Any true Gin lover will already know the value of the perfect G&T, of an exceptional Martini, and perhaps even a Martinez or a Negroni. They’ll be comfortable with trying new Gins, and might even have a favourite.
But with hundreds of Gins on the market, each with a different flavour profile, proclaiming to be the best, most exciting and unique, it’s hard to know where to begin. So to expand your Gin selection and make sure your home bar is well-stocked, here’s a list of the five essential bottles you should have at home.
1. The London Dry Gin
London Dry is the most common style of Gin in the world, and the flavours vary hugely from bottle to bottle. Our favourites are the juniper-heavy Sipsmith, the classic Tanqueray, and the well-rounded Bulldog.
Best for: Gin & Tonics
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Old Tom is sweeter than the London Dry Gin styles, and is drier than its predecessor, Dutch Jenever. Its recent resurgence in popularity is due to the rise of cocktail culture; it makes wonderful mixed drinks without the need for sugar.
Try Hayman’s, made from an original recipe, or for something more contemporary, give Ransom a go—an Old Tom aged in former wine casks for almost a year.
Best for: Classic cocktails like a Martinez or a Tom Collins
Whether sipped neat, over ice, or used to heighten the flavour of your favourite cocktail, these are super popular Gins, and every home bar should have at least one.
Our current favourites are Williams Pink Grapefruit, Warner Edwards Rhubarb, and Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin, made with pepper, cumin and coriander.
Best for: sipping neat, over ice, or with just a splash of tonic
The style originated in America, and is based in the belief that increasing the flavours from other botanicals will lead to a more balanced Gin.
While we could give you a list as long as your arm of New Western Gin styles to try, you can start with these five craft Gins, we’ll keep it short; try your next Martini with Aviation Gin, the originator of this category. Or check our selection of 5 American craft Gins you need to know.
Best for: Martinis, and people who aren’t so keen on juniper-forward Gins
There are a number of Navy Strength Gins around - some great, some less so. A decent Navy Strength Gin calls for its own recipe; it’s not simply a case of increasing the alcohol in an existing Gin recipe as the botanicals will react differently at different strengths.
One Gin which gets it oh so right is Perry’s Tot, named after a naval officer and with such a smooth finish you’ll never know it’s an overproof Gin.
Best for: whenever you need that extra alcohol kick
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So from G&Ts to Gimlets, neat sips to Negronis, whatever your top tipple, these five bottles will have you covered for every gin-eventuality.