Last updated: August 6, 2021

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Welcome to our big Gin Botanicals Test 2021. Here we present all the gin botanicals we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

With this, we would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best gin botanicals for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy gin botanicals.




Summary

  • In general, the spices that give gin its flavour are known by many names, such as botanicals, spices or aromas. If you prepare a gin and tonic and like your gin a little spicier, then the additional aromas are just what you need.
  • There are also special spices for gin that are not usually available in a supermarket, such as pink pepper.
  • In principle, there is no rule for the dosage of individual herbs and spices. The most famous distilleries work with a secret recipe, which in most cases requires the addition of juniper.

The Best Gin Botanicals: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying gin botanicals

Are you thinking about buying gin botanicals, but are a bit overwhelmed by the selection and the different offers? Then you've come to the right place, because we explain what you should look out for when buying gin botanicals.

What makes a gin & tonic?

Botanicals. Spices. Ingredients. Flavours. Soul. Spirit. These words are synonyms for the word botanical, which means herbal. The spices are what make the taste of high-quality gin.

How is a Gin & Tonic refined?

Every spice can refine a gin & tonic. This means that there are endless possibilities for creating a gin. Even if the same ingredients are used, the gin can taste different depending on the producer.

Gin Tonic mit Limette und Rosmarin

A classic gin and tonic consists only of gin and tonic water. Various additives make up the special taste and also visually enhance the drink. (Image source: pixabay.com / sgroene)

This depends on the duration of maceration (exposure to the spices) and the time of addition. Monkey 47 even contains 47 different botanicals.

What groups of botanicals are there?

Spices can be divided into four groups:

  • Herbs & Leaves
  • Seeds & pods
  • Roots & bark
  • Berries & Fruits

The following table describes the different botanicals in more detail:

Botanicals Description Examples
Herbs and Leaves Herbs and leaves are essential to any gin, so this is where you'll find the widest selection. Aniseed,Galangal, Chamomile herb, Clary sage, Deadnettle
Seeds and Pods Seeds and pods are also classically common. Flavours range from woody to spicy. Cumin, cocoa, malt, star anise, lemon pepper
Roots and barks Roots and barks are rich in flavour and make a big impact on the finish of the gin Ginger, lotus root, liquorice, cinnamon, turmeric
Berries and fruits berries and fruits create a slightly milder gin and are being added more and more frequently Apricot, cranberries, strawberries, limes, plums

How can you tell that you are looking at a gin?

In 2008, an EU directive came out. Gin with the Dry designation must have a predominant juniper flavour, among other things. Plymouth Gin, on the other hand, is a protected designation of origin, so it can only be produced in Plymouth.

Basically, gin usually contains the following ingredients:

  • Juniper
  • Coriander
  • Violet Root
  • Lemon

Juniper is the king of ingredients. It is contained in every gin, which seems logical when you consider the name. Juniper is the English word for juniper. The gin is the successor of the Dutch genever. Juniper is primarily sweet. After processing, it acquires a bitter-tart taste, which also characterises the gin.

Coriander forms another base in the gin. It has a distinctive taste. It gives the gin a certain spiciness as well as freshness. The freshness comes from the fact that coriander enhances the flavour of the citrus fruits. Coriander is also said to help against gastrointestinal complaints.

The angelica spice ensures that you can enjoy your gin for longer without the spices evaporating. It also stimulates the digestion.

Violet roots add a nuance of spiciness to the gin. They are not only said to have pain-relieving properties when babies are teething. They also have a harmonising effect between all the different botanicals.

The exotic cubeb pepper from Indonesia brings a further spiciness into play. It makes the gin spicier. In addition, this pepper can banish bad breath and fever.

Of the citrus fruits, only the peels are used, which contain essential oils. They are considered a counterpart to the spicy note of the gin and are accentuated by pepper and other spices.

Here is a summary of the most important ingredients:

Gin Ingredients Description
Juniper Juniper is found in all gin. It is the most typical ingredient and is characteristic of the gin flavour.
Coriander Coriander is another typical ingredient of gin and is responsible for the spiciness of the drink.
Violet root Violet root has a harmonising effect between the individual botanicals.
Citrus fruits The peels of citrus fruits contain essential oils that act as a counterpart to the spiciness of the gin.
Angelica Angelica is responsible for making the gin drinkable for longer.
Cubeb pepper Cubeb pepper adds another spice to the flavour of the gin.

How do you use your botanicals properly for your drink?

Before you use the spices, for some, such as cardamom, it is worth pressing it lightly so that the aroma can pass into the gin more quickly and better.

Next, don't put any ice cubes in your spirit yet, because the botanicals can only really develop their power at room temperature. Some herbs even like it when it is warmer than room temperature.

These include thyme or oregano, for example. After about five to ten minutes or even longer, you can skim off your botanicals and add ice. You can also leave the spices in for decoration or for a stronger flavour.

Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate gin botanicals on the basis of these factors

In the following, we briefly explain what you should look for when buying gin botanicals in order to avoid making the wrong purchase.

Why do you need additional spices for your Gin & Tonic?

Is your Gin & Tonic not strong, sweet or fruity enough for you? Then why not mix your own gin. All you need are botanicals. Botanicals underline and strengthen the aroma of a gin. However, not every spice goes well with every gin or gin and tonic.

First of all, you can remember that the spices already contained in the gin can be added without any problems.

You could also make the botanicals yourself by drying lemon or orange peel, for example. You should make sure that they are of organic quality. Simply scrape off the peel except for the white part and let it dry. Turn it over from time to time.

Gin Tonic

If you want to refine your gin and tonic, you can do so with botanicals. These are available in various sizes and combinations. In addition to juniper, the gin botanicals also contain cardamom, pink pepper and hibiscus flowers. (Image source: shutterstock.com / Tono Balaguer)

There are no limits to creativity. Hendrick's Gin, for example, contains cucumber and rose petals. The hops in Munich Duke make this gin unique. The Saffron Gin with saffron threads is also very unusual.

Depending on how intensively you want the respective spice to come out, the longer you let it steep. Prepare some dried fruits, herbs, pepper and have a nice gin and cocktail evening with some friends!

Which spices can be used for this?

Typical spices are juniper, hibiscus flowers and cardamom. But of course you can also experiment. You can use cinnamon, tea, dried fruit peel, different types of pepper.

You should not buy the cinnamon as a powder, but as a stick. This way, the cinnamon will only slowly release its aroma into the gin.

For tea, you can use any soluble tea. Mint is also very easy to grow yourself. The plant grows quickly like a weed.

If you don't like the gin mint, make a tea infusion! All natural unsprayed!

What should you look for when buying spices?

There are websites that specialise in botanicals. These sell spices as a set or individually packaged. But you can also flavour your gin in other ways.

When buying botanicals, make sure that you only buy small quantities. This way, the spices are not stored for too long and stay fresh longer. It is also better not to use ground ones, as this prolongs the shelf life.

When it comes to the packaging, it is important that it can be sealed airtight. This preserves the aroma for longer.

On the internet, it is often helpful to look at customer or tester reviews of spices. Often the manufacturer's website can tell you more about the product. If not, you need to ask yourself how important transparency is to you.

(Image source: 123rf.com / ANTONIO BALAGUER SOLER)

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