As some of you know I’m a gin judge for several gin competitions – including The Gin Guide Awards. So it seemed fitting to focus my 2022 top gins on those European gins that won in the 2022 awards that I participated in. Read on to find out the top European gins of 2022 & how to serve them:
*full disclosure: Fentimans provided the serving suggestions for this article, however this collaboration is not paid, and neither is the gin judging for The Gin Guide. All opinions remain my own and I taste the gins blind and don’t get to try all of them!*
Top European gins of 2022 – as voted in The Gin Guide awards
The Gin Guide awards are blind tasted, with gins split out into different categories and tasted neat. We judge against appearance, aroma, taste, balance, mouthfeel, finish and overall appeal. The top gins in each category and across different geographical regions are published based on our scoring.
Fentimans, a leading manufacturer of botanically brewed beverages, including its premium gin mixers, have created a virtual gin tasting guide for you to celebrate the refreshing spirit following the official winners of The Gin Guide Awards 2022.
Gin of the Year 2022!
Balancing aromas of pine, peppercorns, pink grapefruit, honey and mint, this gin has lovely floral notes supported by a herbaceous finish.
To let the floral notes shine through, keep the tonic water classic and pair this gin with Fentimans Premium Indian Tonic Water. Garnish with dried blackcurrant or a slice of pink grapefruit.
England: Stockport Gin Twist of Lime Edition (Stockport Gin)
Stockport Gin is a distillery in the heart of England, founded by married couple Paul and Cheryl. I’ve met them at The Gin to My Tonic Show and tasted their fabulous gins. They definitely bring their love of craft gin to life with this brand.
Bursting with citrus and spiced flavours, Stockport Gin Twist of Lime Edition has been voted the best gin in Great Britain.
Fentimans recommends pairing this full-bodied gin with Connoisseurs Tonic Water, which complements the citrus-flavoured spirit.
Scotland: Pentland Hills Firework Gin (Tarbraxus Distillers)
Tarbraxus Distillery is famous for its production of Pentland Hills Gin. Nestled in the North Western edge of the Pentland Hills, this company represents the spirit of Scotland.
The limited edition Pentland Hills Firework Gin has been voted the best in Scotland. The gin is filled with notes of cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger. Along with the higher ABV of 45% this makes it warming and perfect for a crisp winter evening.
Fentimans recommends pairing this full-bodied gin with Ginger Ale, a deliciously delicate and fragrant mixer perfect for the firecracker that is Firework Gin. Garnish with a slice of apple.
Wales: Tenby Dry Gin Navy Strength (Pembrokeshire Gin Co)
Pembrokeshire Gin Co was founded by Charlotte Clark, a mother of three who lives outside of Tenby in Wales. Since its launch in 2019, the company has won many prestigious awards. Having tried the gins at Junipalooza, I can see why! I was particularly impressed with their Navy Strength:
And it has been awarded the best gin in Wales! The fragranced spirit, overflowing with notes of citrus and rosemary, tastes as good as it sounds, with a lovely light and smooth mouthfeel.
Fentimans recommends pairing this light-bodied gin with Pink Grapefruit Tonic Water, botanically brewed with ruby red grapefruits to compliment the delicious spirit.
Republic of Ireland: Xin Gin (Ahascragh Distillers)
Ahascragh Distillery is an innovative facility in County Galway. Not only does it botanically brew gin, but it also hopes to make the very first carbon neutral whiskey in an eco-distillery.
Voted the best gin in the Republic of Ireland, Xin Gin is a full-bodied spirit merging Celtic and Asian botanicals, including coriander, cardamom, persimmon, lemon grass and bitter orange, to name a few.
Fentimans recommends pairing this gin with Valencian Orange Tonic Water. Supple and sweet, this gin mixer will accentuate the depth of citrus and herbaceous flavours in Xin Gin.
Austria: Weinviertel Gin (Roman Kraus Distillery)
Roman Kraus Distillery produces handcrafted spirits that are free from artificial flavours. Based in the beautiful hills of Weinviertel, each bottle is made from farm-grown goods.
Weinviertel Gin, known as Pink Flamingo Gin, has been voted the best gin in Austria. Fruity and floral, this gin is easily recognisable and packed with character.
Fentimans recommends pairing this gin with sweet and delicate Elderflower and Rose Tonic. This will blend seamlessly with fruity, lavender, and rose petal flavours in Weinviertel Gin.
Denmark: København Klassisk Lounge Gin (Nordic Gin House)
Norden Gin House is a collaboration between local distilleries within the Nordic area. Their mission is to bring out the best of gin with a combination of national spices and flavours.
A drink that stands out from the rest with its citrus notes and rose hips, København Klassisk Lounge Gin is now the best in Denmark. Showcasing Nordic spruce, juniper, citrus and rose hips, try it for yourself to experience the magic.
Fentimans recommends pairing this gin with Naturally Light Tonic Water. True to tradition, this simple and minimalistic coupling is characteristic of the Nordic heritage.
France: Hexagone Original (Maison Gagnieres)
Maison Gagnieres, a distillery achieving excellence in France founded by Daniel Gagnieres, is proud to handcraft each bottle of spirit using only organic ingredients.
Balanced and fresh, Hexagone Original captures the elegance of French culture with citrus and floral botanicals. Utilising a grape spirit base and aromatic botanicals more commonly associated with Asia, such as kaffir lime leaf, jasmine and cardamom, it successfully balances layers of flavour. So it only makes sense that it was voted the best gin in France.
Fentimans recommends pairing this gin with Premium Indian Tonic Water. The aroma of each and every flavour blends perfectly when mixed together with ice and a slice of lemon.
Germany: Old Well Gin Number 2 (Old Well Distillery)
Old Well Distillery, founded by Alex Remzi, who built the facility by hand, aspires to make a self-sufficient and sustainable facility while honing his self-taught skills.
Old Well Gin Number 2 is proud to be voted the best gin in Germany, but it was inspired in Louisville, Kentucky, where Alex honed his craft. Full-bodied and dry, each mouthful is bursting with thirteen botanicals, such as juniper, lemon, and lavender.
Fentimans recommends pairing this gin with Pink Rhubarb Tonic Water. Temptingly sweet and refreshing, this gin mixer will perfectly complement the versatility of each botanical.
Italy: Ginacria (Nysura Distillery)
Nysura Distillery is an independent micro-distillery based in Sicily, surrounded by breathtaking Italian scenery. Only the finest ingredients are used to create its sublime gin, including hand-harvested botanicals from Mount Etna’s steep slopes to the fertile plains of Catania.
Ginacria is an invigorating gin decorated with multiple flavours, from juniper to liquorice and fresh citrus flowers, which benefit from the cold distillation method to extract their delicate aromas. With this in mind, it’s no surprise it was voted the best gin in Italy.
Fentimans recommends pairing this gin with Oriental Yuzu Tonic. This gin mixer is an uplifting combination of lemon, mandarin, and grapefruit citrus to complement the aromatic gin.
Netherlands: Spoonbill Coffee Gin (Berging Brouwerij)
Berging Brouwerij is a distillery responsible for producing multiple alcoholic beverages in the Netherlands, including its unique and captivating Spoonbill gin.
Spoonbill Coffee Gin dares to be distinctive in a crowded market. The gin is macerated with roasted coffee beans, juniper berries, and orange peel for a lively and refreshing drink. Try the best gin in the Netherlands for yourself!
To enjoy the interesting coffee flavours of the gin, compliment it with an elegant mixer. Therefore, Fentimans recommends pairing this gin with Premium Indian Tonic Water. Garnish with orange or mint.
Poland: Mikrogorzelnia (Gin Zimowy – Mikrogorzelnia)
Mikrogorzelnia is an independent distillery based in Warsaw, Poland. Dedicated to crafting each bottle with their own hands, you can taste their passion shine through each sip of gin.
Bursting with flavours foraged from the Polish countryside, Mikrogorzelnia has notes of pine shoots, elderflower, and chamomile. Using an advanced vacuum method to extract the aromas, and preserve the delicate flavours, no wonder it was voted the best gin in Poland!
Fentimans recommends pairing this gin with Elderflower Tonic Water, a refreshing and floral gin mixer to perfectly complement the natural notes of Mikrogorzelnia.
Slovenia: Broken Bones London Dry Gin (Broken Bones Distillery)
Broken Bones Distillery, founded by Boštjan Marušič, creates delicious and unique spirits. Whether you’re looking for a characteristic whiskey or gin, you’re in the right hands here. I first tried Broken Bones at Junipalooza and was impressed at the quality of their gin. The distillery was named after both founders broke bones when filling their first whisky barrels.
Broken Bones London Dry Gin stays true to Slovenia by using local ingredients, including linden flowers, rose hips, and lemon zest. This combines to make this the well deserved best gin in Slovenia.
Fentimans recommends pairing this gin with Naturally Light Tonic Water, an ideal match to bring out the exciting flavours found in this Slovenian gin.
Switzerland: Edelwhite Winter Gin (Edelwhite Gin)
Edelwhite Gin sits in the heart of Switzerland. Fresh botanicals are handpicked and brewed in the sublime countryside to make a distinct and surprising repertoire of gins.
Edelwhite Winter Gin, voted the best gin in Switzerland, is a welcome addition to any bar, infused with delightful botanicals, including nutmeg, orange peel, vanilla, and cinnamon. The hand stamped bottle also gives back to the local community, with a portion of each bottle sale supporting outings and a summer camp.
Fentimans recommends pairing this gin with Ginger Beer. Fiery and distinctive, this will create a beverage perfect for winter evenings and festive celebrations.
There are no rules when it comes to making your own gin drink. Whether you’re looking for a sweet and delicate or sharp and strong drink, Fentimans gin mixers are perfect for the whole party. So why not experiment and expand your knowledge of European gins today, which will be your first gin to try?!