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Dec 17, 2008 06:33 AM

Recession Gin

As a martini lover I am hoping to get some thoughts on "budget" brands of gin. My preferred brand is Boodles, and it is $18 in my area. I like Bombay original, better than the Sapphire, as well. However, I am hoping to economize a bit. Can anyone steer me in the direction of more reasonable priced bottles?

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  1. There's always Gordon's and Seagram's. Those are what I turn to when trying to save some cash.

    3 Replies
    1. re: wontonton

      We generally buy moderately high-priced booze, our logic being that since we don't drink that much, we might as well stick with the good stuff. But we always have a large plastic jug of Gordon's ($12 for 1.75 liters in New Hampshire) along with the Plymouth, in part because my wife actually prefers it in her G&Ts.

      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

        It really does confuse me how you can get it that cheap when I'm less than 300 miles away and it costs (the equivilant of) $30 for ONE litre.

        1. re: Steve_K

          New Hampshire's state-run liquor stores generally have uncommonly low prices due to the state's tax laws, and Gordon's is one of those things that's usually on sale whenever I need to buy some.

    2. If you're near a Trader Joe's swing by and pick up a bottle of their house brand, Rear Admiral Joseph's Original London Dry Gin, for $8. Pretty good quality for short money. (Incidentally I, like you, prefer Bombay original to the ubiquitous Sapphire, so our tastes may be compatible.) Or, if you like Tanqueray, Costco is selling it these days for $20 for the big 1.75 liter bottle with coupon good until the 24th.

      2 Replies
      1. re: roundfigure

        Tanqueray (1.75) for $20. That's amazing. I can't tell what city you are in, but at our Austin Costco, it is on sale for $33. Costco Liquor in TX is in a different building than the big store (right next door), due to our liquor laws, and I think it is run by a different bunch of people.
        Anyway, back to the original question. I like Broker's gin. It is London Dry style, a lot of juniper like Tanq. and imported from the UK. I can usually find it for around $30 for a 1.75 at Spec's.

        1. re: roundfigure

          It is funny that you mention Trader Joe's house gin, because every time I am in a state that allows liquor to be sold outside of the state stores, I pop into TJ's and get that! I think it is an unbelivable bargain. Better liquor laws are not a good enough reason to move though!

        2. I agree on the recommendations of Gordon's and Seagrams. Both are mid-priced, and dirt cheap at the NH state stores where I shop as well. Gordon's is what I call the perfect, middle-of-the-road, typical London dry gin. It's crisp, not too overwhelming with the juniper, but still has a solid juniper presence.

          Seagram's is a dry American style, it has a bit of a nice juniper/citrus profile, and the only barrel aged gin that I know of. It's really a hidden secret and both under-rated and under-priced.

          I've heard good things about New Amsterdam gin but haven't tried it yet.

          Gin Notes:

          2 Replies
          1. re: JMF

            New amsterdam is a very pleasant smooth gin with a moderate juniper/citrus profile. It makes fine GTs and decent martinis. I think it is definitely a buy for the price(around here about $16for a 750) I'm still going to spring the extra 3 bucks for Plymouth, but I wouldn't turn my nose up at NA

            1. re: JMF

              I tried New Amsterdam and found the citrus and sweet floral notes too dominant to enjoy.

            2. Are the cheaper gins made any differently than the higher-end ones? I had heard that the low-cost product is basically just grain alcohol with the botanical extract mixed in, whereas better gin actually has the botanicals infused during the distillation process. Anyone know if this is true? Some gin labels say "distilled" and others don't.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ed1066

                Yes, low end gins are made how you say. The process is called cold compounding, where extracts are added to neutral spirits and water added to lower to bottle proof.

                If it says distilled gin on the label then the neutral spirits are distilled either with the botanicals in the still kettle, the botanicals steeped in the spirits filtered and distilled, or the botanicals in a 'gin basket' or on racks in the vapor path so that the alcohol vapor can pick up the flavor and aroma.

              2. You could also try Gilbey's. With a squarish bottle, some what like Boodles, you can squint and just imagine you are drikning your fav...or drink half the bottle for similar effect.