Gin and Tonics are the coffee of the cocktail world — difficult to fully appreciate at first but once you jump on board, you wonder how you ever lived without them.
Served over ice with a citrus garnish, G&Ts deliver all the refreshment of simpler highballs but dial up the complexity with an array of botanicals from the base spirit and the challenging bittersweet profile oftonic water.
With just two components, quality of base ingredients becomes paramount. While tonic water options have expanded in recent years, the gin category continues to flourish at an even more impressive rate, with distillers introducing new botanicals and reimagining the spirit’s flavor profile.
Combining a mix of mainstays and modern marvels, the following 15 bottles not only deliver on quality, but jive with their tricky pairing partner to serve the most impressive versions of the cocktail. Here are the best gins for Gin and Tonics.
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Beefeater London Dry Gin
Almost as bold as it gets on the juniper scale, Beefeater is worthy of its reputation as the quintessential London Dry gin. The pronounced peppery berry notes offer the ideal match for bittersweet tonic water, while a spray of citrus on the finish refreshes the palate. Average price: $20.
Caorunn Highland Strength Scottish Gin
Bottled at 54 percent ABV, Caorunn Highland Strength delivers a supercharged G&T. Its relatively high alcohol content also allows the spirit’s character to shine when topped with a hearty pour of tonic. Expect a strong presence of Scottish botanicals heather, dandelion, and Coul Blush apple. Average price: $40.
This bartender-inspired bottle finds a natural home in classic cocktails like the Martini and Gimlet. When you don’t want to go to the effort of pulling out a mixing glass and strainer, its versatile, juniper-forward profile shines equally in this highball. Average price: $26.
Gin Mare Mediterranean Gin
Distilled with olives, rosemary, and thyme, this Mediterranean gin tastes custom designed for G&Ts and delivers a startlingly full-flavored version of the cocktail. Go to town on fresh herbs and citrus for the garnish. Average price: $39.
Greenhook Ginsmiths American Dry Gin
From Brooklyn, N.Y., this gin is made in a custom-designed, vacuum-sealed copper still. The innovative apparatus allows for distillation at lower temperatures than normal, which maintains vibrant botanical notes. Though touted as an American Dry Gin, its profile will be familiar to London Dry drinkers. Average price: $35.
WIth the distinctive inclusion of cucumber and rose in its botanical bill, Hendrick’s approachable flavor profile adds a refreshing, floral character to G&Ts. Go like-for-like when garnishing the cocktail and add thin slices of fresh cucumber along with citrus. Average price: $34.
From San Francisco, everything about this expression, from its name to dominant tasting notes, pays homage to the very ingredient that defines gin. This juniper-forward profile leads to a bold, piney G&T that will delight purists. Average price: $31.
Nikka Coffey Gin
This Japanese gin includes four native citrus fruits in its botanical bill. Though its flavor profile tends toward new, unexpected, and exciting, at its core lies the familiar soul of London Dry. Finishing with zesty vigor, Nikka Coffey mixes a sweet, spicy, and smooth G&T. Average price: $46.
Poli Marconi 42 Mediterranean Style Gin
From Italy, this Mediterranean-style gin effuses vibrant, fresh herb character, with mint, basil, rosemary, and thyme shining brightest on the nose and palate. Not only does this profile mix an herbaceous highball, it also offers great inspiration for garnishing. Average price: $37.
Sipsmith London Dry Gin
Notable for helping usher in the “ginaissance” of recent years, Sipsmith’s botanical bill arrives fresher and more colorful than those of so many other London Dry gins. G&Ts made with this expression hit all the classic notes, but they seem to be played at a higher volume with clearer definition. Average price: $35.
St. George Spirits Terroir Gin
California’s St. George Spirits captures the essence of the Golden State in this gin by using botanicals like Douglas fir and California bay laurel. Its profile lands noticeably and enjoyably piney, providing a distinctive G&T. Average price: $34.
Stray Dog Wild Gin
This tasty Greek gin includes the sticky tree resin mastiha in its botanical bill, along with sage and bay leaf, as well as other more common spices and ingredients. With a pronounced citrusy pop to its palate, Stray Dog serves a zesty Gin and Tonic with added savory layers. Average price: $38.
Tanqueray London Dry Gin
For the textbook definition of a true G&T, look no further than Tanqueray. Serving all the traditional gin botanicals in perfectly balanced proportions, its juniper, citrus, roots, and spice notes combine seamlessly with the occasionally awkward profile of tonic water. Average price: $25.
The Botanist Islay Dry Gin
Including 22 hand-foraged ingredients from the Scottish isle of Islay, The Botanist is delicate, nuanced, and approachable. It mixes an understated G&T, but one that by no means lacks character or flavor — perfect for those who are trying the combination for the first time. Average price: $40.
Xoriguer Mahón Gin
From Menorca, Spain, this gin is produced using old-school techniques and technology, including air-drying juniper berries at the distillery for up to four years, and distilling in alembic stills that date back over 250 years. The resulting gin has a precise citrusy, peppery, and salty character, and mixes a flavorful G&T. Average price: $37.