the world’s best luxury gins, hailing from all corners of the earth. Gin has become a truly international spirit, produced according to the finest standards and using only the best ingredients. Choose any of these luxury bottles with confidence -- your tonic and vermouth will thank you.

 

Luxury Gins
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