Crisp juniper-laced gin is a perennial for mixing into classic cocktails like a Martini or Gin & Tonic. But the botanicals used to make gin can lead to completely nontraditional territory. These are seven new gins to try right now, ranging from cool and classic to edgy variations infused with culinary spices and a smoky flavor, and even an intriguing color-changing gin.
Gift this to a friend who loves classic films. Produced in association with the Humphrey Bogart estate, this classically styled gin offers juniper, anise and black pepper, with a distinct lime zest undercurrent that evokes Gimlets galore. Or mix into Martinis, like the one Bogey appears to quaff on the handsome black-and-white label.
The name refers to both a Caribbean island as well as a lightweight cover used to shade the deck of a boat. Those cool, breezy images seem about right for this citrusy gin from Maine. Grapefruit zest, coriander and hops lead the palate, making it ideal for tall, refreshing drinks like Gin & Tonics.
This robust spirit boasts the title of the first craft gin distilled in the U.S. after Prohibition. More than 20 years later, it’s still going strong. Look for a pleasing mix of peppery spice and lemon curd sweetness that finishes spicy with hints of white peppercorn and coriander seed.
ESP Smoked ($38)
Part of a trio of culinary-inspired gins, this bottle is more peppery and spicy than it is smoky, but it’s still an audacious statement for the often-genteel gin category. Hints of caraway, rosewater and black pepper tease the nose and palate.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
City Bright ($30)
Made at L.A.’s Greenbar Distillery, this spicy, complex sipper was designed to “capture L.A.’s vibrant immigrant food scene,” which means nods to the cuisines and cultures of East and South Asia, Mexico and the Middle East. The palate bursts with makrut lime and a deliciously savory exhale that suggests coriander, fennel, cumin and mint.
Empress 1908 ($40)
For all your Instagram needs, this gin, which debuted in the U.S. market last year, is tinted a vibrant purple-blue, thanks to an infusion of butterfly pea blossom. Adding citrus or tonic will transform this gin made in Victoria, British Columbia, into a softer pink hue.