The Gin and Tonic is a classic cocktail. People hear about it before they ever find out gin is even alcoholic. First imbibed by British soldiers in the early 1800s, the G & T began as a way to choke down their daily dose of quinine tonic water. They quickly realized that the combination not only helped make the tonic water more palatable, but it also gave them a nice buzz. There’s no disputing the fact that the drink remains a bar staple to this day, but we aren’t traveling to and from India on a naval ship and malaria isn’t sitting in ambush for us on our daily commute. So why not just enjoy gin straight?

thebotanist

The Botanist

Bruichladdich has been making Scotch since 1881. It wasn’t until 2004 that Master Distiller Jim McEwan started seriously thinking about making a gin at the famous Islay distillery. In 2010, with help from local two local botanists, McEwan finally distilled this crisp, flavorful gin packed full with twenty-two herbs, plants, flowers and botanicals for a unique taste that could only come from the sheep-filled island off the coast of Scotland.

$43
hendricksgin

Hendrick’s

Another Scottish brand, Hendrick’s first showed up on the market in 1999 and quickly became one of the most popular gin brands in the world. What sets Hendrick’s apart from the competition is the flavor. After juniper and the other usual botanicals, Hendrick’s is also flavored with Bulgarian rose and cucumber to give it a sweet, floral flavor that is just as easy to sip on its own as it is to mix into your favorite cocktails. Hendrick’s is also super into the cucumber stuff too, as it’s heavily featured on their brand site, so cutting one up and throwing it in the glass probably isn’t a bad move.

$34
aviation

Aviation

Produced in Portland, Oregon, Aviation American Gin falls under the category of “American Dry Gin.” It’s only been on the market since 2006, but has already found a strong following in the bartending world. The gin is flavored with juniper, orange peel, coriander, cardamom, sarsaparilla, lavender and anise to give it the taste of a classic gin that is worthy of a glass with a few ice cubes and an easy chair. You also better be in Oregon if you want to pick up a bottle for yourself. Availability doesn’t seem to have spread outside that specific Pacific Northwest state, so a road trip may be in order.

$30
caorunn

Caorunn

Part of what makes this gin special is the use of foraged botanicals from the Scottish Highlands. These include Bog Myrtle, Rowan Berry, Heather, Coul Blush Apple and Dandelion Leaf. It almost hits a sort of hunter-gatherer distiller feel. Like you’re the first person to discover putting a bunch of leafy stuff in old fruit juice makes you feel dizzy. This spicy, crisp gin is a combination of fruity, floral with a dry finish worthy of your most beloved London Dry gin.

$43
tangueray

Tanqueray No. Ten

Tanqueray is one of the most well-known gin brands in the world. They have distilled many different, special gin varieties over the years and if we’re ranking them, No. Ten should be at the top of the list. First introduced in 2000, No. Ten is distilled four times and has a huge citrus presence that was made for a martini, but is perfect on its own as well.

$35
martinmillers

Martin Miller’s

Founded in 1999, Martin Miller’s Gin puts a unique spin on gin flavor. The distillation is split between two different methods. The first method consists of distilling juniper, botanicals and dried lime peel. After, lemon and bitter orange peel are distilled before both are combined together to create this extremely drinkable gin. They also use Icelandic spring water when creating the final product, so we’ll go ahead and say this might be one of the cleanest sounding gins ever made. Its ingredient list reads like an organic cleaner commercial. Take that as you will, but we don’t mean it in a bad way.

$30
monkey47

Monkey 47

You might not expect a delicious dry gin to come out of Germany, specifically the Black Forest. With a name like the Black Forest, the only thing we expect to come out of there is German Voldemort. But after it was launched in 2010, Monkey 47 won numerous awards including a gold medal at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in 2011, so either Monkey 47 is going for the long con on evil or they’re genuinely making good gin. The flavor is sweet, fairly juniper heavy with floral and citrus notes with a subtle hint of pepper to finish.

$52
plymouth1

Plymouth

This famous gin has been produced the same way since 1793, confirming our belief that alcohol recipes are one of the few good holdouts from the 18th Century. It was a popular choice by British sailors in the 1800s who mixed it with quinine tonic water and limes in the earliest recipes for gin and tonic, drastically reducing their chances of getting malaria, scurvy, and invited to a lame party. The original strength has a large juniper profile along with a zesty citrus finish that is perfect for a classic naval-inspired cocktail or on its own in a glass with a handful of ice.

$34
anchor1

Anchor Old Tom

The third gin made by Anchor, Old Tom is a classic pot-still distilled gin made with juniper and myriad botanicals that are formulated to create a sweeter, less dry gin. The sweetness mostly comes from the addition of star anise and licorice as well as the surprising inclusion of stevia. Sipping Old Tom on a fall day is our recommended form of enjoyment, but you can enjoy it any day. If you’re feeling rebellious, maybe have one outside on a warm summer morning. Not enough to feel it, just enough to connect with the locale.

$30
fordsgin

Ford’s Gin

Made at London’s Thames Distillers, Ford’s gin is a collaborative effort between Simon Ford of the 86 Co. and Master Distiller Charles Maxwell. Like all proper gins, the first notable flavor is juniper. This is followed by lemon and grapefruit peels as well as bitter orange and a medley of flowers and spices. So what we’ve learned overall is not all gins taste like the cheap stuff that comes in plastic and sometimes not even the expensive stuff that’s just a liquid Christmas tree. Sometimes people put actual flavors in their spirit.

$25