When it comes to making the perfect martini, the choice of gin can make all the difference. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to know which gin is the best for creating that classic, crisp martini flavor. Whether you prefer a dry martini or a dirty martini, selecting the right gin is essential for achieving the perfect balance of flavors.
The best gin for martinis is often a matter of personal preference, as different gins offer unique botanical blends and flavor profiles. Some gins are known for their smooth and subtle notes, while others boast bold and aromatic qualities that can elevate the martini experience. Understanding the characteristics of different gins, such as their juniper content and distillation process, can help you make an informed decision when choosing the right gin for your martini.
Beefeater London Dry has won more awards than any other gin! It has a clean, juniper-strong flavor that also features bright citrus notes. Garnish with a lemon slice to help bring out botanicals like Seville orange peel, lemon peel, licorice root, and almond. If you’re a first-time martini maker, you can not go wrong starting with this one.
If you’re looking for something a little out of the box, you’ll find it with Hendrik’s Gin. Not only do they include some exciting botanicals to the mix, like chamomile, elderflower, and caraway, but it is finished with an infusion of rose and cucumber. Garnish with an olive, or go wild and salty and try this one dirty.
Bombay Sapphire is the iconic gin in a bright blue bottle. It looks good on my bar and has the bright, clean flavor I love in a simple yet elegant martini. With botanicals like licorice, cassia bark, coriander seeds, almonds, and grains of paradise, it will go well with any garnish or additions.
Hayman’s London Dry Gin is a bright, refreshing artisanal gin that will bring a well-balanced experience to any martini. Its bright citrus works well with citrus garnish and even other citrus additions if you feel like wandering into the world of sweeter, less traditional martinis.
For seasoned martini drinkers looking for something a bit different, even unpredictable, Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin might be the special one you’re looking for. The Distiller’s Cut gin varies from year to year, depending on the hand-picked botanicals they decide to experiment with. Each one is a limited edition, and you may discover something you love.
The bold and layered Slipsmith London Dry Gin has the perfect smoothness for a martini. It is made with traditional copper pot distillation of botanicals, including juniper, lemon, and orange. It finishes with a wash of spice from the juniper and the slight pucker of tart lemon.
The Botanist Islay Dry Gin comes from an island in the Inner Hebrides, off the west coast of Scotland. The brand crafts its slow-distilled gin from 22 hand-picked local botanicals and nine types of berries, seeds, and peel. Balanced, earthy, and sweet, it is a versatile martini gin, ready to lend itself to flavor experimentation.
Nikka Coffey Gin is a silky, balanced Japanese gin featuring the Japanese citrus flavors of Yuzu, Kabosu, Amanatsu, and Shequasar. Other botanicals include juniper berries, angelica, coriander seeds, lemon and orange peels, and Sansho pepper. This is a bright and zesty gin with a spicy finish. I love this for dry or dirty martinis for a mystery movie night with friends.
Fords Gin calls itself “your cocktail’s favorite gin,” and while they make this gin for cocktails, it works well in a martini because of what the gin is. The flavor is smooth and balanced, and you could sip it on its own. It doesn’t have to hide behind more robust flavors. Its juniper, jasmine, coriander seed, and orange peel are a bold flavor landscape.
Suntory Roku Gin makes for a perfect Japanese spin on a martini. It includes Japanese botanicals like sakura flower, sakura leaf, yuzu peel, Sencha tea, Gyokuro tea, and Sansho pepper. This gin has a strong juniper flavor with the floral additions of cherry blossom and green tea, making a delicate and delightful martini for girls’ night.
Cadenhead Old Raj Dry Gin comes in 46% and 55% ABV variants. This gin has a yellow tinge as a result of the late addition of saffron, a unique, fragrant spice. Other ingredients include licorice, angelica root, orris, cinnamon, juniper, coriander, cassia, and nutmeg. The warm spices make excellent for a winter or fall martini.
Drumshanbo Gunpowder Sardinian Citrus Irish Gin starts with their traditional Gunpowder Gin, which features botanicals such as meadowsweet, juniper, caraway star anise, gunpowder tea, grapefruit, and Kaffir lime. This gin also includes Sardinian citrus called Sa Pompia for an extra big citrus kick. Serve this one with a slice of orange and just a squeeze of juice.
If you’re looking for a classic London Dry style gin with a modern flavor twist, check out Boodles London Dry for your next martini. Rather than using citrus botanicals, it features sage, rosemary, and nutmeg and finishes with warm spice and black pepper. This is my go-to for savory martinis.
Bluecoat American Dry Gin uses 100% certified organic botanicals such as juniper berries, angelica root, and coriander seeds. This one tastes sweet and earthy, with a surprising and stimulating layering of flavors. This is the way to go if you’re looking for simplicity for a dry or even naked martini. It’s a perfect pairing with a date night at home!