Gin Is the New Cool Liquor on the Block — Here Are the 8 Brands You Need to Know

Best Gin Brands
Courtesy of Aviation
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Gin is cool again. And we think that’s worth getting excited about.

The clear liquor is distilled from juniper berries, providing a seriously unique flavor. However, this flavor has made gin seriously divisive with liquor connoisseurs and normal drinkers alike. It’s not for everyone, but recently, more and more people are coming around to the sharp, effervescent flavor.

Gin has had a pretty bizarre history. Although it’s now strongly associated with London, gin was actually pioneered in the Netherlands. But once Londoners got a hold of the cheap recipe in the early 18th century, they had a gin craze (no, literally, that’s a historical term). Since then, gin has slowly evolved into what it is today, with distilleries popping up all over the world. And starting around 2013, gin has been on the up and up.

Understanding why Gin has gotten more popular is pretty simple: it’s delicious and unique. You can sip it straight like a whiskey, but gin really shines in cocktails such as gin & tonics, martinis, and gimlets.

If you’re ready to up your gin knowledge, the best method is to dive in and try the stuff. We’ve rounded up several of the best gins on the market to upgrade your evening drink or cocktail party.

1. Hendrick’s

BEST OVERALL

Whether you’re new to gin or looking for a better go-to bottle, Hendrick’s is a great option. It’s a step up from the basic gin brands, but it’s still not too expensive. Considering Hendrick’s is just 20 years old, it’s pretty impressive that you can see it in nearly any bar around the world. The brand revolutionized the gin market with two simple upgrades — cucumber and rose — which started the whole ‘ginissance’ we’re now living in.

Hendrick's Gin Bottle Courtesy of Drizly

  

2. Tanqueray London Dry Gin

THE CLASSIC

You can get pretty deep in the artisanal gin world these days, but we think everyone should have a classic bottle of gin in their bar. Our favorite? Tanqueray. It’s fairly affordable but boasts a smooth juniper-forward flavor that gives a good base for tasting more experimental gins. This makes it great for cocktails as well, such as a gin fizz or Tom Collins.

Tanqueray Gin Green Bottle Courtesy of Drizly

  

3. Gordon’s London Dry Gin

BEST AFFORDABLE

If you’re stocking up on gin for a party or just shopping on a budget, go for Gordon’s. It’s a classic London dry gin, and although it’s affordable and widely available, it still offers a nice gin experience. Gordon’s recipe upgrades the juniper taste with some orange peel and anise, creating a bold flavor that won this gin Double Gold at the 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Gordon's Gin Yellow Label Courtesy of Drizly

  

4. Ransom Old Tom Gin

BEST OLD TOM GIN

Most gins are either a classic London dry gin or a slight variation. However, there’s also old Tom gin, which came before the London drys that we typically drink today. Think of old Toms as the hipsters of gins. If you want to get a little adventurous, pick up a bottle of this Ransom old Tom gin. It’s aged in wine barrels (giving that odd caramel color) and uses a base wort of malted barley for unique malty flavor.

Old Tom Gin Ransom Courtesy of Drizly

  

5. Aviation American Gin

BEST AMERICAN GIN

Ryan Reynolds might be known for playing Deadpool, but he’s also an owner of one of the best American gins on the market: Aviation. Despite its high-profile ownership, the brand is still down-to-earth, distilling their potion at home in Portland, Oregon. The gin is made using extra botanicals including cardamom, lavender, sarsaparilla, giving it a fresh and spicy taste.

Ryan Reynolds Gin Aviation Courtesy of Drizly

  

6. Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin

BEST DUTCH GIN

As mentioned, gin actually descended from the Dutch. So it’s only fitting that Nolet’s, one of the best gins on the market, comes from Holland. This premium gin uses rose, peach and raspberry to elevate the juniper taste, creating something you can really sit back and sip. It makes a great gift for gin lovers too, as they probably haven’t tried it yet.

Fancy Gin Nolet's Courtesy of Drizly

  

7. Suntory Roku

BEST JAPANESE GIN 

Japanese liquor of all kinds (especially whiskey) are taking the States by storm. One of the biggest distilleries is Suntory, and like their award-winning whiskey, their gin is top-notch. “Roku” (Japanese for six) refers to the six unique Japanese botanicals used in the gin, although it also utilizes some classic botanicals such as coriander seed and angelica root as well. The result is a light mix of floral, citrusy and spicy that makes it great for sipping or making a killer gin martini.

Japanese gin roku Courtesy of Drizly

  

8. Monkey 47 Dry Gin

BEST PREMIUM GIN

Looking to sample a high-end bottle of gin (or treat a gin lover)? Try this Monkey 47. It uses a whopping 47 botanicals — all picked from the Black Forest in Germany — to create a truly elevated taste experience. One reviewer said it was like a punch to the mouth (the good kind) with juniper, pepper, flowers and Monkey’s secret weapon: lingonberries.

expensive gin monkey 47 Courtesy of Drizly

  

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