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Comparing Gin Brands

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I drink lots of gin in the summertime, mostly in the form of gin and tonic, with liberal splashes of gimlet (up) and martini (up/olives).

My go to has been Bombay Sapphire for years - I'm looking for some other tasty options.

Any suggestions on other brands of gin? Favorite cocktails?


...was I there?

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I drink lots of gin in the summertime, mostly in the form of gin and tonic, with liberal splashes of gimlet (up) and martini (up/olives).

My go to has been Bombay Sapphire for years - I'm looking for some other tasty options.

Any suggestions on other brands of gin? Favorite cocktails?

Ever since I took a blind taste test between a gin (Gordon's) and its cousin that cost twice as much (Boodles) in which I wasn't able to tell the difference, I've stuck with Gordon's. It's a well-distilled gin for a sane price. :) Your friends might laugh at you, but you aren't drinking gin for the prestige in the first place, I hope. :P

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This earlier thread was very useful to me in seeking similar wisdom:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=48245

and also I found help in picking a partner tonic

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=11526


�As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy, and to make plans.� - Ernest Hemingway, in �A Moveable Feast�

Brooklyn, NY, USA

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question:

has anyone ever made Tonic ice cubes?

does this help improve a good GnT. I am not sure melting regular ice lends any improvement to this cocktail.


�As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy, and to make plans.� - Ernest Hemingway, in �A Moveable Feast�

Brooklyn, NY, USA

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If you can find it, Juniper Green Organic Gin is excellent although frequently use Gordon's for mixing. Hendrick's is quite nice too.

My favorite gin cocktails are the Aviation, Twentieth Century Cocktail and Pegu Club.

Edited to add link.


Edited by Blondie (log)

Sometimes When You Are Right, You Can Still Be Wrong. ~De La Vega

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This earlier thread was very useful to me in seeking similar wisdom:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=48245

and also I found help in picking a partner tonic

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=11526

Thanks for the references, no "gin" search allowed.

So far I've got Plymouth and Hendrick's on my shopping list (and an eye out for Juniper Green Organic)...


...was I there?

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Burnett's. It is a cheap English gin with good perfume. It's not as good as Bombay or Beefeaters (my fave), but it is good, moderate alternative.

Fun things to do with gin:

Vespers--1/3 gin, 1/3 vodka, 1/3 dry lillet blanc, garnish with an orange peel--deadly but delicious! Best straight up but could be on the rocks.


Edited by scordelia (log)

S. Cue

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Go to Trader Joes and get Rear Admiral Joseph's gin. Amazingly good for the price.


Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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Go to Trader Joes and get Rear Admiral Joseph's gin. Amazingly good for the price.

Sadly there are no Trader Joe's stores in my parts (Albany NY), we have some on Long Island though, where my parents live. Probably still can't get it, as grocers can't sell booze or wine in NY state.

Anybody want to mail me a bottle? :biggrin:


...was I there?

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I think it all depends on what you're making. For G&Ts, and especially for gimlets, I don't think it makes much sense to use a subtle, high priced gin.

More often than not, my gin of preference for this kind of thing is Gordon's. It has a nicely up-front juniper presence that cuts through things like tonic water and preserved lime juice -- and it goes for around 12 bucks a liter. Another versatile gin with a strong juniper presence, and smooth enough for martinis, is Tanqueray. Tanqueray is probably my favorite all-purpose gin, but it's almost twice the price of Gordon's at 22 bucks a liter.


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has anyone ever made Tonic ice cubes?

I haven't yet, but have had this LINK bookmarked for a while now, and intend on trying it soon...


So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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Hendrick's. Gotta love that cucumber flavor.

Ditto, my fav.....


Tonyy13

Owner, Big Wheel Provisions

tony_adams@mac.com

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I don't know if any of these are available in the States but the gin's I' m really enjoying right now are :

Gordon's Distillers Cut - more citrussy and spicy than normal Gordons , but still with distinct juniper flavour - apparently contains lemongrass and ginger in addition to the normal botanicals.

Blackwoods Vintage Dry Gin - another Scotish gin - not sure if i'm just being taken in by the romantic marketing - most of the botanicals gathered by hand in the Shetland Isles during the summer of 2003 (hence the "vintage") , wild water mint and sea pink are among the botanicals - it certainly has quite a distinct and pleasant taste.

Brecon Dry Gin - the only gin made in Wales and like the Blackwoods with a lot off the Botanicals added "green" (rather than the mainly dried roots and berries that comprise most gin flavourings). I think this has quite a pronounced angelica scent and flavour, but also slightly peppery. (The same people also make Brecon Vodka , as pointless as every other Vodka in the world, and a perfectly decent Welsh single malt whisky - Penderyn.)

One gin I tried recently amd didn't like was South - a New Zealand gin, the conventional botanicals with the addition of Manuka berries and Kawakawa leaves. I've only tasted it once and found it really harsh lacking in much length or depth of taste - this may have been my palate playing up though - i'll report back further when i return to it . Anyone else got any views on it ?

Gethin

ps i agree with previous postings on both Henricks (a very nice gin) and Schweppes (absolutely the only potable tonic water - i'd rather have a cheap supermarket own label gin with Schweppes than a premium gin with any other tonic water).


Edited by gethin (log)

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question:

has anyone ever made Tonic ice cubes?

does this help improve a good GnT.

Yes, and definitely yes.


"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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question:

has anyone ever made Tonic ice cubes?

does this help improve a good GnT. I am not sure melting regular ice lends any improvement to this cocktail.

That depends. When you make a gin and tonic with no ice, simply using gin from the freezer and tonic water from the fridge, does it seem too sweet? If it doesn't, then tonic ice cubes will help. If it does, stick with regular ones.


Edited by mbanu (log)

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Try WET gin, my favorite cocktail is the ginger martini. The recipe is at: www.wetbybeefeater.com

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So far I've got Plymouth and Hendrick's on my shopping list (and an eye out for Juniper Green Organic)...

I love Plymouth gin for certain cocktails like martinis; but, it is a bit expensive, and a bit subtle for a gin and tonic.

Like many others, to me, a gin and tonic means a Tanquerey and Tonic.

The thing to remember about gins is they are flavored grain neutral spirits. They are required by law to have Juniper; but, other than that the blend of aromatics is left up to the distiller.

The page below is incredibly informative about the various spices and processes used for making Gin. Even gives instructions for distilling your own, though, that would, of course, be illegal in the US.

http://homedistiller.org/gin.htm

Another very tasty cocktail is Absinthe's Ginger Rogers, which uses mint leaves muddled with Ginger infused simple syrup, lime/lemon juice, Gin, ice and ginger ale.

oops! forgot ingredient in cocktail!


Edited by eje (log)

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Another very tasty cocktail is Absinthe's Ginger Rogers, which uses mint leaves muddled with Ginger infused simple syrup, lime/lemon juice, Gin, ice and ginger ale.

I've had a very close variation of that drink made with rum instead of gin. Good stuff. :)

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Has anyone else tried Miller's Gin? Actually, the full name is Martin Miller's Reformed London Dry Gin. "Born of love, obsession and some degree of madness." Smooth and refreshing. Well, it certainly is in the g&t that I'm drinking at the moment! I'm drinking the "Westbourne Strength" which is 90.4 proof.

I'm also a fan of Gordon's -- it's my house brand. But can anyone tell me if the Gordon's we purchase in the US is distilled in the UK (I don't have a bottle on hand at the mo)? Just like a good cuppa, a g&t doesn't taste the same here as it does in the UK. Not necessarily better, as I prepare them the same way here and there, but just a tad different. Could be the tonic as well. And as for the bottle, I prefer the green UK bottle to the cheap looking bottle they use here. Hey! Looks are important!

As for the Trader Joe's brand...I'm afraid I can't recommend it. I went out and bought a bottle but I find it too sharp. If we finish the Miller's tonight, we'll have to go back to the Admiral Joseph's :wacko: as there is no Gordon's in the house.


kit

"I'm bringing pastry back"

Weebl

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Has anyone else tried Miller's Gin?  Actually, the full name is Martin Miller's Reformed London Dry Gin.  "Born of love, obsession and some degree of madness."  Smooth and refreshing.  Well, it certainly is in the g&t that I'm drinking at the moment!  I'm drinking the "Westbourne Strength" which is 90.4 proof. 

I'm also a fan of Gordon's -- it's my house brand.  But can anyone tell me if the Gordon's we purchase in the US is distilled in the UK (I don't have a bottle on hand at the mo)?  Just like a good cuppa, a g&t doesn't taste the same here as it does in the UK.  Not necessarily better, as I prepare them the same way here and there, but just a tad different.  Could be the tonic as well.  And as for the bottle, I prefer the green UK bottle to the cheap looking bottle they use here.  Hey!  Looks are important!  

As for the Trader Joe's brand...I'm afraid I can't recommend it.  I went out and bought a bottle but I find it too sharp.  If we finish the Miller's tonight, we'll have to go back to the Admiral Joseph's   :wacko:  as there is no Gordon's in the house.

In WA state, we can only buy beer and wine at Trader Joe's. I am a gin drinker and while there are several that I like, I really am partial to Bombay, I like both the regular and Sapphire. I also like Boodles. Tangueray and Beefeater are all good but if I had to choose just one, it would be Bombay Sapphire. Why mess with a good thing? I can't do cheap gin. It's like drinking cheap wine, too sharp and nasty. It needs to be smooth if you are doing a martini or something like a tonic mixer. If you are adding juices and syrups, who cares what kind you use as you won't taste it anyway!


Edited by Chef Deb (log)

Debra

www.mychefdelivers.com

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In WA state, we can only buy beer and wine at Trader Joe's. I am a gin drinker and while there are several that I like, I really am partial to Bombay, I like both the regular and Sapphire. I also like Boodles. Tangueray and Beefeater are all good but if I had to choose just one, it would be Bombay Sapphire. Why mess with a good thing? I can't do cheap gin. It's like drinking cheap wine, too sharp and nasty. It needs to be smooth if you are doing a martini or something like a tonic mixer. If you are adding juices and syrups, who cares what kind you use as you won't taste it anyway!

Try the Miller's if you can find it, Debra. I have a feeling you'll like it.


Edited by kitwilliams (log)

kit

"I'm bringing pastry back"

Weebl

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We have Millers, Plymouth, Bombay Sapphire, Hendricks and Tanqueray 10. Tried Gordons and didn't think it had as much flavor as the Sapphire we were drinking at the time. (But I could be wrong.) After reading this thread, I realize that I still don't much about gin. I learned this past weekend not to make gimlets with the Millers again! What a waste of good gin, IMHO. It was completely overwhelmed by the lime. I thought that Sapphire and Plymouth were "big" gins when compared to Millers and Hendricks. Now I find that they are almost considered to be in the same class as Tanqueray 10, which I categorize as "lighter".

I see lots a different opinions here and would like a little direction from this esteemed group.

If I want to try a big, junipery gin - what should it be?

What is your favorite gin for a G&T?

What is your favorite for a martini?

What is your favorite for a gimlet?

What do you like for Aviations?

Thanks for your help. :smile:


KathyM

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...What is your favorite for a martini?

...What do you like for Aviations?....

Plymouth for Martinis. 5:1 with a slice of lemon peel the size of a fifty-cent piece. That said, I wouldn't dream of turning down a Martini made with any of the gins you have on hand.

Broker's for Aviations. I've made Aviations with Beefeater, Gordon's, Gilbey's and Broker's. I think that Broker's Gin is easily my favorite gin for this drink with Beefeater a solid second. I think it's the prominence of the citrus notes in the Broker's that I like. The Gordon's and Gilbey's-based Aviations were very drinkable but not memorable. With Brokers it's one of my absolute favorite cocktails.

Kurt


“I like to keep a bottle of stimulant handy in case I see a snake--which I also keep handy.” ~W.C. Fields

The Handy Snake

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i've been enjoying blackstone's this season

prior to that we typically keep plymouth around - it's got the most distinctive juniper flavour of the available brands .

for tonic, while schweppes is lovely, i'm gonna have to plum for good ole canada dry - very assertive quinine, perfect with gin and a lime twist which more closely approximates a swatch.


"There never was an apple, according to Adam, that wasn't worth the trouble you got into for eating it"

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