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Best gin for a non-gin drinker

I will admit it, I don't like gin. I have tried it and just don't care for the flavor profile. I am looking to give it another try but was looking for a recommendation on a gin that could convert me.

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  1. If you don't like the harsh juniper taste some gins have - try Bombay Sapphire - it seems a lot less harsh to me.

    2 Replies
    1. re: kagemusha49

      I've never tried the Sapphire but was going to suggest regular Bombay - it's the only gin I really like.

        1. Try the right cocktail even more than the right gin. What other cocktails do you like? Maybe we can find a good gin cocktail that has similar flavors to one of your existing favorites.

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          1. Why are you trying so hard to like gin? Certainly there are many other cocktails out there that would suit your palate.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Alfred G

              I think it's rewarding to acquire new tastes, don't you? I turned my wife from a Chardonnay-sipping wuss into a Campari-craving mad-woman, and I'm sure she would say that she lives life just a bit more richly now.

              1. re: EvergreenDan

                Agreed E.Dan. What's wrong with wanting to expand your palate? Hell, going into my 20's I was disgusted by most veggies, all seafood and wouldn't think of touching any sort of offal. I hated that I had such a limited palate and with much open-mindedness and determination I now love just about everything, including raw oysters and any bi-valve really, foie gras, sweetbreads, brussel sprouts, etc. I still haven't been able to conquer salmon though.

            2. very few gins are meant to be drunk on their own, unmixed. that said, hendriks has a very different flavor profile than most other gins

              2 Replies
              1. re: thew

                "very few gins are meant to be drunk on their own, unmixed." Sez who?

                1. There are plenty of gins that don't taste too much like gin these days. Just look for anything that costs about $30 a fifth or more (and is not Junipero).

                  1. Can you determine why you dislike about the flavor profile of gin? Is it the spruce/juniper, the floral, the citrus, or the spicy flavors which turn you off to it?

                    The good thing about gin is that there are many different types (London Dry, Plymouth, Old Tom, Dutch Jenever, and so on), which all have distinctly different flavor profiles.

                    So making a drink with a London Dry style Gin like Beefeater or Gordons will result in a drink that tastes different than those made with Plymouth Gin, or a Dutch Jenever style Gin like Loos, or a supposedly Old Tom style Gin like Ransom, or an American Dry style Gin like Bluecoat (Buy American, Buy Bluecoat).

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: deet13

                      Bluecoat isn't an Old Tom Gin. It bills itself as American Dry Gin and has a distinctive orange and citrus aspect to it.

                      1. re: nickls

                        You're right, thanks for pointing that out. I will go back and correct that...

                        To be frank, I wasn't certain if what they were saying was just a marketing point or not. As such, I had simply assumed that Bluecoat was just a drier Old Tom style gin with some excellent citrus overtones.

                        That said, Bluecoat is a damn good Gin. : )

                      2. re: deet13

                        I haven't put my finger on what it is about gin the I don't like. I think it must be the spruce/juniper aspect. My history with gin is brief as I tend to drink scotch, bourbon, rye. I am interested in trying to gain a taste for gin as it is one of the few spirits I avoid.

                        However there are times when I want to try a mixed drink and I tend to like my scotch/bourbon neat . There are several gin drinks such as Corpse Reviver (No. 2) that I am interested in trying except for the gin. I also avoid a Negroni due to the gin component. Not long ago I read a very interesting article on the Gimlet and had to try it. I really did not care for it and have avoided gin based drinks ever since.

                        1. re: Scott M

                          If you like Campari, you will probably like a Negroni as well. With the classical 1:1:1 ratio, the gin does not have a dominant role in the flavor of the drink. Corpse Reviver #2 is also a good one for easing into gin.

                          Try a gin that is less on the juniper and more on the citrus. Seagram's is a low cost way to try it, and should fit the bill. Bombay Dry would be the other most traditional London Dry I would recommend. If you are willing to spend a bit more, Plymouth is noted for mixing well in many types of drinks, Bluecoat goes very nicely with citrus, and there are many other newish gins that ease off the juniper. Out of the gins I mentioned, Bluecoat struck me as being the least like "normal" gin.

                          And if for some reason you don't like a Negroni due to the gin, you can always make Americanos (replaces gin with seltzer) or Negroni Sbagliatos (replaces gin with sparkling wine) instead. Or like the main character in Thank You For Smoking, you could always drink vodka Negronis. But that would be wrong.

                          1. re: nickls

                            I personally am in the same boat as Scott M -- I find that a traditional negroni tastes overpoweringly of gin, and the Campari is lost. (I do like my whiskeys mixed as well as neat, so I tend to order Boulevardiers instead, which replaces the gin with whiskey.)

                            In my case, I don't think it's the juniper, as that's supposedly piney, and I like retsina. It's something floral-y.

                            1. re: antimony

                              i find just the opposite - and i happen to like campari, but i prefer my negroni w/ less campari than traditional

                          2. re: Scott M

                            scott:

                            I'm a scotch drinker [Cardhu] and have access to one of the best Rye Whiskeys on the market [Templeton Rye] , but I have re-discovered gin (in mixed drinks) over the past few years. Try a gin buck and see what you think ....

                            Gin Buck [in highball glass]:

                            2 shots of gin [preferably one you wouldn't die penniless if you drank it regularly]
                            Half of fresh lime or lemon squeezed (into glass)
                            Fill glass with ice (and shake)
                            Top off with ginger ale ....

                            Great summer drink out here in the flyover zone!

                        2. I'm a gin die-hard and not into it myself, but every gin hater I give Rogue Distrillery's spruce gin to absolutely loves it. Give it a shot.

                          1. For the record, I LOVE that you're trying to make yourself into a gin drinker, which is such a great thing to be. For what it's worth, I - who love the juniper, and suspect that gin-haters hate it - love Tanqueray, and Bombay seems to me the opposite of that. I'd start off with G&T and lots of lime!

                            1. Stay away from anything that is a London dry gin-

                              Nolets- Hendricks-

                              Those would be the first two and go from there

                              Hendricks will be cucumber
                              Nolets is even smoother and more floral

                              If you don't like either one- then try some genivere wynard fockick korn-something or the superior

                              If nothing works then there is no hope for you

                              1. As others have said, it's best if you can identify what about the gins that you had are off-putting. The juniper flavor is the most common trait that don't jive with many. I'm a huge fan of the new American gins, so I'll list them in order of "most compatible with non-gin drinkers" to the least:

                                No. 209: This gets the top recommendation as a gateway gin -- it's high on the citrus note all around and does not push the juniper agenda at all. I have successfully introduced several people (who like to refer to gin as "the crazy juice") to gin via a 209 martini.

                                Aviation: This is my favorite gin -- almost buttery right on the tongue, it is a masterful balance of everything that I want a gin to be. The go to cocktail for me is the aviation (coincidence?)

                                North Shore No. 11: If juniper is not your thing, this may be the least palatable choice for you -- or maybe you just haven't had a gin that does juniper in a no holds barred fashion. To me, this gin is the last stop before you venture into aquavit territory. A negroni in a 3:2:2 with No. 11, Carpano Antica, and Campari is my version of perfection.

                                If you think you'd like it sweeter, Hendricks is a possibility. Even sweeter than that are the genevers and old toms (that's venturing into the historical lineage of gin).

                                If you've tried them all to this point and still don't get it, at least you gave it the ol' college try.

                                1. There's a new gin out of NC called Cardinal which is quite floral, and might be what you're looking for. I don't know if it's available outside of the Carolinas as yet.

                                  1. ... and to answer your question, the best one I have found that is both affordable and not over the top on the botanicals is called BOODLES [approx. $15 per fifth].

                                    1. Here's an ingredient list of botanicals in each brand of gin: http://gin.findthebest.com/

                                      My recommendation is find one where the botanicals excite you and try it..

                                        1. re: hellatonin

                                          Alternatively, try Bombay Original as well for $10 less a fifth.