When it comes to a well-stocked home bar, a nice bottle of gin is an absolute must. A versatile liquor with a complex taste, gin can work well as a base for a classy cocktail or as a standalone beverage.
Gin is a hard liquor made from fermented juniper berries, which gives it a tingly, almost sweet flavor evocative of Christmastime.
The origins of gin can be traced back to England in the 17th century, although earlier variations of the drink existed in Belgium and the Netherlands. Needless to say, gin has been an adult beverage mainstay for a very long time.
Today, gin is an internationally popular liquor, with a wide variety of brands and versions from which to choose. With so many different types of gin available, it can be hard to figure out which brand is the best fit for you.
17 Best Gins
To help, we have put together a guide to our absolute favorite types of gin. Read on to learn all about the very best gin brands.
Hendrick’s Gin is a perfect introductory gin for anyone interested in transitioning from vodka to gin.
Hendrick’s distinguishes itself by infusing gin with rose and cucumber.
The light, sweet, and aromatic flavors of the rose and cucumber soften the sharpness of the juniper berries, making Hendrick’s Gin a refreshing and gentle opener to the world of gin.
I love using Hendrick’s as a base for a fancy cocktail or just having it on the rocks with a simple cucumber garnish.
Luckily, this unique and tasty drink is in the mid-price range and is an accessible option for many gin drinkers.
Bombay Sapphire is a classic brand that you have to try.
This gin has delightful lemon and floral notes and opens up the complexities of the beverage.
Bombay Sapphire flavors its gin through a vapor infusion process, which helps create the signature Bombay Sapphire gin.
This brand is probably best for gin and tonics: with the citrus flavor of Bombay Sapphire, pairing well with a tonic. This gin is a bit on the pricier side but is a good investment for a home bar or special occasion.
Monkey 47 is a special variation of gin called Schwarzwald Gin and is inspired by Indian and German flavors.
This gin has plenty of floral notes with infusions of Indian botanicals and flavors from the Black Forest. Monkey 47 is named after the 47 different botanicals featured in the gin.
This complex gin isn’t traditional: the multitude of flavors extends far beyond the stereotypical dry juniper berries of gin.
While this might not be the gin for hardcore gin traditionalists, it is a fun contemporary blend that works great for cocktails or gin and tonics.
As a gin lover, I have to say that Tanqueray London is one of my all-time favorite gin brands.
Tanqueray is the epitome of a classic London dry gin: crisp juniper berries with an herbal flavor and dry finish.
Tanqueray London gin is a good choice for a simple gin and tonic or a gin martini. This perfected blend of botanicals is also delightful on the rocks, to sip slowly and savor.
While Tanqueray is considered high-quality, it’s also sold at an affordable price, making it a great candidate for your go-to traditional gin brand.
The Botanist Gin is made at the Bruichladdich Distillery in Scotland with 31 different botanicals, 22 of which are found on Islay, the remote Scottish Island where the distillery is located.
This Scottish gin is well-balanced, with the woodsy and floral flavors enhancing the juniper rather than masking it.
I like Botanist Gin best when used in a martini or on its own—the flavors are too unique to be watered down by other mixers.
Since this gin has creative flavor infusions while still maintaining the traditional juniper taste, this is a great middle-ground between classic and experimental gins.
Beefeater London is another quality classic London dry gin.
Major flavors include juniper, citrus, and a notable alcohol taste.
This brand has been a long-time favorite in the gin industry. It sets the standard for many gin drinkers for what a typical London dry gin should taste like: juniper with notes of citrus, licorice, and coriander.
Due to the classic flavors and the accessible price, Beefeater is an ideal brand for mixing cocktails, so be sure to buy it before your next dinner party.
Gray Whale Gin
Gray Whale Gin is an American gin made by Golden State Distillery in California.
In true gin distilling fashion, Gray Whale Gin is infused with local California botanicals, including sea kelp, giving the gin a beachy, seaside vibe.
This gin is contemporary in style, so there are plenty of complex herbal flavors to appreciate. Gray Whale Gin has a slight mineral taste, so it goes well in a gin and tonic or a gin and soda. This brand gin also goes well in a martini or Negroni.
In addition, Gray Whale Gin proceeds go to Oceana, an environmental organization committed to protecting the ocean.
Citadelle Gin is a French gin with a delightfully spiced flavor.
When Citadelle Gin first came out in the 1990s, the brand took a bold step away from English and American style gins by leaning into the spicy elements of gin.
This gin pairs the juniper with spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. If you like to drink that reminds you of Christmas, Citadelle Gin will hit the spot.
With such a fun and different flavor profile, I recommend trying Citadelle Gin neat or on the rocks, perhaps with an orange slice as a garnish. Floral cocktails are also a great match for this French liquor.
Greenhook Ginsmiths is a Brooklyn-based distillery.
This distillery’s gin has some herbal and experimental elements while still sticking to traditional gin flavors.
My favorite aspect of Greenhook Gin is the unique botanical choices—namely, the use of elderflower and chamomile. These floral flavors, mixed with some tasty spices, are reminiscent of an upscale tea blend.
This gin goes great with any cocktail that has floral flavors. I also love it with some tonic and a bit of flavored syrup.
Plymouth Navy Strength
Trying Plymouth Navy Strength Gin is a right of passage if you are trying to become a gin connoisseur.
Navy strength gin is a special type of gin. It is 114 proof, or 57% ABV, and packs a mighty punch but has a remarkable flavor.
Plymouth Navy Strength Gin is citrusy, with plenty of rich juniper flavors. Of course, with the high alcohol content, this gin has quite a bit of heat to it.
But navy strength gin is generally meant to be used in a nice cocktail, and Plymouth Navy Strength gin is particularly delightful in a Negroni, as the strong orange and lemon flavors fit in perfectly.
Junipero Gin is an American gin from the Anchor Distilling Company.
Based out of California, this distillery makes gin with strong notes of juniper, as well as two different types of oranges.
This gin has a soothing warmth—mainly due to it being 98.6 proof—with sweet citrus flavors and piney juniper. The strength of this gin makes it a great American mixing gin, ideal for gin and tonics or yummy cocktails.
Since the juniper flavor is so distinct in this gin, you can combine it with plenty of mixers while still experiencing a gin taste.
Bluecoat is another American dry gin, coming from Philadelphia Distilling.
Philadelphia Distilling distills their gin in a copper pot with quality ingredients for a classic, well-rounded flavor.
Bluecoat gin has the signature orange flavor that American dry gins have become known for. There is a great blend of different citrus notes in this gin, ranging from lemon to orange and even a bit of grapefruit.
This gin’s strong citrus taste makes it a great choice for a fruity or floral gin-based cocktail.
I also recommend it for gin and tonics, as citrusy gins blend nicely with a traditional tonic mixer.
Fords Officers’ Reserve
Fords Officers’ Reserve is a new special edition from Fords Gin.
This gin is 109 proof, or 54.5% ABV, making it a navy-strength gin. The gin has citrusy, nutty, and sweet flavor notes.
As with any navy strength gin, the Fords Officers’ Reserve gin is intentionally designed to be used in cocktails, with flavors that blend well with popular citrus and floral-based cocktails.
The subtle taste of honey and caramel makes this gin a nice option for a gimlet or gin-based punch cocktail.
Malfy Gin Rosa
Malfy Gin Rosa is a special contemporary gin with a unique flavor.
Infused with grapefruit, Malfy Gin Rosa has a distinctive pink color and a powerful taste.
This fruity gin blends juniper with grapefruit, balancing out the combination with hints of anise and rhubarb.
I would call this gin very Mediterranean in its design, with the ingredients including Sicilian grapefruit and Italian lemon.
For that reason, these refreshing citrus flavors are perfect for making an aperitivo, whether it’s a Negroni or a Campari.
Aviation American Gin
Aviation American Gin might be one of my favorites out of the popular contemporary American dry gins.
The juniper flavor is complex and strong, softened by subtle aromatic hints of lavender.
Unlike other American gins, Aviation Gin favors spice over citrus, with tasting notes of cardamom and cinnamon standing out.
Aviation Gin is a great liquor if you’re looking for something floral and earthy, with some satisfying warmth at the end. Naturally, you would be remiss to not try Aviation Gin in its namesake cocktail, the Aviation.
Indoggo Gin is musical artist Snoop Dog’s original gin.
While this is technically a flavored gin, it stands out from others by having no additional sweeteners added.
Indoggo gin is distilled with seven different botanicals and the strawberry flavor is added after the distilling process.
The result is a floral, berry-flavored gin with a subtle and natural sweetness. The juniper flavor is quiet but still there, so it maintains some of the more traditional gin flavor profile.
With so much flavor already there, this gin works best in something simple, such as a gin and soda.
Sipsmith London Dry
Sipsmith London Dry gin is a popular contemporary English style gin.
The botanical blend is rather traditional, but the sweet citrus notes are quite modern.
One of the best and more distinctive elements of this gin is the honey and orange aromatic scents you notice when you first take a sip.
I love the way this gin sticks to the classic flavors but still manages to surprise and delight the drinker with tiny details.
Sipsmith London Dry gin goes great in a martini, where the botanical flavors are nicely enhanced.
17 Best Gins
- Bombay Sapphire
- Monkey 47
- Tanqueray London
- The Botanist
- Beefeater London
- Gray Whale Gin
- Citadelle Gin
- Greenhook Ginsmiths
- Plymouth Navy Strength
- Junipero Gin
- Fords Officers’ Reserve
- Malfy Gin Rosa
- Aviation American Gin
- Sipsmith London Dry
Gin is a great beverage to experiment with. The flavors can greatly vary from brand to brand, and each new variation brings out a different unique quality of the beverage. Trying out multiple styles is a fantastic way to develop your taste and explore what kind of gin you like best.
For more tips on finding high-quality hard liquors, check out this article on Scotch Whiskey.
Did we leave out one of your favorite gin brands? Let us know and we will be sure to check it out!
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