The lights have been strung, the party invitations have been sent, and the mall Santas have taken their red costumes out of storage. The holiday season seems to sneak up on us every year, so if you still haven’t found the perfect white elephant item to bring to this year’s upcoming soirees, don’t sweat.
Our advice? Skip the grocery store fruit basket or flowers that’ll die in a matter of days and go for a stellar bottle instead. Not only does gin mix into many popular cocktails, the category’s innovation seems to be never-ending, meaning there’s something here for everyone — even the acquaintance whose bar cart is overflowing with recent releases. Read on for the best gins to give everyone on your list — from cocktail newbies to collectors and connoisseurs.
- Best budget gin: Askur Yggdrasil 45
- Best splurge gin: GINRAW
- Best gin for beginners: Bombay Sapphire Gin
- Best gin for geeks: Gracias a Dios Oaxaca Recipe
- Best gin for cocktail-lovers: Fords London Dry Gin
- Best gin for the boss: Tanqueray No. Ten Gin
- Best limited-edition gin: Komasa Gin Sakurajima Komikan
Best Budget Gin
Spending less on a bottle doesn’t mean you have to skimp on quality. Whether for your favorite holiday host or work buddy, Askur Yggdrasil 45’s rich, lively palate is sure to satisfy. Plus, the Icelandic spirit, with its bursts of juniper, coriander, and citrus flavors, is robust enough to hold its own in any gin cocktail — from a Bee’s Knees to a Martini.
Average price: $23
Best Splurge Gin
The combined brainchild of a chef, sommelier, mixologist, and master perfumer, GINRAW is a celebration of Catalonia’s culinary scene. Its production finishes with a third distillation in rotary valves, allowing the process to take place at just 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This low-temperature distillation allows the gin to retain its freshness and botanical brightness, resulting in a citrus-forward liquid that truly shines alongside Campari in a Negroni.
Average price: $53
Best Gin for Beginners
For the friend just dipping their toe in the world of Dirty Martinis, Bombay Sapphire is the perfect entry-level gin. Eye-catching blue bottle aside, the spirit shows nuanced notes of juniper berries, anise, and almond. Subtle enough to complement bold flavors in cocktails and punchy enough to stand on its own, Bombay Sapphire offers a great introduction to the category.
Average price: $24
Best Gin for Geeks
Better known for its line of mezcals, Gracias a Dios’s gin base is made from the brand’s agave distillate. The resulting Mexican gin shows aromas of chocolate, chili, and orange zest alongside seven local botanicals — a complex profile that’s balanced by vibrant juniper bursts. For the giftee who’s constantly experimenting with new flavor combinations, this will undoubtedly be a welcome addition to their home bar.
Average price: $60
Best Gin for Cocktail-Lovers
Specifically crafted for use in cocktails, Fords is a bartender favorite for good reason. Launched by mixologist Simon Ford and master distiller Charles Maxwell, the spirit is delicate on the nose, with subtle juniper aromas and balanced complexity on the palate. A versatile London Dry, Fords overdelivers for its price and is sure to impress in a G&T.
Average price: $25
Best Gin for the Boss
Marketed as the “ultimate cocktail gin,” Tanqueray No. Ten is delicate enough not to overpower a drink but concentrated enough to hold its own in higher-ABV sips. On the nose, subtle herbal notes of thyme and mint combine with sweet cucumber and citrus flavors. Its inviting palate — honeysuckle-forward with a crisp, vibrant finish — makes this bottle a must-have.
Average price: $33
Best Limited-Edition Gin
For the gin lover who seems to have everything, this tiny but mighty bottle is a must-buy. This small-production spirit from Kagoshima, Japan, stands out from the crowd. Made with a local orange variety called Sakurajima komikan, which grows on an active volcano, the gin’s juicy, citrusy punch is balanced by a savory, coriander-forward undertone. Sipped simply with soda or shaken up in citrusy cocktails, this mandarin-scented gin truly shines.
Average price: $40 (375 mL)