Craft Spirits Spotlight Spirits The Ransom Report Vol. 26 No. 04

The Ransom Report: Global Gins That Are Worth Your Attention


The craft spirits industry has changed the way consumers look at and consume gin, thanks mostly to a set of independently minded distillers across the world who, whether working for large conglomerates or startup distilleries, have taken Gin production into locavore territory by incorporating ingredients from their home turf into the recipes they’ve created. Gin wasn’t always this adventurous. For decades one could count on one hand the different brands and singular style they represented called London Dry Gin.

But those days are gone, and while the basics of Gin still adhere to the use of citrus, juniper and select spices for creating this delightfully refreshing spirit, the individual recipes of a given distiller can include just about anything beyond those anchor ingredients, based on where they make their product and what their desired flavor profile is.  Here are a half dozen gins from around the world that struck my fancy and will be in heavy rotation at “Camp David” this Summer.

Brockmans Intensely Smooth Premium Gin, England. (40% ABV, $34.99). Billed as the “Properly Improper” Gin, Brockmans is the only gin on this list that actually hails from England, the self-professed center of world gin production. Made from an 11 ingredient botanicals recipe, Brockmans was started 15 years ago by Neil Everett and a group of like-minded partners who wanted to make a gin so smooth it could be sipped like a bourbon over ice. They succeeded in this and more, gaining a loyal following along the way. Ingredient highlights include blueberries and blackberries which give the Brockmans’ base of Coriander, Juniper and Valencia orange a decidedly fresh and light presence.    insta:  @brockmansgin   


Citadelle Gin de France, Jardin d’Été, France. (41.5%ABV, $29.99). I’ve been a fan of the Citadelle Gin line for many years. Cognac Ferrand’s Alexander Gabriel created Citadelle 25 years ago in an effort to bring French Gin to the world and has been at the top of the heap ever since.  A true innovator and darling of the bartender set, the brand has a number of interesting gins including a Barrel-aged “reserve” gin which may have been the first of its kind to enter the market. Jardin d’Été is one of the most unique in the Citadelle lineup and draws its inspiration from the Garden tended by Gabriel’s wife Debbie at the family home, Chateau du Bonbonnet. Melon and Yuzu are two of the 19 botanicals used in this delightfully floral and intriguing Gin. Vive La France, indeed!     insta: @citadellegin

Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin, Ireland (43% ABV, $34.99). Made on the Emerald Isle, this exceptional gin incorporates Gunpowder Green Tea –  a special type of rolled Green tea leaves known for their tannins and punch of flavor – into its citrus and spice infused recipe. Created by ex-Baileys exec P.J. Rigney as an ode to his passion for global travel, Drumshanbo is made at The Shed distillery in the former mining village of Drumshanbo in Central Ireland’s County Lietrim. What an interesting and delightful gin it is! Light, refreshing and perfectly balanced in it’s use of the tea leaves, Drumshanbo hits all the right notes and just may be the most unique Gin in this round-up.     insta: @gunpowder.gin 

Glendalough Wild Botanical Gin, Ireland. (41% ABV, $29.99). Another prime example that helps to explain Ireland’s meteoric rise to the upper echelons of world gin production, from one of the Emerald Isles’ most awarded spirits producers and 2021 Gin Distillery of the Year.  Glendalough Wild Botanical Gin is made with botanicals foraged from the local mountains which are then fed into the still fresh (not dried) and slow-distilled for maximum flavor extraction. The resulting spirit is bursting with notes of earthy pine and mountain flowers, and works perfectly in a variety of cocktails.  insta: @glendaloughdistillery

Roku Gin, Japan. (43% ABV, $29.99). Made by the distilling team at Suntory, producer of some of the world’s most sought after whiskies, Roku is what you get when you let the distillers of those whiskies craft a gin to represent the history and exacting culture of Japan. Roku translates to the number six (6), and plays prevalently into Roku’s self-proclaimed moniker as “The Japanese Craft Gin.” Six Japanese ingredients (of 14 total) are included in the botanicals list (Sakura flower, Sakura leaf, Sencha Tea, Gyokuro Tea, Sancho pepper, Yuzu peel), and the number six also appears on the rice paper label that adorns the beautiful six-sided bottle. Not a gin for the traditional Gin & Tonic drinker, this complex spirit is a gin for Martinis, Gimlets, or elevated cocktails. Go ahead and experiment. I bet the results will have you saying Gochisousama deshita (that was delicious)!   Insta: @suntory_rokygin

Scapegrace Premium Black Gin, New Zealand. (41.6% ABV, $39.99). Hailing from New Zealand’s north island, Scapegrace is just what it claims to be, a black-colored Gin. The squid-inky hue comes from the use of aronia berry, saffron, pineapple, butterfly pea and sweet potato, which are distilled at a specific temperature and in a specific sequence to render the resulting gin black. This gin is smooth, balanced, citrus forward, and fun to work with. Interestingly, once it’s paired with different mixers – the gin turns different colors including purple, and pink. A real conversation piece – that you can drink!  Insta: @scapegrace

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2 comments on “The Ransom Report: Global Gins That Are Worth Your Attention

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