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Really great gin?

I'm getting my boyfriend an antique cocktail shaker and want to round out the present with a really nice gin. We have Sapphire at home, but is there something really fabulous and over the top? I'm not a gin drinker, so I'd appreciate any suggestions!

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  1. You might consider Hendrick's, which is infused with a hint of cucumber and is certainly novel. If you are doing martinis I'd garnish with a cucumber slice.

    2 Replies
    1. re: wontonton

      i second Hendrick's & the cucumber slice, or try mint as well.

      1. re: wontonton

        hendrick's is insanely good. I almost wish I'd never tasted it, as I've developed a bit of a habit with the stuff.

        1. re: JMF

          Here are some of my favorites.

          Bluecoat American Gin- if you like orange and a hint of musk

          Van Gogh Gin- citrus and spices

          Damrak Amsterdam Gin- almost a genever, malty and complex

          South Gin- unique from New Zealand

          Csacade Mountain Gin- conifers, sagebrush, and mountain wildflowers

          Hamptons Gin- very floral with some citrus- like a better Citadelle or Magellan

          Zuidam Dry Gin- probably the best cirus fronted gin on the markey, creamy citrus zest

          Gin No. 209- nice smooth, piney with citrus

          Seagrams' Extra Dry Gin- A mid-priced gin with an amazing smoothness and taste from oak barrel aging. For citrus gin lovers don't let the low price fool you this is a premuim quality spirit.

          Martin Miller's Reformed London Dry Gin- a cucumber powerhouse

          1. re: JMF

            JMF --

            thanks for the links to your reviews on slashfood -- very impressive! fun to read, and makes me want to try a whole batch of new gins. i'm fantasizing about a bar that has many/most of them so i can try them in 15mL mini-shot-flights without having to buy the whole bottle.

            i fantasize about finding the same thing for Islay Scotch's as well. sorry to deviate from the GIN topic, but do you know of an online resource that describes a variety of Islay Single Malts similarly to your evaluation of gins? or the best, current in-print version?

            thanks in advance... alekz

        2. Hendrick's is very good stuff, but not very traditional. If he's a purist, I recommend Cadenhead's Old Raj, also made in Scotland. It's one of the strongest and most intensely flavored gins out there. The thing that puts it over the top is its yellow hue from being infused with saffron.

          1 Reply
          1. re: warrenr

            Hendrick's is probably my all-around favorite as well, but a few other noteworthy gins in my opinion:

            Mageallen (it's blue, ostensibly from the Iris that is in the floral mix)

            i'm so beyond totally over Tanquery 10. i prefer regular Tanquery now. and i never liked regular Bombay or Sapphire.

          2. Thanks! I had forgotten that he really like Hendricks. I think I'll go for that because it should be relatively easy to find. Thanks again and happy holidays!

            1. There are also a pair of micro-gins being made in California: No. 209 (distilled by owner of Dean and DeLuca), and Junipero (distilled by Anchor Steam of beer fame).

              1. We have a local distillery here in Bend, OR that makes two excellent gins using our abundant juniper berries:

                I think one of them was mentioned in the slashfood link above, too. Not sure where you're located, but they do have some info about shipping outside of Oregon on their site as well.

                12 Replies
                1. re: mizinformation

                  I would recommend plymouth. Bought a bottle for the first time a month ago and it tastes terrific. The juniper and alcohol level is dialed back from say tangueray and the favors really shine through. I think it would make a lovely martini

                  1. re: quazi

                    It *does* make a lovely martini, quazi, and it's been my go-to gin for years. I first heard of Plymouth in graduate school, when a fellow student told me it was the drink of choice in John D. Macdonald's Travis McGee novels.

                    Oh, and Plymouth is considered the original "English style" gin.

                    1. re: quazi

                      I'm so sad they "updated" the label on Plymouth, so now it looks like tacky upscale vodka. That after seeing the new fake-small-batch-bourbon label on Laird's Applejack and I have to drown my sorrows...

                      1. re: Up With Olives

                        I too was saddened by the new Plymouth label and bottle. It looks like a modern NY skyscraper.

                        1. re: JMF

                          I just saw the new bottle this week and thought they had taken it off the shelf. I too thought the old bottle looked pretty good

                    2. re: mizinformation

                      After looking at that site those two gins sound wonderful. Two to put on my traveling list since I live in an area where there is not a distributor. On the site the on line button does not work.

                      1. re: 1 wiener hound

                        I noticed that too. Damn interstate liquor laws and bad links!

                        1. re: vb_lady

                          too bad about the broken links! it does say most states' liquor stores/boards should be able to special order them here:

                          but I know that doesn't necessarily mean your state. Hope you get a chance to try it eventually, it's good stuff!

                        2. re: 1 wiener hound

                          Be prepared when trying the Cascade Mountain gin -- the juniper is VERY strong. Some people might like it, but to me it tasted like drinking a forest.

                          1. re: dandelion

                            This is exactly what I am looking for. I live in the SE so I love walking through a longleaf pine forest when you can still find one. I would not damage a tree but if there was a fallen limb I believe I would whiddle a swizzle stick to use in my first Cascade Mtn. G&T. Wiener Hound

                            1. re: 1 wiener hound

                              Ha, I love it!

                              I certainly didn't dislike it, but it was much stronger than I expected. And honestly, I thought the taste was very smooth and the gin has the viscosity that I like. The the strong juniper forest flavor is heavier on the nose than the tongue.

                            2. re: dandelion

                              I don't think Cascade Mountain is excessively juniper tasting. It has lots of great flavors going on but is well balanced and very smooth.

                        3. Also, in doing more research, I found out that Junipero is pretty widely distributed and I can find it at 3 stores here in DC. The site lists distributors who are helpful in pointing you to local stores that carry the product.

                          1. I really like Darsbury's Q. Makes a great martini.

                            1. No one has mentioned Boodles: smooth and delicious! I used to drink Sapphire but no more. I got some Plymouth on sale and I will compare (had it before and liked but never side by side with Boodles). After that I am gonna pick up this Seagram's Extra Dry that JMF is raving about...

                              1. A top notch new gin is Zuidam. If you can find it, I strongly recommend it. If he likes Sapphire then the soft citrus flavors and the elegant balance of all the botanicals will be a nice change from the "old standard". Think I'll pour one for myself now.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: RWA

                                  I just looked that up, but not sure if I can get it around here. I love how these sites ask you if you are "of age" or not. They can't verify that. Too funny.

                                2. Thanks to everyone who suggested gins. I gave the shaker (well received)and decided on a bottle of Junipero. I used to live in SF, so you have to support the local business.

                                  The Junipero is really well balanced with plenty of juniper flavor (go figure, what with it being named Junipero and all...) but smooth. Highly recommended.

                                  For those of you in the DC area, I got it at Central Liquors, one of my most favorite liquor stores.