You really can’t go wrong with a classic gin drink (feel free to scoff at anyone who prefers vodka). Gin, put simply, is delicious, and is so varied in style that you should be able to find one you like, no matter your palate.
Based on my tasting, Tanqueray 10 is the most memorable gin (I’d take a good martini over most cocktails, so my favorite gins will always be martini-centric). It tastes a bit like a Christmas tree grown in a citrus grove, and doesn’t go down with that alcohol burn you find in your typical college-variety gins.
If you prefer your martinis dirty, I’d recommend Arizona Distilling Co’s Commerce Gin. It’s really dry and has a saltiness that craves olive juice, as opposed to Tanqueray’s citrusy Christmas blast. Just a warning though – I haven’t quite found a drink other than a dirty martini Commerce Gin works with. It’s definitely a specialty gin.
For lighter drinks like gimlets and gin and tonics, Caskwerks Gin and OHSO #Gin are lovely options options. I don’t know if I’d want them as my only gin (for example, I’d want a more juniper-forward gin for martinis), but I’d keep them in the cabinet as a refreshing alternative.
Bottle vs. Bottle is a brand new site with limited bottle battles, so I wouldn’t consider it a definitive resource. If you want more (better?) gin opinions, I’d recommend checking out the following sources:
- The Rum Howler is an incredible source (possibly the best source) for booze recommendations, and they (he?) recently published their 2017 Rum Howler Awards for Gin.
- Serious Eats has a good list of gins for the budget-minded drinker (under $20).
- If you’re $5 richer than the Serious Eats reader, Thrillist has a list for under-$25 gins.
- Does it get any more definitive than an 11-item list from liquor.com called 11 Best Gins At Any Price?
- VinePair is another big booze site Google tends to direct me towards. If you like Negronis, this list is for you. Martini fan? The have that list as well.