Fancy a gin with lemon? We tell you which gin goes with lemon, and how this classic citrus garnish can enhance your gin. Lemon has a pH of about 2.2, and we think these gins work the best with lemon:
- Wild Island Gin
- Malfy Originale Gin
- Bombay Sapphire Gin
- Granite North Gin
- Gin Mare
Why garnish gin with lemon?
Alongside a lime garnish, a fresh wedge of lemon remains one of the most traditional and best gin garnishes. The juice of a lemon has a healthy dose of citric acid (at about 5%). That helps it cut through the juniper and heavier botanicals and bring a freshness to your glass.
Lemon, often dried lemon peel, is also a popular gin botanical in itself. Garnishing a gin with lemon can therefore enhance the citrus notes already present.
So here’s our countdown of some the best gins to try with lemon:
Wild Island Gin
A Scottish gin, with six local botanicals from the beautiful island of Colonsay, Wild Island is quite a ‘herby’ gin. A suggested serve is with tonic, a slice of lemon and a sprig of mint. We really liked this serve in our review of Wild Island Gin.
There’s lemon peel (and orange peel) in the botanical mix, alongside another eight traditional botanicals and those local ones, and we reckon that a lemon garnish really lifts those lovely citrus notes.
Malfy Originale Gin
We can say this because we’re based in Scotland, but the reason lemon works well as a garnish for Malfy Originale could be very different from why it might work for Wild Island. It’s more of a play to the senses.
Having a lemon garnish for Malfy Gin evokes thoughts of the sun-drenched Italian coast, particularly the ancient Amalfi Coast that Malfy pays homage to. Colonsay is no less beautiful, and it certainly has its share of drenched coasts, but it works well with lemon because it matches the botanicals so well.
Having said this, lemon and grapefruit peel are both in Malfy’s botanical mix, and it’s a clean gin too. A wedge of lemon, a dash of sparkling tonic and a chunk of ice and your tastebuds are whisked away to Italy.
Bombay Sapphire Gin
We love a Bombay Sapphire (as you can see from our review). It’s a gin that forgives many a serving suggestion, and this vapour-infused classic – in its beautiful light blue bottle – is truly versatile.
Lemon peel is in botanical mix again, as part of recipe that dates back to 1761. A wedge of lemon, or any citurs fruit, can help bring that out the citrus notes in this fragrant gin.
We likely don’t need to wax lyrical on Bombay Sapphire as it’s such a well known tipple, but we think it’s cracking value. It’s well worth a look if you fancy a classic G&T with lemon and ice.
Granite North Gin
Heading to Scotland, we gallop up to the Cairngorm Mountains for the next gin we think works well with lemon.
As we noted in our Granite North review, this is a gin that has both lemon pith and grapefruit giving it a nice fresh, zesty taste. We’re fans of gins that have a bit of citrus to them, and a nice wedge of lemon just enhances those notes in Granite North.
It’s a gin that’s now relatively widely available in the UK (sorry, not in North America yet as far as we’re aware). You can buy Granite North from Craft56 (which does a fantastic range of Scottish gins), or you can also buy Granite North Gin from Master of Malt or buy here from Amazon.
Gin Mare with lemon
Last, but not least, we head back to the Mediterranean to find a gin that works well with lemon. Gin Mare is from the Spanish mainland, and has a wonderful array of botanicals.
In the mix we have rosemary, thyme, olives and basil from all across the Mediterranean. If you’ve ever tried a traditional chicken dish in Spain with these same ingredients, you’ll know that lemon is a key partner. Gin Mare is no different – a fresh lemon garnish enhances this gin beautifully. The citrus works brilliantly with the botanicals, bringing them to the fore.
Gin Mare is widely available in the UK – Amazon or Master of Malt both stock it. You can also get Gin Mare in North America – click on this direct link to order Gin Mare via Drizly.
The best gin with lemon?
That concludes our list of some of the gins that we think go best with our citrus friend. So, if you pushed us for a winner, what would we pick?
They’re all great, and lemon is a ‘go to’ garnish for many gins. But, for us, we’d go for Malfy Originale. It shouts fresh lemon. One taste, and you’re off to Italy without the air miles…