Top 6 Craft Gin Brands Worth Seeking Out in 2023
Craft gin is all about small-batch, artisanal production methods that highlight quality and flavor over mass production. Made from carefully selected botanicals with unique, complex flavor profiles, craft gin often sets itself apart from mainstream brands. Whether you’re a seasoned gin fanatic or just looking to try something new, the world of craft gin is definitely worth exploring!
And if you need a little extra help navigating the sea of small-batch juniper spirits, we’ve got your back. Here are the top six craft gin brands worth seeking out in 2023.
Common Ground Gin
Common Ground Spirits is a black-owned distillery producing gin and, soon to be released in 2024, bourbon. Located in California, the brand highlights locally sourced botanicals and ingredients and gives back to its community by donating to the National Birth Equity Collaborative and the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Beyond making excellent gin, Common Ground Spirits aims to build a more diverse and inclusive spirits industry by mentoring and motivating other black-owned businesses.
Inspired by the Flo & Basy, a cocktail from Coppinger Row in Dublin, Ireland, the brand’s Basil & Elderflower gin highlights both its named botanicals alongside cucumber, elderflower, coriander seed, rose petals, lime peel and lemon peel. Zesty and richly floral, this gin is worthy of being enjoyed over ice or served with soda water and citrus fruit garnish.
Rooted in a love of food and cooking, Common Ground Black Currant & Thyme boasts a spicy and savory profile, featuring the earthy fruitiness of black currants, herbaceous fresh thyme, bright Meyer Lemon peel, spicy peppercorn, juniper and coriander seed. We suggest trying this gin in a sultry Negroni or ultra-dry martini.
Both of these craft gins rest at 45.22% ABV and can be found for $40 per bottle.
Suncliffe Gin is a woman and LGBTQ-owned spirit producer located in Arizona. The brand highlights native, wild-foraged botanicals and supports local communities through its partnership with DigDeep’s Navajo Water Project, which provides access to water for families in the Navajo Nation.
Suncliffe Gin is made from three breeds of native juniper (one-seed, shaggy and alligator), ponderosa pine bark, manzanita and western elderflower. The spirit is classically juniper-forward with a spiced subtle sweetness. Pair it with your favorite tonic or try it in one of the brand’s signature serves.
Suncliffe Gin rests at 45% ABV and can be found for around $35.
Las Californias Gin
Emerging from the minds of the Casa Lumbre Innovation Team, Las Californias Gin features botanicals sourced from across two countries in an effort to unite the diverse landscapes of the region along the Pacific Coast connecting Mexico and the United States.
Las Californias Nativo is made with Californian artemisia, kelp, yerba santa, Californian hops, white sage and damiana. Divinely savory, just a hint salty and rich with earthy, smoky herbs, try it out in a dirty (or filthy!) martini or gin-based Old Fashioned.
Las Californias Cítrico features lemon grass, citrus leaves and peels, fig, apricot, almond and grape vines and leaves. Juicy, utterly fruity and creamy in texture, this gin makes for a stellar French 75 or Tom Collins.
Nativo is 42% ABV, while Cítrico is 40% ABV. Both terroir-inspired craft gins can be found for $32.99 each.
Dry Fly Gin
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Dry Fly Distilling is a family-owned and operated craft distillery located in Spokane, Washington, that produces a variety of farm-to-bottle spirits, including two award-winning gins. Crisp, approachable, Dry Fly’s flagship Washington Dry Gin captures a unique Pacific Northwest flavor with a botanical mix including locally sourced juniper, apple, coriander, mint, hops and lavender.
Then, to shake things up for the fans of both whiskey and juniper, Dry Fly ages its signature gin in used wheat whiskey barrels for a year. The resulting spirit, Washington Barrel Reserve Gin, is sweet on the palate with loads of oak, honey, guava and cinnamon notes for a uniquely fruity sip.
Both Dry Fly gins are 40% ABV and can be purchased for about $30 per bottle.
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With a commitment to quality ingredients and a dedication to creativity, Letherbee Distillers is a Chicago-based distillery that makes fernet, bësk, absinthe and a huge range of seasonally-inspired gin.
Bold, rich and perfect for sipping neat or mixing in classic cocktails, Letherbee Original Label Gin is a handcrafted blend of 11 botanicals, including juniper, coriander, cinnamon, cubeb berries, lemon and orange peel, licorice and almond.
Visit Letherbee’s impressive spirit portfolio to take a peek at all the unique gin it has made over the years.
Letherbee’s flagship gin is bottled at 48% ABV and can be yours for under $35.
St. George Spirits Gin
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St. George Spirits is a craft distillery based in Alameda, California, that produces a range of artisanal spirits, including whiskey, vodka, liqueur and brandy. Currently, the brand makes four gins: Terroir, Botanivore, Dry Rye and Dry Rye Reposado. Each spirit highlights carefully selected botanicals and offers something special for just about any type of gin drinker.
Terroir Gin is made with wildcrafted local Douglas fir, California bay, roasted coriander, fennel and coastal sage for a deeply woodsy and pine-forward tasting experience. Meanwhile, Botanivore Gin is an herbaceous, complex and spicy mix of 18 different botanicals — a few being bergamot peel, caraway, fresh cilantro, cinnamon, citra hops and dill seed — that work in harmony with piny juniper.
Dry Rye Gin, a nod to gin’s malty predecessor, Genever, is made with black peppercorn, caraway, coriander, grapefruit peel and lime peel. Dry Rye Reposado (49.5% ABV) takes its base gin’s peppery tasting notes to the next level with rich dark fruit flavors derived from time spent in ex-wine casks.
St. George Spirits’ gins are all bottled at 45% ABV (except for Dry Rye Reposado, which is 49.5% ABV) and can be found for around $35 per bottle.
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