Food & Drink

Editor’s Picks: Your 2021 Guide To The Best Australian Gins

By Sammy Preston
7th Jun 2021

a bottle of gin with a label that reads

Australian gin is having a real moment right now and we’re giving England a run for its money. Just five years ago we had fewer than ten gin distilleries in the country, now we’ve got over 100, with more popping up every month. 

Narrowing down the best Australian gins is no easy task, but we’ve done our humble best to find the best picks around the country for you. You bring the tonic, we’ve got the rest covered. 

Poor Tom’s Sydney Dry Gin

Price: $69.95

Tucked into the backwood of Sydney's sprawling "beer triangle" is Poor Tom's Gin Hall. The only gin distillery among a map full of craft breweries, it's a welcome pitstop when you need a break from beer on your brewery crawl, and it's also home to some of the country's finest craft gin. Steeped with ten botanicals in Australian wheat spirit, you'll notice classic juniper as well as fresh green apple, native strawberry gum leaf and chamomile. It's floral, a great beginner gin and perfect for G&Ts or a dry martini. Shop it here.

 

Great Ocean Road Gin Guvvos Gin

PRICE: $84.95

If the essence of the Great Ocean Road could be bottled, this is what it would taste like. With a hint of salty sea air and citrus, this bottle contains 24 botanicals including 9 from the local coastline including daisies, ruby salt bush, hop wattle, kelp, three different eucalyptuses and even some local honey from Torquay. One of the best Australian gins to pop up recently, so if you’re in the area, make sure you visit their tasting room to try the full range. Shop it here.

The Melbourne Gin Company Dry Gin

Price: $68.99

This twist on the classic London dry gin features eleven native and exotic botanicals. On top of juniper berry, you've got coriander seed, grapefruit peel and rosemary from the Yarra Valley, as well as macadamia, sandalwood, honey lemon myrtle and organic navel orange to round out a real distinct Melbourne flavour. This is one of the best Australian gins from the south and it’ll absolutely sing in a Negroni. Shop it here.

Four Pillars Navy Strength Gin

Price: $89.99

What is "navy strength," you ask? It doesn't really have anything to do with sailors, rather it's a marketing slogan coined in the 90s to help sell boozier spirits. So yep, this one is strong and intense—but finger limes and fresh ginger punch through for a fresh, clean taste. Smack your night into gear with a G&T or a very potent, fix-anything-that-ails-you martini. Shop it here.

Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin

Price: $87.99

Gins aren't usually a product of vintage—being infused with Shiraz grapes makes this one hell of a unique spirit. To make this ruby-red gin, grapes are destemmed and steeped in Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin in cool tanks that are stirred daily. Eight weeks later, the fruit is pressed and blended with more gin to bring up the alcohol content. We like to pour it over ice and savour the dense raspberry flavour, but the Four Pillars crew advise it also works in a Tom Collins. Shop it here

Adelaide Hills Distillery X Something Wild Green Ant Gin

Price: $99.90

This collab between Adelaide Hills Distillery and Something Wild Beverage Company is truly special. It's infused with green ants harvested in the Northern Territory by the Motlop family of the Larrakia people. Green ant brings a lime and coriander flavour, and you'll find a couple of ants in the bottom of the bottle for extra zest—yes, you can eat them. There's also pepper berry, lemon myrtle and boobialla (native juniper). Let the flavours soar in one of the best Australian gin and tonics you can make from home. Shop it here.

The West Winds Gin The Cutlass

Price: $68.95

This multi-award-winning Margaret River gin fuses traditional juniper with cinnamon myrtle, lemon myrtle and, interestingly, Australian bush tomato. The West Winds suggest garnishing with capsicum or cherry tomato to bring out the savory notes, but if you're cocktail-making—it would rock in a gin Bloody Mary. Shop it here.

23rd Street Signature Gin

PRICE: $75

This stunning bottle picked up a bunch of awards at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2017, and it’s been popping up in more and more Aussie liquor stores ever since. The flavours are subtle, but if you pay attention you’ll get some nutty and citrusy flavours in there. If you’re feeling fancy, add a slice of fresh cucumber to both garnish your G+T and complement the botanicals. Hot tip: It goes down a treat when paired with seafood. Shop it here.

Archie Rose Distilling Co. Signature Dry Gin

Price: $74.90

Blood lime, Dorrigo pepperleaf, lemon myrtle and river mint are the heroes of this now-iconic Australian gin. It's perfectly balanced and an absolute must-own for any home bar. Made in Rosebery in Sydney, gin aficionados will like it on the rocks, cocktail fiends will love it in a gin sour, an Aviation or a Casino. Shop it here.

Brookie’s Byron Dry Gin

Price: $74.88

There's a massive 25 botanicals in Brookie's, 17 of which are native to beautiful Byron Bay. You'll taste Byron sunrise finger limes, aniseed myrtle, cinnamon myrtle, macadamia, native river mint and native raspberry—among other things. Sip it on its own and see if you can sniff out the rest. Definitely one of the best Australian gins for some coastal flavours. Shop here.

Giniversity Botanical Gin

PRICE: $54.75

In gin terms, this bottle of botanical bliss is an absolute bargain. The handpicked botanicals in this bottle have been selected to reflect a unique Australian flavour, with key notes of juniper, sandalwood, eucalyptus, boronia and lemon myrtle standing out. Hailing from Margaret River in Western Australia, Giniversity has become one of the state’s best-selling craft gins—with one of the most beautiful label designs btw if you’re looking for a gift. Perfect for a sunny afternoon—pair it with your favourite tonic and let the botanicals do the rest. Shop it here.

Manly Spirits Lilly Pilly Pink Gin

Price: $80

Don't let the lolly pink hue fool you, this gin has a lot more sense, soul and depth than a cup of frosé. Inspired by native Lilly Pilly and the edible pink dune daisies of Sydney's sparkly Northern Beaches, this pink gin's zero sugar recipe isn't overly sweet. Twelve botanicals shine through (Lilly Pilly, native limes, blood orange, sea fig and coriander, among them), giving it a refreshing fruity finish that's backed with Manly Spirits' signature salt-spray taste. This is a perfect cocktail gin—sipped by the ocean with fish and chips. Shop it here.

Now you've wrapped your head around Aussie gin—here's our guide to sustainable wine, and our ultimate mezcal explainer

Editor's note: Urban List editors independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. Urban List has affiliate partnerships, so we get revenue from your purchases.

Image credit: Four Pillars

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