The Best Gin For Your Gin & Tonic (And Any Other Gin Drink You’re Making)

And if you prefer a martini or a citrusy gin cocktail? Here are the best bottles for them, too.

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Seven gin bottles
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Whether you prefer it topped with tonic and a spritz of lime, shaken until sweaty and served with a splash of dry vermouth in a martini glass, or neat, gin is an incredibly versatile. Anyone who says they don’t like the taste of gin because it’s too harsh has probably only sampled a very juniper-forward bottle because the botanical-rich spirit comes in many different variations. Gin, after all is a broad, nuanced category one that becomes deeper and richer every year as distillers continue to experiment with new botanical combinations. And depending on what you’re drinking there’s a gin with a particular quality that works best. To break down what’s the best gin for gin and tonics, martinis, citrus cocktails, and sipping neat, we turned to world-renowned spirits expert and author David Wondrich, Editor in Chief of the new Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails, for his thoughts. Here, with his expertise, are some of the best gins to keep on hand and how to use them.

The Best Gin For Gin and Tonic


When it comes to the perfect gin for a Gin and Tonic, Wondrich follows the words of Chairman Mao: “Let a thousand flowers bloom.” “Tonic is a strongly-flavored enough mixer that you can get away with using even the weirdest, most innovative modern gins,” he says. Here are two ideal choices.

The Best Gin For Martinis


For Martinis, Wondrich likes to use a classic, straight-forward London Dry Gin: “A strong, heavy-juniper one if I’m using a lot of vermouth, or a lighter one if I’m cutting back on the vermouth.” Another expert tip on gin for Martinis comes from David T. Smith, author or The Gin Dictionary, who says that “coolness is key for a martini, so whether you like it shaken or stirred, a gin with a slightly higher ABV of 45% or 47% alcohol (such as the Nolet’s below) give you more of a chance to preserve its punch and power and the flavor won’t be lost by being too watery.”

Here are two gins ideal for your martini.

The Best Gin For Sours


For sours and citrus cocktails that are perfect in the warmer weather, Wondrich prefers gins to be “bright and clean.” The below bottles fit the bill.

The Best Sipping Gin


When it comes to sipping, Wondrich enjoys “gin’s older Dutch cousin: genever, which has a base spirit that is closer to whiskey.” The two gins below are each made from base grains often associated with whiskey — malted barley and rye — making them both easy segue to gin appreciation for whiskey lovers.

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