1. Spring 34, Levenswater Gin, ON
A potato-based spirit boasting notes of chamomile, lavender, coriander and rosemary, this gin’s flavour profile is almost as stylish as the bottle. Our thoughts? The florals shone through nicely when paired with tonic, offering up a softer, sweeter take on the classic G&T.
Awards: Double gold in bottle design, silver in flavoured/infused Gin, SIP awards (2018). Highest score, non-European compound gin, Gin Guide Awards (2018).
2. Gin Rummy, Eau Claire Distillery, AB
A seasonal offering from award-winning Alberta-based Eau Claire Distillery, this holiday sipper is smooth, rummy (as advertised) and packed with aromatic holiday spices that had us coming back for more. Our thoughts? Get one while you still can!
3. BlackFox, Barrel Aged, Vapour-Infused Gin, Saskatoon, SK
Barrel aging gives this award-winning gin its brooding colour (and adds warm, spiced notes to your Negroni). Our thoughts — aside from who gets to keep the bottle? Surprisingly smooth, it’s best on its own without any add-ons. We’re already planning to order one for the holidays.
Awards: Best Cask Gin, World Gin Awards (2017).
4. Dillon’s Rose Gin, Niagara, ON
Infused with rosehip and rose petals, this gin finishes with a delicate sweetness. It’s a great flavour upgrade for cocktails, but just as lovely kept simple, on ice with soda. According to our tasting panel, the delicate, sweet and floral flavours make it a must-have. (It might even surprise those who usually don’t enjoy gin.)
Awards: Silver, San Francisco World Spirits Competition (2015), Silver, San Francisco World Spirits Competition (2014).
5. Christmas Gin, Turner Valley, AB
A classic, London-style gin made with frankincense and myrrh. Very sippable on its own, we also predict it would make a lovely holiday martini.
6. Canopée Gin Forestier, Louiseville, QC
Classic pine and citrus flavours make this Canadian spirit a great purchase for the classic gin connoisseur. Our thoughts? The tonic overwelmed the gin, so we’ll stick to ice or a splash of soda.
Awards: Bronze, San Francisco World Spirits Competition (2016).
7. Cirka, Gin Sauvage, Montreal, QC
Quebec’s northern boreal forest inspired the 30-plus botanicals used to craft this gin. Our thoughts? It’s classic, smooth and expressive — our pick for the perfect G&T.
Awards: Silver, San Francisco World Spirits Competition (2017).
8. Ungava Gin, Frelighsburg, QC
This electric-yellow gin is known for more than its eye-catching colour. With soft citrus notes and botanicals ranging from cloudberry to rosehip, labrador tea and more, it tastes as impressive as it looks. Our thoughts? It’s an ideal display bottle to put out on a cocktail cart or shelf when entertaining.
Awards: Best Compound Gin, World Spirits Awards (2016), Silver, World Spirits Awards (2015).
9. Ironworks Gin, Lunenburg, NS
Featuring hand-picked rosehips, balsam fir bud, Nova Scotia juniper berries and a smooth finish, it’s perfect for an evening martini. Our thoughts? Delicious! It has many layers of flavour on its own, and with a splash of soda it opens up even more. Also makes an excellent G&T — with a twist of lemon, for good measure.
Awards: Category Winner, World Gin Awards (2017).
10. The Cat Came Back, Barrel-conditioned Gin, Pictou, NS
A locally crafted, small-batch gin, this spirit is sweeter and less botanical than the popular London-Dry-style recipes. Our thoughts? We enjoyed the difference in style (it’s surprisingly mild for a gin), and would serve it neat, with ice and/or tonic.
Award: Gold, International Old Tom Gin, American Distilling Institute (2017).
11. Cucumber Gin, Long Table Distillery, BC