1. Food

A Guide to Popular Gin Brands

Value, Premium and Super-Premium Gin

By

The theory behind deciding which bottle of gin to pick up at the store is much the same as vodka: find a gin that fits the style of drinks you mix most. If you're on a budget and tend to make flavorful drinks like an English Rose or a Biltmore you can get away with a value brand, though one does want to choose carefully to get a good tasting gin (see recommendations). For the most part, you can not go wrong if you stick with premium or super-premium gins which, are more versatile in a variety of cocktails. Remember that it is very easy to ruin a Martini with bad gin.

Here some popular brands of gin...
Not all brands are listed and price points are based on an average, dependent on particular markets.

Readers recommend: Which gin finds its way into your martini?

On a Budget - Gins Around $10

Gordon's London Dry Gin

These gins are inexpensive and commonly found in commercial bar's well stock. While these may not be the cleanest tasting gins, there are some budget-friendly beauties here. For the most part I would mix these in tall mixed drinks with strong flavors like fruit juices.

Budget-friendly gin cocktail suggestions: Floradora, Pomegranate Gin Fizz

Favorites that Don't Break the Bank - Gins Around $20

Tanqueray Rangpur Distilled Gin
Photo Credit: © Shannon Graham

When you are willing to spend around $20 you will find the quality of gin takes a dramatic leap. This price range is where you will find some of the favorite brands that are not only versatile for a variety of cocktails and mixed drinks, but are nice introductions for those developing a palate for the botanicals of gin.

  • Beefeater - England
  • Beefeater Wet - England
  • Bombay Dry - England
  • Boodles London Dry - England
  • Broker's London Dry - England
  • Clearheart Gin - US
  • Crater Lake Gin - US
  • Greenall's London Dry - England
  • Iceberg London Dry - Canada
  • Quintessential Dry - England
  • Tanqueray London Dry - England
  • Tanqueray Rangpur - England
  • Tower of London - England

Gin cocktails for beginners: Leap Year, Union Square

Martinis with Style - Gins Around $30

Bulldog Gin
Photo Credit: © Shannon Graham

Now we get into the Martini-worthy gins. These are the gins that are going to go well in almost any gin cocktail you want to add them to. Also, with some of these boutique brands you are going to get very different flavor profiles (i.e. Hendrick's and Aviation), some that even tread the fine line of the definition of gin.

  • Aviation - US
  • Bafferts - England
  • Bluecoat American - US
  • Bombay Sapphire - England
  • Bulldog - England
  • Cascade Mountain - United States
  • Citadelle - France
  • Damrak - Holland
  • DH Krahn - US
  • Hendrick's- Scotland
  • Juniper Green Organic - England
  • Junipero- US
  • Mercury London Dry - England
  • Martin Miller's London Dry - England
  • Plymouth Gin - England
  • Quintessential - England
  • Right Gin - Sweden
  • Tanqueray No. Ten - England
  • Tru2 Organic - US
  • Van Gogh- Holland
  • Zuidam- Holland

Other than the Martini, try these in: Eagle Cocktail, Massey Cocktail

Luxurious Botanicals - Gins Over $40

G'Vine Gin - GVine Gin
Photo Courtesy of: © G'Vine Gin

Again, these gins are ideal for almost any cocktail and are truly ideal for the simple, well-defined concoctions that gin is known for being a part of. Many of these are high-end, classically styled London dry gins, though some are of the new style of gin designed to lure a softer palate into the category.

  • G'Vine - France (grape flower base)
  • Kensington London Dry - Scotland
  • Leopold Bros. American Small Batch - US
  • Magellan - France
  • Old Raj - England
  • Right - Sweden
  • The London Gin No.1 Original Blue Gin - England

Luxurious cocktails to try: Aviation, Champagne Antoine

Genever Brands

Old Sydney-Town Punch - H. Joseph Ehrmann, Elixir Saloon, San Francisco
Photo Courtesy: © Bols Genever

Genvers are a special category of gin that was the original gin. If you enjoy a true variety of gin cocktails, especially many of the classic recipes, I recommend having at least one bottle of genever on hand alongside a London dry or one of the new American style gins.

  • Bols - Holland
  • Boomsma - Holland
  • Filliers - Belgium
  • Genevieve - US
  • Hertekamp - Belgium
  • Petermans - Belgium
  • Zuidam - Holland

Recommended genever cocktails: Gin Daisy, Hot Bols Genever Punch

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.