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Starter Gin

I have only had gin a handful of times in my life, but I would like to try and broaden my horizons in the drink world. The first times were pretty bad, but I think my tastebuds have matured enough to appreciate a good gin. Can someone recommend a good starter gin to seduce me back into the botanical world?

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  1. I would not doubt your first impressions.

    1. I don't have a particular gin to suggest--I like a lot of them. But I would suggest that if you are easing into drinking gin that you try it in mixed drinks before martinis. Try a gin and tonic. Or a gimlet, which has Rose's lime syrup in it. See what you think.

      As for gins, don't think that more money equals a better gin. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/02/din...

      1 Reply
      1. re: nerdgoggles

        I think your article is a bit of a misnomer. I think what you mean to say is that more money does not equal a better gin...to be mixed with vermouth to create a martini.

      2. Surely you are not drinking gin straight are you? What drink(s) are you using it in?


        1. bombay dry gin (original, not the uber fancy stuff) is very good. recipe dates back to the mid18th centuary. you can taste the botanicals because they are gently infused (not boiled). at least that is what is claimed. still, it's a very good gin that lends itself to a classic martini (straight up), gin and tonic, whatever.

          1 Reply
          1. re: steve h.

            I may try Bombay Dry at the bar next time for a G&T to ease my way in, or a good classic martini. All this makes me wishing for Happy Hour!

          2. I would recommend trying plymouth. It is very good, though not as high a proof as others so the other flavors in gin are more readily accessed. Good in a G & T. Or try it straight on the rocks

            1. Depends on from what direction you are arriving from...vodka? citurs vodka? rum? sweet drinks?
              The new crop of juniper-light, citrus-focused gins are designed to court the vodka crowd, like Tanqueray 10. Hendrick's goes in a cucumber-rose direction. I agree with Plymouth for an ultra-smooth but juniper-focused gin. Try some and see what you like, and read JMForrester's gin reviews on slashfood.com for more info.

              2 Replies
              1. re: kenito799

                I am not too interested in a vodka-like gin - why not just drink vodka? - more of the best example of a good classic juniper-focused gin. I am all over the board with drinks from neat Scotch, Cuban rum, Manhattans, and all the beer and wine I can find. I prefer full-flavored alcohols with smooth finishes. Thanks for the Plymouth recommendation.

                1. re: Sacto_Damkier

                  I think it's heavy-focus on the Juniper that turns a lot of people off when it comes to gin. Gins like tanquery have so much juniper in them that they smell like a Christmas tree. They taste bad to me and I absolutely love gin.

                  For a clean, first-timer gin I'd reccomend Bombay Sapphire or Citadelle (which is kind of lemony).

              2. I have a friend who claimed to be a gin-hater who was pleasantly surprised sipping on my Raingpur. It has a pronounced lime flavor, so it might be easier to tolerate. Tanqueray No. 10 also is a lot easier on the palate if you are not a fan of the spicier flavors in gin.

                1. I thought I hated gin... I'd only tried Seagram's Beefeater.
                  A friend turned me on to Bombay Saphire, and I'm a happy happy gin drinker now!

                  1. Big lover of gin here. If you can find it try Junipero, it's a small batch American gin from the West Coast and it is fantastic. Beautiful understated botanicals with a crisp clean finish. Best used when making a real martini or a gin and tonic. Keep the bottle in the frezer and always use it ice cold (I keep all our gin in the freezer).

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Spiritchaser

                      A few eeks ago there was athread about gins. there are so many different branks, and there are a number of different types. there are the junniper focused, the citrus based, the herb focused, and some that don't even fit into those categories, like Hendricks'. buy some miniatures of different types and try them in different drinks and see which type you like then explore the different brands in that type. I keep only about 8 or 9 different ones because I like different gins in different drinks, and even like different gins in the same drink at different times of the year.

                      1. re: chazzerking

                        The earlier discussion mentioned above is at http://www.chowhound.com/topics/389810. It will at least give you some more ideas. I, too like different gins for different purposes but I think Tanqueray 10 is a great starter gin, especially for gin and tonics. Rangpur is another good starter, with very pronounced lime-y flavor, although I'm sure purists would scoff. I just got a bottle of Aviation and am really enjoying it. Both Bombay and Hendricks are also great, as is Plymouth.

                      2. re: Spiritchaser

                        Thanks for the local recommendation. I think Anchor Junipero Gin may be a good candidate to bring me back, especially since it is a local NorCal distiller.

                        1. re: Sacto_Damkier

                          If you hate it you can send me the leftover.

                      3. if you are just trying out.. START AT THE TOP! never experiment with low end alcohol! Your experience will never be a good one.

                        Order a gin and tonic, with lime, and try Bombay Sapphire or Citadelle. this way you get a taste without the full blown in your face experience. Gin is an acquired taste, as is many things in life. But it is well worth the effort.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: gryphonskeeper

                          Very good advice. My first beer was a German hefeweizen (in Germany) and my first bourbon was Knob Creek - which I was able to drink neat from the start.