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Spin-Off: What gins to people love?

zin1953 Jan 4, 2014 07:47 AM

As a spin-off from "Why do so many people hate Gin?", I'd love to know what gins people love . . . and for what type of drink?

While I am not wedded to any single gin myself, when it comes to the "BIG brands," I prefer Tanqueray and Bombay over Bombay Sapphire for a G&T; Plymouth, Boodle's or Beefeater in a martini.

But if smaller, "artisinal" gin is available, I prefer No. 209 for a martini, and St. George Botanivore in a G&T.

  1. t
    The Big Crunch Feb 10, 2014 10:39 AM

    I basically stick with Boodles. It's a great all-purpose gin that is about $32 a handle in Bethesda, MD, which is how much a 750 ml of Plymouth now costs! For martinis, I prefer a slightly less juniper-heavy London Dry, and used to use Plymouth a great deal of the time as well as Beefeaters when I wanted something a bit more assertive for other cocktails. Plymouth has become too expensive and I've found that Boodles does good double duty, so I rarely have any Beefeaters around anymore either. I don't care for tonic, so G&Ts rarely get made in my kitchen. Martinis get the most gin use, and during the summer I enjoy frequently making Rickeys. Otherwise, it's an assortment of classic and new cocktails including the Corpse Reviver #2, Vieux Motte, Pegu Club, Negroni, and Last Word, among others.

    1. a
      autumm Jan 11, 2014 08:36 PM

      I prefer new Amsterdam. It's a bit lighter on the juniper and a bit more citrusy and herbal. (Also Gluten free which is nice when bar tending for celiacs)

      My SIL loves Prairie Organic. I have a bottle, but I"m not in a gin kind of place, it's more a summer thing for me.

      3 Replies
      1. re: autumm
        JMF Jan 12, 2014 12:13 PM

        All spirits that have no additives or flavoring are gluten free.

        1. re: JMF
          autumm Jan 12, 2014 02:39 PM

          Not necessarily. There is the off chance that a gluten molecule from wheat, etc, will make it through the distilling and filtering process. My SIL (with celiacs) is rather specific about the hard liquor she will drink after an incidental exposure when newly diagnosed.

          1. re: autumm
            JMF Jan 12, 2014 03:46 PM

            Sorry, but no gluten makes it through the distilling process. As a former professional distiller I researched this subject heavily. Also the National Institute of Health's Celiac Disease Awareness Campaign, the Canadian Celiac Association, and European Food Safety Authority agree. Gluten is not volatile, so it doesn't transfer over during the distillation process. In 1988, Canadian researcher J.A. Campbell published a landmark paper showing that distillation removes all proteins, including gluten, from liquors. Any gluten in a distilled spirit comes from cross contamination from another source.

      2. shaogo Jan 11, 2014 08:34 PM

        We're currently in love with Hendrick's. That being said, we realize that there're many who are in love with the taste of juniper berries -- and sometimes we are. Plain old Tanqueray fits the bill for those times. We almost always have our gin chilled in a martini glass, perhaps with olives.

        1. o
          OldFashionedWhiskey Jan 11, 2014 08:20 PM

          Broker's and Citadelle.

          1. b
            bg90027 Jan 9, 2014 05:26 PM

            For drinks that call for a London dry, I like Berry Bros & Rudd, #3. For everything else, I like St. George's Mt. Tam.

            The Old Tom gins are fun to play around with too.

            1. h
              hawkeyeui93 Jan 9, 2014 03:13 PM

              Just tried a new juniper-forward gin from Minnesota that is worth trying: http://www.badmedicinedistillery.com ....

              1. f
                fledflew Jan 9, 2014 02:27 PM

                My favorite gin is Citadelle. It comes across as complex with a lot of aromatics and a bit of citrus. It utilizes 19 botanicals. Unfortunately, I rarely see it when I'm out.

                When I'm at a restaurant or bar, I like Tanqueray with my tonic water. Sapphire in my martinis. Every once in a while, I'll have a Hendricks and tonic with a bruised cucumber.

                1. c
                  cacio e pepe Jan 9, 2014 12:42 PM

                  My go-to gin these days is Leopolds, both their standard and Navy Strength iterations with the St. George triumvirate coming in a very close second (that rye based gin is really interesting).

                  In the past, I've particularly enjoyed Aviation, Bluecoat (different), and Blade on the boutique end.

                  On the mass market end, I would tend toward Boker's for G&Ts and Plymouth for martinis.

                  I'm not going to count Ransom, Genevieve, Bols Genever, etc., as I think they are awesome, but kind of a different beast.

                  1. z
                    zackly Jan 8, 2014 07:56 AM

                    I like Tanqueray for gin & tonics because of the noticeable juniper/citrus taste and is only gin I keep on hand.
                    However, when I'm out, If I'm having a martini I order Bombay Saphire which I like better in a martini. Someone gifted me a bottle of Quintessential Gin (or Q Gin) which was also very good but expensive.
                    We just had a Total Wine Superstore open in our town. It is the size of a football field. In Connecticut there are minimum sell prices for liquor in place to protect the mom & pop stores but I hear these laws are changing. Total Wine gets around this by offering brands that no one else sells, so they can charge what they want. I've bought some excellent vodka from them (Veil, Esme etc.) but not gin. Does anyone have experience with house brand gin from Total Wine?

                    1. EvergreenDan Jan 8, 2014 03:59 AM

                      Just tried Blade "California Style" gin. Strong botanical character. They say cardamon, but I got more coriander. Not a lot of juniper. It's made with 1/8th grape eau-de-vie. I sipped it on ice. Fun to try.


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: EvergreenDan
                        cacio e pepe Jan 9, 2014 12:37 PM

                        They do a Rusty Blade that is aged in barrels. It's a nice alternative.

                      2. JungMann Jan 7, 2014 11:07 AM

                        I am a fan of Plymouth, Miller's and Tanqueray for mixing. For martinis and G&Ts, I like dry gins, though I was recently gifted a bottle of small-batch Greenhook gin which manages to somehow incorporate soft and floral flavors while remaining dry on the palate.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: JungMann
                          JMF Jan 7, 2014 01:40 PM

                          Greenhook is a really good gin. As you say, soft, floral, but still dry. Good description.

                        2. hungrytommy Jan 6, 2014 09:50 PM

                          My go to gin drink is sapphire and tonic. I also really like St. George, but I don't keep a bottle around the house. There are a couple of local gins to the Boston area that are very good. The first is Ethereal made by Berkshire Mountain Distillery. The second is Wire Works gin by Grand Ten Distilling. I don't know how easy either are to come by outside of Boston, but if you are visiting they are worth a try.


                          5 Replies
                          1. re: hungrytommy
                            EvergreenDan Jan 7, 2014 06:43 AM

                            Ethereal gin is made in batches with different botanicals. So far I don't think they've repeated (each batch is unique).

                            1. re: EvergreenDan
                              hungrytommy Jan 7, 2014 11:15 AM

                              That's correct. I've tried three different batches so far and enjoyed them all.


                              1. re: EvergreenDan
                                Boston_Otter Jan 8, 2014 06:04 AM

                                It's a little tricky, because they don't actually name the unique botanicals on each batch --- you have to look it up on their website by label color. Right now there's a bottle of Ethereal "pink" in my local store, but I didn't buy it because I've no idea yet what it's flavored with, and there's nothing on the website about a "pink" batch.

                                1. re: Boston_Otter
                                  EvergreenDan Jan 8, 2014 06:54 AM

                                  I thought there was a batch number in small print. I wonder if your "pink" is their "purple" or even "crimson". The website at least has the number with the color.

                                  1. re: Boston_Otter
                                    hungrytommy Jan 8, 2014 07:11 AM

                                    I really liked the purple batch (5) and right now I am drinking the yellow (7). I haven't seen the pink yet, but I like the changing recipe. It's too bad if you find something you love you can't hold on to it, but I'm ok with that.


                              2. YAYME Jan 5, 2014 04:24 PM

                                I like Bokers and Boodles for my regular needs.
                                For a treat I love Ransom's Old Tom (I make a excellent gin, orange punch) and Hendrick's in the summer.

                                My typical gin tipple is atypical
                                Gin and Lemonade or a good cocktail like a aviation or 20th century.

                                1. JMF Jan 5, 2014 03:36 PM

                                  If I could only have one gin it would be Gordon's. But I like a lot of different gins. London Dry styles like Tanqueray, Beefeater, Bombay. New styles like Bombay Sapphire East, not regular Bombay Sapphire. Some of the artisanal ones are great. New Amsterdam Knickerbocker, Tuthilltown Half Moon Orchard, New York Distilling Dorothy Parker, North Shore #6, Philadelphia Distilling Bluecoat, etc. Recently my two favorites for using in creating new cocktail recipes are the Knickerbocker and Half Moon.

                                  I don't care much more Martin Miller and Hendrick's. I don't like the cucumber flavor in both. Plymouth seems a but too smooth and wimpy. And Bulldog is gin for vodka drinkers. Totally boring and not much to it.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: JMF
                                    ncyankee101 Jan 7, 2014 12:34 PM

                                    JMF - what do you think of Beefeater 24?

                                    1. re: ncyankee101
                                      JMF Jan 7, 2014 01:39 PM

                                      I like the Beefeater 24 a lot. It has more of a delicate floral/herbal note to it. I find that regular Beefeater has an austere mineral/flint/flagstone character. With the 24, besides the other botanicals used in the regular Beefeater, it also has Japanese and Chinese green teas. Desmond Paine, after more than 50 years as the master distiller for Beefeater, was finally was allowed to create his own gin recipe, the 24.

                                      There is, or was, a Beefeater 24 cocktail bitters. I have a bottle given me by Desmond, one of 100 brought into the states back in 2009, but haven't ever seen it for sale. It was made by for Beefeater by The Bitter Truth, using Beefeater 24 gin as the base, plus lemongrass, kaffir lime, and several citrus. It's like a concentrated version of the 24 gin, plus citrus.

                                      One of the ingredients in Beefeater is hard to get because between Beefeater gin and Benedictine liqueur they buy a huge percentage of the world's production. I didn't know this when I put my bitters on the market a few years ago, before I broke off with my ex business partner. This botanical was one of the primary ingredients. So when I went to make the 2nd batch for market the botanical wasn't available, anywhere, world wide. I had to get in touch with Desmond and he put me in touch with his resource so I could get 10 kilos. (At the same rate per kilo that they pay when they buy 10,000 kilos... score!)

                                  2. Boston_Otter Jan 5, 2014 07:00 AM

                                    I used to love Plymouth, before they doubled their prices.

                                    Now I enjoy Sapphire.

                                    1. a
                                      A_Gonzalez Jan 4, 2014 08:53 PM

                                      I usually oscillate between Tanqueray, Bombay, and Bombay Sapphire (the last of which, incidentally, would also be my stripper name).

                                      I used to use the Bombay Sapphire in my Martinis/Gibsons, and the others in everything else (Negronis, Corpse Revivers, Gimlets, etc.), though now I'll pretty much use anything in anything.

                                      There aren't many gins I dislike, though, Hendricks being an exception. I understand it has its fans, but to me it tastes more like bad vodka than gin.

                                      In all fairness, there aren't many

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: A_Gonzalez
                                        hawkeyeui93 Jan 5, 2014 02:41 PM

                                        I, too, am not a big fan of Hendricks ... I know it probably is good in a few drinks, but not in the ones I enjoy.

                                        1. re: A_Gonzalez
                                          khh1138 Feb 10, 2014 02:11 AM

                                          I've actually only ever had Hendrick's - I'm not a big drinker, and a friend of mine said she knew the drink for me. She made up a gin and tonic for me with Hendricks, and she was right, I thought it was delicious! But it's not like I've ever compared it with any other gin. Your post makes me curious...

                                        2. c
                                          CanadaGirl Jan 4, 2014 05:24 PM

                                          Bombay Sapphire. Others are acceptable to me, but I really prefer Bombay. I don't really like Beefeater though.

                                          1. BeefeaterRocks Jan 4, 2014 05:03 PM

                                            Every time I go to the liquor store I stand in front of the gins, should I try something new? Nah, to me, nothing tastes as good as Beefeater.

                                            1. linguafood Jan 4, 2014 11:49 AM

                                              I like Bluecoat for any number of gin drinks, Tanqueray for G&Ts, Hendrick's for martinis.

                                              Comb 9 is pretty awesome, too.

                                              1. penthouse pup Jan 4, 2014 11:46 AM

                                                Original Bombay for a martini and Tanqueray of the occasional g&t. There's a new "artisinal" gin from London called Sipsmith that I have heard good things about but the cost (over $40) is daunting.

                                                1. HillJ Jan 4, 2014 09:39 AM


                                                  Farmer's Gin. First time I ever had gin was in a bar in New Paltz NY and they served this Gin neat. Love at first sip.


                                                  1. b
                                                    brandygirl Jan 4, 2014 09:27 AM

                                                    My favorite cocktail is an icy cold, very very very dry martini. And my favorite gin for a martini is Tanqueray Ten, and when that's not available, just plain old Tanqueray. I also like Plymouth. Boodles is another good one, but it's probably been at least 20 years since I've had it. I know Hendrick's is well loved among many gin drinkers, but I'm not a huge fan (although I would never turn it down!).

                                                    When I order mixed gin-based cocktails, like gin and tonic, I never specify which gin to use--I'm not that picky. And at home, I would just use the least expensive gin I have on hand, which is usually Tanqueray.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: brandygirl
                                                      yarm Jan 4, 2014 09:30 AM

                                                      Plymouth was a house gin when it was $16/750mL and $20/1L. Now it's double that at $32-35 for the same 750mL thanks to their marketing program. It's a good soft beginner gin. Hendrick's has more flavor components but it is still a good beginner gin for the juniper is pushed back (Hendrick's pricing hasn't really changed too much for it has been $30+ for a while).

                                                    2. i
                                                      INDIANRIVERFL Jan 4, 2014 09:21 AM

                                                      My first gin was a gift of Tanqueray from a friend, and I have enjoyed it in martinis ever since.

                                                      Since I normally have warm GNT here in Florida, I prefer Gordon's.

                                                      And have never said no to a Bombay Sapphire martini with Noilly Prait vermouth.

                                                      1. yarm Jan 4, 2014 09:08 AM

                                                        If I only had to pick one, Beefeater. For another versatile large batch, Martin Miller's Westbourne.

                                                        So many good small batch gins these days like Northshore, Wireworks, St. George's trio, etc. that it is hard to pick a single one.


                                                        1. g
                                                          gfr1111 Jan 4, 2014 08:29 AM

                                                          As I mentioned in the other thread, I am a Boodles drinker, courtesy of a recommendation by John D. MacDonald, the Travis McGee series author. The fact that Mr. MacDonald subsequently revoked his recommendation for Boodles (because he claimed that the taste changed when they started making it in the U.S.), never affected me. I still love it.

                                                          But most of the time, I asked for Tanqueray in martinis. It is less expensive and you can't get Boodles in a lot of bars.

                                                          1. h
                                                            hawkeyeui93 Jan 4, 2014 08:12 AM

                                                            My regular drinkers are Boodles and Bombay Original in either a gin buck or a G 'n T. I also will gladly drink Tanqueray Original, Beefeater, and Brokers. When I am feeling flush, I do enjoy Junipero.

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