Possibly the most famous brand of London Dry Gin, Gordon’s was initially developed in London in 1769 by Alexander Gordon (who had opened a distillery in the Southwark area), with the production later moving to Clerkenwell in 1786. The London Dry Gin he made proved successful and its recipe remains unchanged to this day. Triple-distilled, the gin contains juniper berries, coriander seeds, ginger, cassia oil and nutmeg. The recipe for Gordon’s is known to only eleven people in the world and has been kept a secret for over 240 years.
Gordon’s is sold in a distinctive green glass bottle familiar to so many back bars across the UK; however in many other markets it is sold in the original clear bottle design. There’s no point hiding the fact that we’re not the biggest fans of it here at The Gin Blog HQ but to give the brand its credit, it was one of the very original players and one of the world’s first mass produced quality gins. It’s also probably fair to say that their development, techniques, launches and continuous growth have created a market for many other gins to be created in the first place. They are undeniably pioneers and deserve recognition and validation because of this.
For a long time Gordon’s has been the one and only name people would instantly associate with gin and it’s still beloved by many passionate supporters. While it won’t blow your taste buds away (and makes no real claim to do so), it’s acceptable and is head and shoulders above supermarket home brand gins. Although shy of any real definable characteristics other than being citrusy, after a couple of sips it blends to a smooth, easy to drink gin that works well in gin and tonics – thus explaining why it’s such a successful brand.
Diageo like to announce that Gordon’s is the world’s best selling premium gin, but the definition of premium surely can’t account for a gin that is price pointed at around £10-£15, below 40% ABV (Gordon’s is bottled at 37.5%) and is now sold with tonic in a ready-made can, so make of that what you will. It is however the only brand of gin that has the right to bear the Royal Coat of Arms by appointment to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and today, Gordon’s is the number two selling gin in the world (Ginebra San Miguel currently holds top spot) with distilleries across the world.