Gordon’s Gin carries a lot of history dating back to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
The gin began in 1769 as a product of Scotland-based Londoner Alexander Gordon’s Southwark (London, United Kingdom/UK) distillery. Since then, production of Gordon’s has moved around the UK, finally settling down in Cameron Bridge (Scotland) in the 1980s.
The spirit originally was peddled in a distinct green bottle, as during the Industrial Revolution, making clear glass bottles were expensive. The clear bottle version of Gordon’s Gin only began at the turn of the 20th century, as the company first used clear bottles to celebrate large quantities of exporting the product to Australia.
As for the boar adorning the lid (and on the flanks of the yellow label version), Gordon’s Gin claims that it is a reference to an ancestor of Alexander Gordon that saved the King of Scotland from being gored by a boar during a hunting trip.
Common Gordon’s Gin Prices List
Gordon's London Dry Gin
$8.99 - $13.99
$13.99 - $16.99
$15.99 - $18.99
Gordon's Premium Pink Distilled Gin
$9.99 - $14.99
Gordon's Sloe Gin
$8.99 - $13.99
Gordon's with a Spot of Elderflower
$9.99 - $14.99
The Gordon’s Gin for beginners is the Special London Dry version in its telltale green bottle. The mix is triple distilled, and supposedly contains coriander seeds, angelica root, orris root, orange and lemon peels, ginger, cassia oil and nutmeg aside from the juniper berries.
Speaking of the juniper, the company’s juniper berry crop is handpicked every year AND stored for two years. This is meant to intensify the juniper presence in the gin’s taste.
If you’re drinking Gordon’s Gin London Dry outside its United Kingdom/UK home market, it’s highly likely that you’re drinking the London Dry version with the yellow label. That’s because the yellow label variant is the one meant for export to other countries, and it’s undoubtedly stronger than its green bottle counterpart. The juniper base flavor is much more evident in the yellow label, and it’s great for Vespers.
Don’t think that the Gordon’s Premium Pink Distilled Gin is a gin-come-lately introduced at the turn of the 2000s to compete with other red berry-oriented spirits. Gordon’s version of pink gin comes from an original 1880s recipe, and tosses in strong hints of strawberries, raspberries and redcurrant. Gordon’s Gin strongly recommends serving it in a gin-and-tonic in a large wine glass, filled with ice and garnished with fresh strawberries.
Gordon’s version of a sloe gin (made from their handpicked crop of blackthorn tree fruits, or sloes) can either be terrible or thrillingly good to your tongue and throat. For the naysayers, it’s coarse and bitter. On the other hand, those who like the gin claim that it’s a great pair with desserts or standout as a liqueur.
Gordon’s London Dry Gin With Elderflower is targeted as a summer drink for gin enthusiasts looking for enhanced botanicals in their drink. It’s best consumed as a carefully measured gin-and-tonic and garnished with stráwberries, meant to highlight the delicate sweetness of elderflower.
Gordon’s London Dry Gin Yellow Label vs the competition
Compared to Gordon’s London Dry Gin Yellow Label, Williams Chase Elegant 48 Gin tastes more of apple, then juniper in the gin. No doubt both are great for having something in the liquor cabinet to sip prior to hitting the sack, but London Dry purists will likely lean towards the Gordon’s yellow label.
Despite the yellow label Gordon’s Gin being a mainland Europe (save for the UK home market) and non-UK market favorite, the alcoholic charm from Cameron Bridge could be replaced by Tanqueray’s Export Strength gin. The Tanqueray’s long, full juniper taste and finish is head, shoulders, chest and hips over the export-ready Gordon’s Gin.
There’s little doubt that the yellow label Gordon’s Gin has quite the kick. However, Plymouth’s Navy Strength gin delivers multiple connected roundhouse kicks to your nose, tongue and gullet in just a serving or two. That’s how strong yet smooth is Plymouth Navy Strength, even if Gordon’s Gin yellow label has 30 cl more.
What to mix with Gordon’s London Dry Gin, Yellow Label
James Bond’s drink of choice (as observed in the “Casino Royale” novel), the Vesper Martini was conceived by [James Bond author] Ian Fleming in the 1950s with a strong, London Dry Gordon’s Gin in mind.
Unfortunately, the Gordon’s Gin that Fleming had in mind was the green bottled Gordon’s London Dry gin, which was at borderline 50 percent during the Cold War. Nowadays, the Gordon’s Gin that meets Fleming’s (and James Bond’s) alcoholic consumption needs is the yellow label one for non-UK markets.
In fact, the actual recipe is written in “Casino Royale...”
“... three parts Gordon’s [Gin], one part Russian vodka, a half measure of Kina Lillet aperitif, shaken until ice-cold, served with a slice of lemon peel.”
However, the “parts” in the original recipe could be taken to extremes (read: more than a wine glass). You don’t want to wind up with a 4 1/2 ounce drink that could make you go to bed after a sip or two, so we recommended this version of a Vesper martini...
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a coupe cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.