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A gin martini | © Don LaVange / Flickr

These 8 Outstanding Gins Hail From Unexpected Places

Picture of Kathryn Maier
Kathryn Maier
NYC Food & Drink Editor
Updated: 9 June 2017

Gin, the spirit flavored with juniper berries, is generally associated with Britain (where most gins are distilled) or Spain (where the “gin & tonic” is practically the national drink). But some of the best gins on the market today are distilled in places you’d never expect. In honor of World Gin Day on June 10, here are eight of our very favorite gins from all around the world. Happy drinking!

Argentina: Apostoles Gin

Apostoles uses yerba mate—the plant used to make mate, the most Argentine of beverages—in its gin, plus eucalyptus, peppermint, and pink grapefruit, producing a creamy, soft, and herbal gin.

Australia: Four Pillars Gin

Incorporating local botanicals like Tasmanian pepperberry and lemon myrtle, as well as classic ones like cinnamon, star anise, and whole oranges (peel and flesh), Four Pillars is a citrusy, spicy, peppery gin perfect for use in a gin and tonic.

New York, USA: Brooklyn Gin

Nearly half of Brooklyn Gin’s 11 botanicals are citrus peels of various types, lending the gin a citrus-forward flavor and a clean finish. The juniper berries are hand-cracked to release the essential oils for additional vibrancy, and lavender and cocoa nibs add complexity.

Germany: Monkey 47 Gin

The “47” in Monkey 47‘s name refers to two things: The gin contains 47 different botanicals (many of them from Germany’s Black Forest) as flavorings, and it’s bottled at 47 percent ABV, or a whopping 94 proof. It’s as complex as you’d expect from that number of ingredients, with plenty of spicy, fruity, woodsy, and herbal notes, but is surprisingly balanced. Enjoy it in a martini.

Italy: Bordiga Occitan Gin

With a recipe dating back to 1888, Bordiga Occitan’s gin is flavored with just four ingredients: wild juniper handpicked in the Maritime Alps near the distillery, plus cardamom, angelica, and a secret citrusy ingredient the distillery won’t name. We’d suggest using the gin in a Negroni, the classic Italian cocktail.

Maine, USA: Bimini Gin

Bimini Gin has been referred to as “summer in a bottle,” and with its bright, clear, citrusy flavor, we can’t disagree. It’s less woodsy tasting than most gins, and the inclusion of hops and grapefruit zest in addition to the usual juniper and coriander lends it a fresh note.

Any day can be a beach day.

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Sweden: Hernö Gin

Produced in the northernmost distillery in the world, Hernö has won more awards than any other and it’s our own personal favorite. Its botanicals include lingonberries (any Ikea-goer will recognize the fruit as uniquely Swedish), and its flavors are balanced and complex enough for a martini, but bold enough to stand up to citrus. Try it in a Last Word. It’s tough to find in the U.S., so it makes a great souvenir of travels to Scandinavia.

Vermont, USA: Barr Hill Gin

Barr Hill’s distiller was a commercial beekeeper for decades before he started distilling gin in 2011, and his product is flavored with just two elements: juniper and honey that’s added just before bottling. As a result, it has an unusual floral quality and slight viscosity, toeing the line between London Dry and Old Tom styles.