Mother’s Ruin. Dutch Courage. Ladies’ Delight. Gin has managed to rack up a fair share of nicknames since its inception during the Middle Ages. It’s considered to be one of the most versatile and broadest categories of spirits, boasting a massive variety of styles, production techniques, and flavor profiles. But the central component that binds them all together is, of course, the star ingredient: juniper.
The gin that most of us sip today is simply a modern-day evolution of the Dutch liquor known as jenever. Originally used as an herbal remedy, it continued its progression over the centuries, eventually rising to international fame in Great Britain during the late 1600s when William of Orange became King William III of England. Ever since, the world has continued to associate the spirit with the U.K., and the London Dry style still reigns as one of the most popular interpretations (think: Beefeater, Bombay Sapphire, and Tanqueray).
But don’t get caught pigeonholing gin into one style or region of origin. These days, there are more gin labels on the market than ever before, and many of the most exciting options come from destinations you wouldn’t necessarily expect. Here are 10 of the most underrated gins from across the globe that are worth a try the next time you’re in the mood for a classic gin concoction.