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Updated: 20 May 2022

Best gin for the perfect gin and tonic

Supermarket own-brand gins take on the big names. Find out which gin is best for your G&T and the best cheaper gins
Lisa Galliers
four glasses of gin with ice and slices of fruit
Gin

Whether you’re someone who enjoys a G&T yourself, or are looking for a gin to wow guests, we’ve found a bottle to suit your budget.

We tested 20 big-brand and supermarket own-label gins to find the best bottles worth snapping up when you're at the supermarket.

Our expert panel blind-tasted each gin in a different order and rated it, uncovering two brilliant Best Buys and several cheaper options to consider. 

While a beautiful bottle might catch your eye when wandering the supermarket aisles, our taste test revealed that the best-looking bottles may not always be the tastiest. So don't get too swayed by the label. We've got the inside track on how classic brands and newer arrivals compare.


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Best gins to buy

Only logged in Which? members can view our results and test scores below.

If you're not yet a member, you'll see an alphabetically ordered list of the best gin on test. To get instant access to this and all our expert test results, join Which? today.

Ableforth's Bathtub Gin

£31 for a 700ml bottle

Distilled in copper pots and made with juniper and coriander among other botanicals, Ableforth says it takes a week to infuse its gin with fresh botanical flavours that would be too delicate to survive traditional distillation. Did our experts appreciate these lengths? 

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results to see if this gin is worth investing in.

Available from AmazonAsdaIcelandMorrisonsSainsbury'sTesco and Waitrose

Bloom Premium London Dry Gin

£31 for a 700ml bottle

Bloom Premium London Dry Gin

Inspired by 'the true beauty of nature', this gin from Bloom is battling against its competitors for a spot in your drinks cabinet. Should you part with £25 for a taste of Bloom Premium London Dry Gin? 

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Available from AmazonMorrisons Sainsbury's and Tesco 

Bombay Sapphire Distilled London Dry Gin

£22 for a 700ml bottle

Bombay Sapphire Distilled London Dry Gin

Crafted from a recipe dating back to 1761, Bombay Sapphire has plenty of history. Can it outperform pricier gins on taste, or are there better alternatives? 

Catch the thoughts of our taste test panel. Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Available from Amazon, Asda, Ocado, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose

Brewdog LoneWolf London Dry Gin

£25 for a 700ml bottle

Possibly more well known for its range of craft beers, Brewdog's bold-looking gin combines juniper with botanicals including Scots pine, lavender and citrus notes.

Will this gin release your inner wolf? Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Available at Amazon

Co-op Irresistible Premium London Dry Gin

£17.50 for a 700ml bottle

Co-op Irresistible London Dry Gin

This Co-op gin is blended with black pepper, lemon verbena, cardamom, cumin and rowanberry. It's described as the perfect tipple for a warm summer's evening, but did our expert tasting panel agree?

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our full table of test results.

Available from Co-op (in-store only).

Edinburgh Gin

£28 for a 700ml bottle

As the name suggests, Edinburgh Gin was born in the Scottish capital city and combines 14 botanicals in its small-batch distilled spirit. It's one of the most expensive on test, and this classic gin is described as 'the most perfect gin' by its makers.

Did our experts agree? Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Available from Amazon, Asda, Morrisons and Tesco

Gordon's Special Dry London Gin

£15.50 for a 700ml bottle

This classic gin from Gordon's is centred around juniper berries, the core flavour of gin. It's distilled using a secret recipe, but were our experts impressed when it came to the taste test?

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Available from AmazonAsdaMorrisonsOcadoSainsbury'sTesco and Waitrose

Haysmith's London Dry Gin (Aldi)

£14.99 for a 700ml bottle

Described as elegantly smooth with a complex taste, Aldi's Haysmiths London Dry Gin is one of the cheapest on test. This gin is composed of a range of botanicals including juniper, Szechuan pepper, cardamom and orange and lime peel. 

Is it a cheap and cheerful buy? Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Available at Aldi (in-store only).

Hendrick's Gin

£29 for a 700ml bottle

Crafted from 11 botanicals, including rose and cucumber, this gin, distilled in Scotland, is created using two different methods combining the resulting two gins into one. Hendrick's says the result is a refreshing gin with a delightful floral aroma.

Log in now or join Which? to find out how it fared in our expert taste test.

Heston's Lazy Sunshine Gin

£25 for a 700ml bottle

Exclusive to Waitrose, Heston's Lazy Sunshine Gin is infused with botanicals including Mediterranean sweet basil, rosemary, thyme and lavender, as well as juniper. 

Will this gin hit the spot? Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Available from Waitrose.

Lidl Hortus Original London Dry Gin

£15.99 for a 500ml bottle

Lidl Hortus Original London Dry Gin

Lidl's own-brand gin is keenly priced but still has an attractive-looking bottle. Does it taste the part to match the looks?

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Available from Lidl (in-store only).

M&S Spiced London Distilled Dry Gin No 01

£25 for a 700ml bottle

This bottle of gin from M&S could be yours for around £25, but is it one of the most delicious options we tried?

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Available from M&S (in-store only) and Ocado.

M&S Zesty London Distilled Dry Gin No 02

£25 for a 700ml bottle

M&S No.02 Zesty London Dry Gin combines juniper with orange peel and a hint of zest along with other botanicals. It's exclusive to M&S and handcrafted in London. Is it worth making a trip to M&S especially?  

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Available from M&S (in-store only) and Ocado.

Martin Miller's Gin

£27 for a 700ml bottle

Martin Miller's Gin

This gin is one of the most expensive bottles we've tested, so is the price justified?

To see if this is one of our highest-scoring gins on test, log in now or join Which? to unlock our the results.

Morrisons The Best London Dry Gin

£16 for a 700ml bottle

If your nearest shop is Morrisons, how does it's own brand London Dry Gin stack up against the brand leaders? 

To see if this is one of our highest-scoring gins on test, log in now or join Which? to unlock our the results.

Available from Morrisons.

Plymouth The Original Strength English Gin

£26 for a 700ml bottle

Plymouth Gin

Plymouth Gin is finished with a subtle spice that gives it a unique tone, but how will it pair with your tonic of choice? 

Our expert panel has had its say. Log in now or join Which? to unlock our the results.

Available from Asda, Amazon, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose

Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Blackfriars Gin

£16 for a 700ml bottle

Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Blackfriars Gin

The Sainsbury's website suggests pairing this affordable bottle of gin with tonic and a twist of lime. What flavours did we pick up on when it came to the tasting? 

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Available at Sainsbury's.

Sipsmith London Dry Gin

£28.50 for a 700ml bottle

Sipsmith London Dry Gin

Handcrafted in England's capital, Sipsmith London Dry Gin is made up of ten classic botanicals.

Does this stylish-looking gin beat alternatives from Bombay Sapphire and Gordon's? Log in now or join Which? to unlock our the results.

Available at AmazonAsdaMorrisonsSainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose

Tanqueray London Dry Gin

£18 for a 700ml bottle

Tanqueray Dry Gin

Tanqueray Dry Gin is distilled four times and balances four botanicals. The brand promises 'aromatic angelica and sweet liquorice' with each sip, but did our tasting panel agree?

See if this gin is one of the best you can buy. Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Available from AmazonAsdaMorrisonsOcadoSainsbury'sTesco and Waitrose

Tesco Finest The Melodist London Dry Gin

£20 for a 700ml bottle

Tesco describes this pretty-looking gin as a blend of fine botanicals from around the world, including green tea and lemongrass. It's Expertly crafted in partnership with The Two Tykes distillery, but how does it stack up to other supermarket own brands? 

See if this gin is the one for you. Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results. 

Available at Tesco.

Note: Prices and availability correct as of 19 May 2022.

Botanical spirits: is alcohol-free 'gin' any good?

Both no-alcohol and alternative botanical drinks have hit the mainstream since we last tested gins, but are they any good? 

We asked our experts to blind-sample a selection (mixed up as a mock G&T), from big-brand booze-free options to own-brand or niche newcomers, and found that you’re safest sticking to heritage brands if you want something close to the real deal.  

Gordon’s and Tanqueray 0% spirit drinks (they can't legally be called gin without an ABV of 37.5% minimum) impressed our experts, who felt they had at least some suggestion of a gin and tonic flavour. Both bottles look almost exactly like normal gin bottles, too, so the sensory experience is similar. It's also handy if you want an inclusive non-alcohol option at a party, without making it stand out.

If you don’t want an exact substitute, Asda’s Extra Special Non Alcoholic Botanical Drink (£10 for 70cl) was considered nice enough in its own right by our experts (though they generally weren't fans of this category). Neither of the pricey options our experts tried – Pentire Adrift (£27/700ml) or Sipsmith FreeGlider (£22.50/700ml) – impressed in our tasting session. 

Gordon's 0% vs the original gin – see if consumers could tell the difference in our snapshot tryout

Choosing the best gin

Our taste test shows you don't have to pay a premium for a great gin, and that looks can be deceiving. While a beautiful bottle may look great on your worktops, some more unassuming ones may taste better in the glass.

When choosing for yourself or others, look for additional flavour notes that appeal, for example citrus or a particular herb. 

Juniper is the core of any good gin, but it’s one part of an often complex mix of botanicals (herbs, spices and other plant-based ingredients) that influence overall flavour.

How to make the best gin and tonic

Holding gin and tonic

Our experts filled us in on their top tips for a perfect G&T:

1. Choose the best tonic

Don’t get too hung up on fancy tonics. Despite the boom in premium tonics, our experts felt these weren’t really necessary. They warned that the tonic shouldn’t compete with the gin and flavoured versions may swamp the gin itself. Instead, ‘Let the gin sing!'

They favoured Schweppes or a plain standard tonic water as a classic choice, but some said that Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water was worth a try and complemented citrussy gins nicely. In our previous 2018 gin taste test, our experts preferred Fever Tree to Fentimans when they blind-tasted the two main premium brands.

Cans are best for occasional drinks to avoid flat or wasted tonic, as an opened bottle will soon lose its fizz.

2. Don't skimp on ice

When it comes to ice, the mantra is the more the merrier and the bigger the better, so your G&T doesn’t get diluted by the ice melting too quickly. 

‘Run out of ice, run out of party’ one expert warned. Your mixer of choice should be straight out of the fridge, too.

Unless you’re tasting gin neat (which is what our experts do to assess the flavour), a room-temperature drink is a cardinal sin – G&T should be as cold as possible.

You could even store your gin in the fridge or freezer for the ultimate chill.

3. Which glass is best for gin?

Our experts suggest using a highball glass (a tall narrow one). It's a great all-rounder that can be used for either cocktails or simple G&Ts. Its height means you can pack it full of ice to keep your drink cold, while the narrow opening is easy to garnish.

Balloon glasses – all the rage right now in bars – weren't a favourite among our experts. You can pack loads of ice in, but the massive, top-heavy design makes it hard to hold without cupping the bowl, meaning your hand gets cold as your drink warms up. On the other hand, it does have the drama factor, and it's easier to add a spectacular garnish if you're looking to impress.

4. Measure it out properly

Rather than eyeballing quantities for your next G&T, it's worth measuring it out. Our expert panel recommend three parts tonic water to one part gin. Use a miniature can for your mixer if you and it’s made easier for you – simply pour out the entire 150ml can of tonic over a standard double measure of gin (50ml).

5. Go easy on garnishes

Our experts agreed a slice of lemon or lime is a tried-and-tested classic. Upgrading to pink grapefruit makes for a showstopping and zesty alternative.

If using lemon, they recommend putting a slice at the bottom of the glass (before adding ice) or adding a dash of peel on the top. Don’t squeeze it in.

Choose lime over lemon if you’re using a slimline mixer – its extra sharpness works well with the sweeter tonic. Or, try a sprig of fresh rosemary, basil or thyme to jazz up your drink.

Avoid: trendy pink peppercorns or juniper berries, or anything else can get stuck in your teeth. They may look good in a picture, but they are annoying to drink!

How we tested gin

In March 2022, we asked a panel of five gin experts to taste and rate a selection of supermarket gins. Every gin was tasted blind, in a rotated order, to eliminate bias.

We asked supermarkets to nominate good-quality own-brand or exclusive gins. We asked for a standard gin (ie one that wasn’t from a premium or budget range). We also included popular branded gins that were sold by most major supermarkets.

Gins were tested neat and the top scorers were also tested made up as a gin and tonic to check how well they blended. Scores were weighted as follows:

  • Palate 50%
  • Nose/aroma 25%
  • Finish 25%

Our expert panel:

  • Ian Wisniewski – food, drink and travel writer and broadcaster
  • Joel Harrison – award-winning drinks writer, commentator and creative consultant. Co-author of The World Atlas of Gin
  • Laura Foster – widely published journalist and writer, with a particular focus on spirits and cocktails
  • Pritesh Moody – mixologist, owner of World of Zing and a Sunday Brunch regular
  • Sandrae Lawrence – founder and editor of The Cocktail Lovers magazine and podcast

How to recycle gin bottles

Glass bottles can usually go in your household recycling bin. If your council doesn’t accept them, you can take them to a local bottle bank. Make sure to empty out all the liquid, give the bottle a quick rinse and put the lid back on to reduce the chance of it getting lost during the sorting process.

Natural corks can’t go in your recycling bin, but they can be composted. You can also recycle corks through Recorked UK – either by posting them or dropping them off at your nearest collection point.

Synthetic corks, which are made of plastic, can’t be recycled or composted. They should be disposed of in your general waste bin.

Prices and availability correct as of 19 May 2022.