2023 Author: Cody Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-24 11:20
[updated 18/05] The Italian passion for artisanal gin it has the fragility and the arrogance of recent cults.
We are not yet at the English Cambridge Distillery's Anty Gin, the gin with the essence of red ants that costs over € 200, but the scenario is becoming stimulating.
Triggered by the widespread presence of juniper, the main ingredient, the ferment that surrounds the small cosmos of national gin has some common features.
The production is concentrated in the mountains or in the foothills, we rely on external distilleries of great tradition, the difference is made by the water used and the bothanical choices (the ingredients, spices, herbs, berries and flowers used to flavor the gins) that someone gets to cultivate on their own.
Ephemeral or avant-garde fashion of a movement that will be talked about as has already happened with craft beer? We'll see.
In the meantime, here is the list of the best 30 Italian artisan gins, which sooner or later you will have to try.
29. Riviera Gin
The very latest among Italian gins (it has been on the market since May 9 …) emerges from Romagna, precisely Rimini, and has the distinction of being the only product with wine distillate and not cereals.
Materially produced in Tuscany, it faithfully follows an ancient recipe found in the paperwork in the attic of the great-grandfather of one of the two daring entrepreneurs (Alessandro Zaghini and Roberto Guidi) custodians of the new brand. Legend has it that the ancestor in question during the Second World War granted his home to the British as a command point. One of these officers, observing the landlord's production of wine and grappa, had the curiosity to invent a gin recipe without using wheat and barley.
The botanicals remain secret, only the use of coriander, cinnamon, elderberry, ginger and bergamot among others is known.
28. London Dry Gin - Luxardo
London Dry Gin with nine botanical herbs (coriander, iris, angelica, calamus, licorice, cinnamon, cardamom, bitter orange) that echoes Dalmatian Juniper, a liqueur made by the Luxardo family since the early twentieth century.
It is obtained thanks to a 24-hour infusion in copper stills, it is then aged for 19 days and then filtered.
For abroad, the product is another, a distillate simply called Gin made with different botanical herbs: coriander, orange peel, licorice, lemon peel, almonds, cassia bark, cardamom seeds, cinnamon, bergamot and cocoa.
27. Berto London Dry Gin - Antica Quaglia Distillery
London dry gin from the Antica Distilleria Quaglia di Castelnuovo Don Bosco in the Asti area, made with five botanicals: rosemary, wormwood, laurel and iris, in addition to juniper.
The absence of citrus fruit stands out in the list of ingredients, the trademark of home-grown and non-Italian artisan gins. In the catalog there is also a second product called Juniperus.
26. The Botanical club
First and for now the only Italian metropolitan gin (in the sense that it is made in Milan). Classic botanicals, traditional processing, jokes and jokes are zero.
The bespoke still is guarded by The Botanical, a successful bistro and cocktail bar in the Isola district, about to double in front of the MUDEC.
25. Imea Gineprina of Holland
The vintage side of artisanal gin, with a recipe from 1897 (which includes anise, cloves, cinnamon and mace), when the incidence of customs duties gave rise to numerous locally produced spirits.
The mind of the project is Fulvio Piccinino, author of the reference volume Saperebere, the culture of mixed drinking, a true bible of information, responsible for a distillate that winks at the Dutch genevier, ancestor of modern gins.
Retro modernized flavor with exotic notes of cinnamon and mace.
24. Marconi 46 - Poli distillery
From the Asiago plateau a gin flavored with juniper berries, muscat grapes, mountain pine, Swiss stone pine, mint, cardamom, obtained from alembics working in a bain-marie, in a vacuum system, from the Poli family which has a long experience in production of grappa.
Marconi is the street where the distillery is located, while the gin's alcohol content is 46.
Barz8, in Turin, is a special bar. Together with the Punto di Vista restaurant (where dishes are combined with cocktails and drinks), it is the place where one of the few Italian gins made with the steeping technique is produced, i.e. the prolonged maceration of botanical herbs in alcohol, before double distillation made with discontinuous copper alembic (which makes the distillation process discontinuous).
Cardamom and cassia followed by angelica, coriander, black pepper and licorice, are the botanicals used by Luigi Iula and Salvatore Romano to create the bouquet of their gin.
22. PlusFive - Threespirits
Ten ingredients were chosen by the young entrepreneurs of PiùCinque who collaborate with the Antica Distilleria Quaglia in Castelnuovo Don Bosco (Asti), using their discontinuous bain-marie distillers.
Sage and bergamot are the main ones, in the distilled gin they follow absinthe, angelica, almond, ginger, blood orange, zedoria and iris.
21. The greedy gin
Gin created by two excellent Paduan mixologists but produced 4 times a year in an English micro-distillery.
Rich and complex taste announced by 13 botanical herbs: juniper, orange peel, mandarin, bergamot, cinnamon, clary sage, lavender, cardamom, lemon peel, angelica, coriander, green tea and litsea cubeba.
Fresh and citrusy the final result.
20. VII Hills
The seven hills of the name are a quote from Rome, Ancient Rome to be precise. In fact, the botanical herbs that make up gin (juniper, artichoke heart, fennel seeds, blood orange, bay leaves, officinal lemon balm, sage, lavender, coriander, chervil, celery) could already be used a couple of millennia ago.
Also in this case the production of London Dry is overseas, in Cambridge, while the creators of the liqueur, or Danilo Tersigni, Francesco Medici and Filippo Previero, are the mixologists of the Mr Fogg's, one of the most popular cocktail bars in London.
19. Life is beautiful | Biostilla - Distillerie Alfons Walcher / Biostilla
Alfons Walcher is a distillery in Appiano that produces two gins made with bain-marie stills. The first called Life is Beautiful is an organic London gin made with 24 botanicals, although the citrus notes of lemon and mandarin dominate.
The other, bottled with the commercial brand Biostilla, is a premium gin obtained from the fermentation of organic soft wheat, dominated by wild juniper. Other botanicals are: coriander, sage flowers, ireos root and elderflower.
Walcher also produces a remarkable organic vodka.
18. Gin Bordiga - Bordiga
Artisan distillery in the Cuneo Alps active since 1888 with traditional production entrusted to the alembic heated by the wood fire.
Among the most recent products we find a small family of gins in three variants: Dry Bordiga, classic London Dry with juniper from the Maritime Alps; Pink Gin in name and in fact, color due to distillation with rosebuds; Gin Smoke with smoked juniper, a technique born from an accident on the way: a batch of juniper berries had been forgotten next to a lit stove.
There is also a simplified version of these gins, Occitan Dry, more suitable for mixing.
17. Gin Pilz - Pilzer
Trentino Gin "delle Dolomiti" composed of 15 botanical herbs infused in a distillate of wheat and barley from the distillery famous for the production of grappa.
The label dedicated to the game of curling is curious, knowing its rules is considered essential to fully appreciate gin.
Dry flavor with a prevalence of citrus notes.
16. Z44 - Roner
Another Trentino distillery known for grappas and fruit in alcohol now converted to gin with a truly unique distillate.
A distilled dry gin mare e monti (yes, like tagliatelle or pizza) that combines the balsamic aromas of the Alps with citrus notes thanks to particular botanicals, see yarrow, pine cones (Swiss pine), gentian and violet root as well as juniper and orange.
15. Gino Origine - Green Spirits
Wheat and soft wheat distillate, organic, coming from the Savona Apennines of Val Bormida. Flavor immediately recognizable thanks to particular botanicals such as licorice, damask rose, lemon and sage, all certified and processed using spring water
The same producer also engages in vodka and other organic liqueurs.
14. Only Wild Gin - Pure Sardinia
"Solo" because it is made by distilling the berries of the only ingredient, giniperu (juniper for Sardinians), produces a giniu (gin, again for Sardinians) with a clear color with references to the Mediterranean scrub and typical aromatic herbs, together with sensations of resin.
Pure Sardinia is also local style vodka, vermouth and of course myrtle.
13. Aduro Gin (formerly Atomic gin)
Brothers Aduro from Belgium they fall in love with an Italian distillery that produces grappa in the heart of the Dolomites with the traditional bain-marie distillation method.
From love at first sight, an organic and cosmopolitan gin is born with as many as 23 botanicals, juniper and mandarin from Italy, French lavender, elder from Serbia and Iranian rose, just to name a few.
Four labels are available, superior, navy strength, devil's tail and well pepper. Together with the gin, Aduro distributes different combinations of botanicals (classic, floral, spicy) to be left to infuse to further personalize the liqueur.
12. The Professor's Gin
Tribute to the era of American prohibition and the epic of bathtube gins, made by cold infusion in domestic bathtubs, by Carlo Quaglia of the Piedmontese Antica Distilleria Quaglia and by Jerry Thomas project, protagonists in Rome of the first Italian speakeasy-style bar (the clandestine bars born at the time of Prohibition where the entrance took place with the password).
Two versions are proposed: in the first, Le Monsieur, together with the juniper harvested between Tuscany and Umbria there are lavender, orange, angelica, zedoaria, rose, chamomile, cinnamon and vanilla, in the other, A la Madame, the fusion of botanicals (juniper, lemon and orange peels, tansy, zedoaria, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, ripe peaches and cassia) makes him a true soloist.
11. Sabatini Gin - Thames Distillers
Tuscan heart but English alembic, precisely that of Charles Maxwell of London's Thames Distillers) for a gin that combines nine botanicals: juniper, coriander, iris, wild fennel, lavender, olive leaves, thyme, verbena and sage, all grown by Sabatini family on the Cortona farm.
A classic London dry gin whose recipe was also attended by Alessandro Plazzi, head bartender at Dukes in London, the legendary house of Martini.
10. Vallombrosa Gin Dry
If the best known production of Vallombrosa Abbey is the beer , the Benedictine monks they also make excellent gin by relying on the inevitable ancient recipe and botanical herbs harvested in their area.
We are talking about a micro-production not subject to the rules of the market but of great quality, which over time has become an object of worship (oops!).
09. Tovel's Gin - Valentini Distillery 1872
Tovel is an alpine lake in the Brenta Dolomites, in Trentino, whose waters (which once were tinged with red by the effect of an alga) feed the aqueduct that supplies the Valentini Distilleries.
Juniper is harvested on the shores of the lake, then combined with mountain pine, elderflower, fresh Gardesani lemon peel, ash, cumin seeds (to replace star anise and licorice), dogwood, gentian root and angelica.
The centenary company that makes this London dry gin produced with a discontinuous still from 1927 is among the few in Italy to use the steam infusion process.
08. GilBach - Pilzer
GilBach comes from GILmozzi Alessandro and BACHmann Andreas, the chef and his second at the Michelin-starred restaurant El Molin in Cavalese (TN), as well as authors of this Trentino gin made by the Pilzer di Fave distillery.
Having started experimenting with cold macerations of beer with various types of local botanicals, the two arrived at a mountain gin made with juniper, elderberry and wild sloe.
07. Malfy gin
They come from Moncalieri, they are called Vergnano but they don't have to do with coffee. They are the owners of Torino Distillati and make a superlative gin with six botanicals: Amalfi lemons, Tuscan juniper, coriander, cassia, licorice and grapefruit and orange peel.
The production method is particular, which involves distillation under vacuum at 60 ° C., That is, at a lower temperature than usual to preserve the aromas of the skins.
The result is a very pleasant fruity bouquet that doesn't push too much on juniper notes.
06. Gin Clandestino - Apothecary Mystic
The last born in the house of Mistico Speziale, a micro-company in Reggio Emilia that produces distillates with botanical herbs grown on its own land and harvested in the ideal balsamic period, when the aroma released is at its maximum.
The young man Saverio Denti, a graduate in herbalist techniques, he first rediscovered absinthe starting from nineteenth-century recipes, then rosolio, elixir and nocino always putting us in the same style, attentive to details.
Same care in the production of gin, inspired by the already seen bathtube gin and the cold compounding technique (a neutral alcohol and a concentrate of aromas are mixed, in this case coriander, angelica, cardamom and aromatic calamus).
05. Luz Gin
Many protagonists of mixed drinking have gone over to the other side by proposing themselves as producers of those liqueurs that they then use in their premises. He did not escape this rule
Like other Italian mixologists Leonardo Veronesi produces its own gin that it uses in Rivabar Cocktail Club of Riva del Garda. With the help of Florian Rabanser of the distillery Zu Plun (author of Dol Gin) has created a London Dry that has 10 botanicals in addition to juniper: elderflower, olive blossom, almond, lemon peel, wild mint, anise, dog rose, gentian and lemon balm.
Production is limited to a few hundred bottles per year, distilled with a 150-liter copper still starting from an alcohol at 98.5 ° C.
The alcohol content is then reduced between 45 and 60 ° C. with multiple botanical infusions lasting between 20 and 48 hours. A truly unique distillation.
04. Giniu | Pigskin - Silvio Carta
Elio Carta relaunches the myth of Giniu, the Sardinian gin that from the postwar period up to the 1960s had dozens of labels on the island, with a distillate that combines myrtle, thyme, mastic, fennel, sage and lemon zest.
And after Giniu here Pigskin which doubles the botanical herbs used and is aged in the centennial chestnut barrels used by the company for the aging of Vernaccia (a real trademark) in order to obtain a softer taste.
Curiosity: gin owes its name to the close encounter with a pig in the blueberry grove during the botanical harvest.
03. Roby Marton's Gin
Label with Caribbean references as well as an unusual straw yellow color for an Italian gin that makes us proud. An ancient distillery in Bassano del Grappa produces this cold compound (cold infusion of botanicals for 15 days after a first distillation of cereals and a second of juniper) created by the young Treviso Roberto Martòn.
The ingredients are: citrus peel, cinnamon, cardamom, licorice, aniseed, pink pepper, horseradish, ginger, red fruits and cloves.
To underline the artisanal character of the product, Marton claims some difference in taste between the vintages and constantly modifies the distillation of his gin. Another limited production is a gin flavored with Tonka bean, the Marton's Tonka gin, while Big Gino, unfiltered gin, has a more affordable price.
02. Fred Jerbis
An exaggerated gin. There are 43 different botanicals (including juniper, angelica, lemon, orange, mandarin, thyme, lavender, mint, anise, fennel, mountain pine, lemon balm, iris, imperatoria, savory, clary sage, wormwood, yarrow, licorice, saffron, orange blossom, hyssop, marjoram, calamus, some bio), as well as the alcoholic degrees.
The imaginative creator is called Federico Cremasco (Fred on the label, while Jerbis means herbs in Friulian), an appreciated barman and teacher of mixology who, after the first cold compound experiments in his home cellar, in the province of Pordenone, made the upgrade with the help of an aromatiere, distiller and food technologist.
Opificio di Spilimbergo puts the seal on the distillate inspired by the millennial compendia of the Salerno Medical School.
01. Dolgin - Zuplum
Imagine a distillate born on a small farm in South Tyrol, closely related to a rum so perfect that it won prizes in London, the home of spirits.
Here, so you understand how it works Florian Rabanser, master distiller in Plunhof, who in addition to rum and gin makes grappa and even a traditional balsamic vinegar.
In his charmer Dolomites gin uses 24 different botanicals, all local, selected with the help of a pharmacist friend. The only intruder is the lemon peel that comes from Garda and allows the balance of flavors sought by the perfectionist Florian.