10 Must Try New Zealand Gins for 2018

You’ve probably heard Gin is the next new thing. People are comparing it to Craft Beer. It’s massive in London and exploding across the UK. Right next door we have Melbourne which has its own Gin Festival – Junipalooza. So what about New Zealand?

Did you know that there are currently 68 different Gins produced in New Zealand? Probably not, as most people don’t.

If you do have a bit of an interest in Gin, and are a little curious, then here is a what’s hot and interesting among all these new New Zealand made Gins.

In no particular order, but definitely some highlights and some outliers from your traditional run of the mill traditional Gin.

Rogue Society Goldilocks 57%Rogue Society, the guys that had the vision for what Gin was going to become in NZ and around the world. It wasn’t just about a commodity and a brand, they understood that Gin was taking off. Anyone into Gin in New Zealand will have tried their Dry Gin. Did you know they have another Gin called Goldilocks? Definitely worth hunting down and trying.  Traditional, finesse, coriander nose, fresher, more intense and more vigorous on the palate, taking your G&T to the next level.




Karven Dry Gin 40.8%The trend in these new craft Gins made in New Zealand is to use our local native botanicals such as Kawakawa, Horopito, and Manuka. Karven executes these flavours well with a noticeable Manuka finish. Other good examples of the New Zealand botanicals can be found in Reid+Reid Native Gin and Hidden World Guardian Gin.







1st Cut Fresh Hop Motueka 42% – If Gin is following craft beer it seems obvious that a distiller would use hops. Being based in Nelson it makes total sense to use fresh hops when available. Any drinker of craft beer should be seeking out this Gin with their favourite ingredient in it. They have three other hop variety Gins –  Wai-iti, Riwaka, and Nelson Sauvin. Another hopped gin is GINIPA which is a collaboration between Epic Brewing Company and Vaione Gin released a few years ago and can found at most Epic beer tastings and events, and follows their tagline “Gin is the new IPA”.




Hidden World Forest Gin 44%after the piney and the resinous theme from the hops this Gin, that was released at Christmas, is definitely a big piney hit, and potentially is best described as drinking a Christmas tree. It uses pine, tree sap, and bay leaves. Hidden World Gin has medicine style bottle handwritten label. This Gin is more about what is more inside the bottle than how the bottle looks.






Thomson’s Victor Gin 42% – Gin from whiskey producer Matt Thomson, this gin is big in the lemon/lemongrass department. Massive lemon in the finish makes a wonderfully refreshing G&T. Heavy botanicals for sure. This is a great example of how exciting NZ Gin is becoming and the intensity of flavour. Hidden World Gin have also have a Citrus gin but is more orange and lime.

Juno Cloudy Autumn 40% – The fun thing about craft gin is the foraging for new, local and seasonal botanicals to be used to contribute the flavours to the Gin. Juno Gin has four different seasonal Gins, here is a wonderful idea. Due to the limited batches you really need to be on your game to get to try them, so best to get on the mailing so you know as soon as it comes out.

Hidden World Navy 60% – this Navy strength gin is New Zealand’s strongest Gin, but that isn’t the most fun part about this Gin. It is the savory herbs that are used in making this gin. Think Sage,Thyme, and Rosemary. Using the East Imperial Yuzu Tonic you will make a next level G&T.

Blush Rhubarb Gin 37%– for some reason Gin and Rhubarb both seem very English, and that therefore just seems they should be married together. The pink colour catches your eye, but on tasting it, you get a big smile and WOW. So yum. Definitely worth tracking down a bottle.

Sacred Spring Chocolate Gin 44% – sounds unusual but also good. It seems pretty popular, and craft Gin is showing similar signs of following the craft beer movement and therefore anything goes as far as ingredients. A collaboration with Wellington cocktail bar CGR Merchant & Co.

Curiosity Sloe Gin 27% – like the desert at the end of the list this sweet tasty Gin has been steeped using UK Sloe Berries and is the only Sloe Gin made in New Zealand. It is 27% abv and can be drunk straight or with a cube of ice. A rich plum colour and delicious sweetness with hints of almond. For that extra layer of interest and complex, ty it is aged in Pinot Barrels.

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