Food & Drink

12 Essential Gin Bottles for Your Best Gin & Tonic

The world of gin is so much more than juniper.
IMAGE COURTESY OF TANQUERAY, MONKEY 47, ROKU GIN, HENDRICK'S GIN
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When it comes to the big name spirits, there may be no more divisive option on your average bar cart that gin. While the classic, piney juniper flavor of the London Dry gins most of us grew up with maybe the most iconic gin profile, at its most basic, gin is simply a clear spirit distilled with botanicals. Recent decades have brought a flood of interesting new gins to the market that has completely changed the way many of us think about gin. Whether you're an old school London Dry fan, or you're looking for a complex new sip to add to your collection, these are the gins that deserve a spot on your bar.

Hendrick's Gin

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This beloved Scottish bottle gives the classic juniper and citrus palette of gin a revamp with a refreshing hint of cucumber and rose that give this gin a distinctive flavor that truly stands out from the pack. 

Highclere Castle Gin

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For the ultimate Downton Abbey fan, only one gin will do. The official gin of Highclere Castle aka the real-life Downton Abbey uses botanicals from the estate's ground including wild juniper, lavender planted by the 9th century Bishops of Winchester, and citrus from the Victorian-era orange grove.

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The Botanist Islay Dry Gin

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Islay is known for scotch (and indeed, many great gin brands come out of scotch distilleries thanks in part to its much faster production methods) but this bottle, from gin-exclusive distiller The Botanist, makes the most of Islay's bounty of botanicals including thistle, gorse, and water mint for a flavor that plays beautifully in both sweet and savory cocktails. 

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Tanqueray London Dry Gin

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If you're craving a London Dry gin—the juniper-forward style most of us think of as "gin"—it doesn't get much more classic than Tanqueray, which has remained a top pick for bartenders since Charles Tanqueray first developed it in the 1830s.

Monkey 47

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For a different spin on gin, German-distilled Monkey 47 (so named for the 47 botanicals that go into its distillation) brings a taste of the Black Forest with botanicals like spruce tips, lingonberries, elderflower, sloes and blackberry leaves, plus spices from India, for a flavor that will wow even avowed gin-haters. 

Nolet's Silver Dry Gin

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Though many of us associate gin with the U.K., the style actually descended from the Dutch spirit genever, so really it's only natural that some of the tastiest gin on the planet comes from this Dutch distillery. For this extra-special bottle, 11th generation distillers Carl Jr. and Bob Nolet teamed up with their father, Carolus Sr., to create a lush gin with hints of peach, rose, and raspberry. 

Four Pillars Navy Strength Gin

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Craving a gin with some real kick? This Australian bottle clocks in at 117 proof, which combined with its palette including fresh ginger, finger lime, turmeric, and star anise, is more than up to the task of standing up to the other flavors in your favorite gin cocktail. 

Aviation American Gin

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London's gin of choice is juniper-forward, but for a New World take on the spirit, this Portland, Oregon-based bottle balances it with six other botanicals—cardamom, lavender, sarsaparilla, coriander, anise seed, and dried orange peel—for a fresh and spicy combo. 

Beefeater London Dry Gin

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When it comes to classics, Beefeater has more than enough historical cred. The brand still honors the juniper and citrus-forward recipe that James Burrough developed when he started distilling the spirit in London in the 1800s. 

Suntory Roku Gin

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Japanese distilleries have become standouts in the whiskey world, so when they started experimenting with gin in recent years, we knew it was something worth getting excited about. Roku, which hit the U.S. market in late 2018, blends traditional gin botanicals with Japanese flavors like Sakura flowers (aka cherry blossoms), yuzu peel, and sencha tea.

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Sipsmith VJOP London Dry Gin

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For those who prefer to embrace juniper instead of eschewing it in their gin, this is the ideal bottle. Named V.J.O.P. for 'Very Junipery Over Proof,' this high-impact gin (it's bottled at 57.7 percent ABV) uses twice the amount of juniper berries of Sipsmith's classic London Dry bottle for an undeniable, brisk juniper flavor.

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Gin Mare

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Capture the feeling of a balcony aperitivo overlooking the Mediterranean with this summery, Medi-inspired gin. Distilled with coastal flavors including Spanish arbequina olives, basil, rosemary, and thyme, it's just the thing for shaking up your usual gin routine. 

*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com

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*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors 

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