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9 Best Gins for a Gin and Tonic

Make a better version of this simple, classic cocktail by upgrading your gin.

<p>Janet Maples / Food & Wine</p>

Janet Maples / Food & Wine

Not that we limit ourselves to drinking Gin and Tonics in any particular season, but spring seems like a particularly appropriate time to focus on them a bit more. The nine gins below can all serve double duty: They make unforgettable versions of the simple, classic cocktail, but they’re delicious in a range of other drinks as well.

Fort Hamilton New World Dry Gin

<p>Janet Maples / Food & Wine</p>

Janet Maples / Food & Wine

Vibrant cucumber and watermelon notes shine with brilliance in this gem from Brooklyn. Fennel lends savoriness, which serves as a terrific counterpoint, and cardamom sings quietly in the background. When it’s hot and humid — or when it’s the dead of winter and you need a hit of summer — this is the gin to reach for, and its freshness is even brighter when mixed with tonic water.

Hendrick’s Grand Cabaret

<p>Janet Maples / Food & Wine</p>

Janet Maples / Food & Wine

Unlike previous releases from the famed Scottish distiller, this newest limited edition gin is anchored by exuberant notes of stone fruit. Sweet aromas of peaches, apricots, and nectarines are joined by hints of cherries, chamomile, bergamot, and a suggestion of rose water through the finish. It makes for a joyously fruit-forward Gin and Tonic.

Highclere Castle London Dry Gin

<p>Janet Maples / Food & Wine</p>

Janet Maples / Food & Wine

The castle on the bottle is home to the 8th Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, and the estate gardens grow many of the botanicals that flavor this outstanding gin. The perfume of lavender adds subtle complexity to notes of juniper, lime blossom, and woodsy spice. Oats also join the party, lending it a distinctly velvety texture, whether it’s enjoyed in a Martini or a particularly sophisticated Gin and Tonic. Highclere Castle Gin supports the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, which means that you should definitely have two Gin and Tonics, not just one.

Related: 5 Best Tonics for a Gin and Tonic

Las Californias Nativo Gin

<p>Janet Maples / Food & Wine</p>

Janet Maples / Food & Wine

Their tagline, “botanicals without borders,” is embodied in every delicious sip of this gin, whose herbs and spices come from both sides of the border, in Alta and Baja California. It’s fascinating: Yerba santa, kelp, white sage, hops, and more lend this freshness and underlying herbal and spicy depth. Serve this G & T with a fresh sage leaf garnish for an aromatically complex summertime cocktail.

Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin Distiller’s Cut 2023: Acer Saccharum

<p>Janet Maples / Food & Wine</p>

Janet Maples / Food & Wine

Every year, the beloved Black Forest distillery releases a special edition that includes a 48th botanical. Last year, it was woodruff; this year, it's organic Canadian maple syrup from Cosman & Webb. Each sip is quietly sweet and beautifully herbal, with citrus oils hovering above a thrum of maple notes. I’m not sure a breakfast Gin and Tonic is a good life decision…but this excellent gin makes a pretty compelling case for one nonetheless.

Procera Green Dot Gin

<p>Janet Maples / Food & Wine</p>

Janet Maples / Food & Wine

Unlike anything else on the market, the Procera Green Dot Gin is crafted from the leaves, wood, and fresh and dried berries of a single Kenyan juniper tree. In addition to that, each release is the product of a single vintage, making this more akin to wine than perhaps any other gin. It’s a stunner: Impossibly complex, each sip mingles fruit, warming spice, a touch of woodiness, and a lingering, savory finish. The bubbles, gentle sweetness, and cinchona bitterness of a good tonic allow the gin’s notes to shine beautifully.

Related: What Is London Dry Gin?

Thinkers Furthered Israeli Sunset Gin

<p>Janet Maples / Food & Wine</p>

Janet Maples / Food & Wine

Aromas of raspberries, red cherries, and rose petals lend this subtle, layered gin a suggestion of sweetness without dominating its other spice and citrus flavors. A lingering taste of cardamom makes for a lovely finish, and a terrific counterpart to the bitterness of a good tonic.

Vigilant Navy Strength Gin

<p>Janet Maples / Food & Wine</p>

Janet Maples / Food & Wine

This is powerful at 114 proof, but balanced with the sweet florals of hibiscus, a kiss of mint, and a subtle sizzle of harissa. Finishing notes of figs and hops make this a unique and very successful gin, well suited to Negronis as well as Gin & Tonics. Garnish with a fresh mint leaf to highlight its aromatic lift in a Gin and Tonic.

Whitley Neill London Dry Gin

<p>Janet Maples / Food & Wine</p>

Janet Maples / Food & Wine

Distilled in London and incorporating South African cape gooseberries and baobab citrus, this is a bracing gin with a very well-considered lemon-oil hit to the sweet flavors of cocoa and cracked peppercorn. Try it with Fever-Tree tonic water, and drink it all summer long.

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