Gin’s origins begin in the Middle Ages, the spirit has evolved from an herbal medicine to a staple in many classic cocktails. Gin was developed based on a 17th century Dutch liquor named jenever or genever. Numerous small Dutch and Flemish distillers had popularized the re-distillation of malt spirit or malt wine with juniper, anise, caraway, coriander, etc. This carried over to Gin which derives its predominant flavour from juniper berries.
- Gilbey’s ($6.99)
“Gilbey’s, a good classic London dry at a compelling price point. It opens with a faint smell of pine. The pine continues into the sip, which also tastes somewhat of citrus. Gilbey’s has a mild acidity and finishes with just a bit of heat from the alcohol.” – Colleen Graham (The Spruce Eats)
- Segrams Reserve ($7.69)
“Seagram’s opens with a piney smell, with some citrus and a hint of rubbing alcohol. Luckily, that rubbing alcohol doesn’t carry over into the flavor, which has ample citrus and juniper notes. Seagram’s tastes fresh and mildly sweet and has a creamy texture.” – Michael Dietsch (Serious Eats)
- New Amsterdam ($8.49)
New Amsterdam is the top recommendation for budget gins, especially for those who are very new to gin and drinking cocktails in general. It is quite smooth, but lacks the serious gin flavors for people who enjoy gins for the juniper and other herbal notes. This is much heavier on the citrus and lemon.
- Gordon’s ($15.09/1.75L)
“Gordon’s is a go-to value gin. It is available in every liquor store and supermarket and it makes some excellent mixed drinks. It has a strong juniper base and the essence of a variety of other botanicals that mix well with almost anything. The average gin highball like the Gin Sling or Gin Rickey are great for this rather clean and inexpensive gin.” – Colleen Graham (The Spruce Eats)
- Beefeater ($16.99)
This is THE gin, it’s an extremely classic London dry: clean, crisp, and juniper forward. It also adds in many other spice flavors to build out the profile, which is much more complex than the cheaper options. An extremely good option for the price. You’ll find this bottle is the well of many of the best cocktail bars in your area.