The Liquor Cabinet

The 10 Best Dry Gins for a G&T

There is a reason these gins never go out of style

Best Dry Gins for G&T

A crisp, bracing G&T is the simplest of mixed drinks, but you have to get the formula for this perennial summertime tipple just right. And we’re not talking about the ratio of gin to tonic (one part gin, two parts tonic). We’re talking about the gin itself.

Gin is gin, right? Juniper-flavoured and the bearer of some unfortunate monikers (mother’s ruin, being one)? Actually, no. For the best G&T, you want a London dry style of gin, which is flavoured with natural botanicals – always juniper, often coriander seed and others such as orris root, angelica root and citrus – and contains no artificial flavours or sweeteners. Other types of gin include Old Tom, which is a slightly sweeter style; Genever, which is the original Dutch style with malty flavours in favour of juniper; and Plymouth Gin, which is only manufactured in one historical distillery in Plymouth and has an earthier, drier quality than London Dry.

London Dry originated in England but it’s now made all over the world, and notably here in Australia where local distillers are sweeping awards with the aromatic character and flavour created using native botanicals. These are our 10 favourites for summertime G&Ts – no home bar is complete without at least one.

Archie Rose Signature Dry Gin

A Sydney spin on London dry gin, Archie Rose Signature Dry Gin is smooth and rich with herbaceous flavours of juniper and 14 native botanicals including blood lime, Dorrigo pepperleaf and lemon myrtle.


A gin-and-tonic go-to since Charles Tanqueray, the son of a clergyman, blended herbs, spices and botanicals in the Bloomsbury district of London the 1830s and named the results after himself. It’s made in one of the original stills and distilled four times, and its zesty, clean flavour makes Tanqueray one of the world’s most popular gins. Top it up with tonic and a twist of lime.

Moore’s Dry Gin

The first Australian gin to ever win gold at the London International Wine and Spirit competition, Moore’s Dry Gin is a classic London dry with a twist of Australian native botanicals including Illawarra plum and lemon myrtle. It’s made by Philip Moore, whose own NSW Central Coast nursery provides the flora.

Big River Canberra Dry Gin

Here, the juniper is tempered with plenty of citrus from lime, navel oranges and lemon myrtle with just a hint of hops for a floral perfume. Try Canberra Dry Gin with tonic and a slice of cucumber.

Bombay Sapphire

Bombay Sapphire’s Master of Botanicals hand-selects each one of its 10 botanicals, including West African grains of paradise, cubeb berries from Java and Italian juniper berries, which are then vapour-infused into the London Dry Gin, making for bright, fresh flavours.

Sipsmith London Dry Gin

A new breed of British gin that’s intent on harking back to the past, Sipsmith London Dry Gin is distilled in copper to a recipe that would be familiar to London’s distillers of 18th century. Flavours of lemon and jammy orange are added to its juniper base, and the result is a perfectly dry, tart and slightly spicy gin.

Beefeater London Dry Gin

Made in London to a more than 200-year-old recipe that includes typical London dry botanicals such as angelica seed, orris root and liquorice root, Beefeater is a classic London dry with a big whack of juniper and zingy citrus notes thanks to Seville orange and lemon peel.

Brookie’s Byron Dry Gin

Thirty years ago, the Brooke family set about returning some of their farmland to its native state. Now, 35,000 subtropical rainforest trees in the Cape Byron region of NSW thrive amid a plethora of native herbs, flowers and fruit trees. It’s these foraged botanicals – cinnamon myrtle, finger lime and lilly pilly among them – that give Brookie’s Byron Dry Gin its distinctive floral aroma.

Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin

Tassie distillery Four Pillars uses European juniper berries and Southeast Asian spices and brings it home with Australian lemon myrtle and pepperberries to create its world-class Rare Dry Gin. Whole organic oranges are added to the distillation for a smooth, citrussy G&T experience..

Native Spirits Brisbane Dry Gin by Winston Quinn

This gin, a combination of fresh lemon and thyme with piney juniper berries at the base, is designed to take you away on a Mediterranean sea breeze. And in the absence of a trip to Portofino this year, a gin and tonic made with this lively Australian tipple and a squeeze of lime on a sun-dappled deck is the next best thing.

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