10 Of The Best New Zealand Gins

New Zealand is spoilt for choice when it comes to gin. These are our 10 picks for delicious gins made here in Aotearoa.


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1. Blush Small Batch Rhubarb GinThe colour and flavour of rhubarb shine through in this sweet, smooth gin, made in New Zealand by a team of just two: Elliot McClymont and Chris Thomas. It’s rich and mellow, and you can feel the warmth and purity of slow, unhurried distillation. The tang of rhubarb and citrus provides a burst of flavour as it lands on the palate. 

2. Lighthouse Batch Distilled GinInspired by the spectacular Cape Palliser lighthouse on the southernmost tip of the North Island, Lighthouse Batch Distilled Gin is handcrafted and batch-distilled in the Wairarapa. This smooth, fresh gin, made with nine botanicals, has magnificent herbal and citrus characteristics and makes a fantastic vanilla-citrus cocktail base. 

3. Scapegrace Black GinUnique in flavour and colour, Scapegrace Black is tropical yet earthy, giving it a luxurious twist. Crisp and floral, with balanced citrus and freshness and a hint of spice, this gin has a candied sweet potato and pineapple finish with a smooth, velvety mouthfeel. It turns a stunning purple colour when mixed: great for a dramatic cocktail or G&T.

4. Dancing Sands Sauvignon Blanc GinGin meets sauvignon blanc in this remarkable gin. It’s very much an ‘only in New Zealand’ idea, with a sauvignon blanc ‘nose’ and flavours of passion fruit, lime and green apple that give way to the gin notes of juniper berries and coriander seeds. A summer sensation.

5. 1919 Classic GinNamed after the year our ancestors stood their ground and voted against prohibition, this gin is produced in South Auckland in a custom-made still. It’s created using Otago cherries, mānuka honey, organic lemons and oranges, plus botanicals including juniper, angelica root and cinnamon. A taste of old-world Kiwi charm.

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6. Little Biddy Classic GinCreated in honour of Reefton legend Little Biddy – a pipe-smoking, gin-loving, four-foot-tall gold prospector – this robust, hardworking gin is awash in native botanicals and has a strong aromatic bite. Blending natives such as toatoa, tarata, horopito and rimu with Douglas fir, this versatile, easy-drinking gin has a complex palate of spiced citrus and warm resin.

7. Imagination Distilling Reikorangi Triple Distilled GinThis triple-distilled dry gin is created at the site of the original Tuatara Brewery on the Kāpiti Coast. It’s triple-distilled with pure Kāpiti Coast rainwater and standard gin botanicals – juniper, coriander, cinnamon, liquorice root, orris root, orange, lemon and lime. The gin’s earthy body is enhanced with a hint of mānuka oil and a touch more liquorice and orris than usual, leaving you with a sweet, spicy finish.

8. The Source Pure Cardrona GinNamed one of the world’s top 50 gins in 2016, The Source from Wānaka’s Cardrona Distillery is a drinks-cabinet essential. Locally foraged botanicals and rosehips are handcrafted to make the award-winning blend, which has lots of piney fresh notes from juniper, a backbone of floral rose and a fragrant citrus-zest zing.

9. The Bond Store Kawakawa GinThis gin is handcrafted on the Kāpiti Coast using local sustainable ingredients, including handpicked kawakawa, filtered water from the Tararua Ranges, and repurposed whey-based alcohol from pure, grass-fed New Zealand dairy in Reporoa. Unmistakeably Kiwi.

10. Broken Heart Original GinBroken Heart Original Gin is born from the memory of a precious life lost. Germans Bernd and Joerg met in Queenstown and forged a firm friendship over a love of fine spirits and home distilling. Both master distillers lived in the Southern Alps, creating a superb gin – an intricate balance of 11 botanicals with a surprising orange twist. When Bernd fell ill and died, Joerg named the gin Broken Heart and shared it with the world.



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