You know who knows best which bottles to buy? The people who pour and sell drinks—that’s who. We asked dozens of top bartending and spirits industry professionals to tell us which bottles they love and why.
Heads up: The numerical order below is not organized by importance or quality; it’s an alphabetical list, not a ranking. Prices are averages and can vary from state to state.
“Distilled just a five-minute walk from my Brooklyn apartment, this small local distillery ages its Glorious gin in American oak barrels that are full of vanilla tones. This gin makes for a delicious Negroni or Martinez. Also, our guests enjoy it daily paired with Thomas Henry cherry blossom tonic.”—Minaya
“I love using Broker’s in my cocktails—a perfect representation of a London dry gin.”—Wheeler
“From the first time I tasted Fords gin back in 2014, I immediately realized how beautiful nine simple botanicals can be. Distilled with Martinis in mind, this is one of the best gins (at a reasonable price) to stock at your local or home bar. A Fords gin White Negroni with Scrappy's grapefruit bitters is my favorite cocktail.”—Minaya
“This beautiful, racy gin is made from 100% espadín agave. I didn't know what to expect from it at first, because I didn't understand why they wouldn't just make an herbaceous mezcal. But the botanicals play extremely well with the agave, and it opens the door for more cross-utilization in classic Latin cocktails.”—Andra Johnson, bar director at Serenata in Washington, D.C.
“‘Inspire by botanicals’ is the motto of this gin, which incorporates subtler notes with the expected juniper and coriander but is brightened with rosemary, fennel and lemon peel. Designed in collaboration with award-winning bartender Tyler Kleinow, this is a gin that begs to be blended into cocktails.”—Nathaniel Smith, creative director of bar and drinks at Travail Kitchen and Amusements in Minneapolis
“Gin by legal definition has to have three botanicals, even though juniper is the star and focus of gin. It highlights that almost as a single distillate, with a ceremonial handful of spruce tips and the smallest pinch of peppercorn. This high-proof, unusual but amazing gin makes amazing cocktails, and crazy people like myself enjoy it with a couple of nice rocks.”—Smith
“Floral, complex and great for anyone who likes a New American-style gin.”—Matteson
“It's definitely my favorite gin right now—the go-to for Martinis for sure. This gin plays well with other ingredients but also has this wonderful viscosity that actually makes it a remarkably drinkable standalone spirit.”—Johnson
“Made from 11 botanicals and apple distillate from Upstate New York, it's an excellent entry taste for those new to gin and for a solid G&T.”—Smith
“When paired with a dry vermouth in a 50/50 Martini, the big, spicy flavors still hold up.”—Strohm
“This is such a fun bottle. Coming from Argentina, it combines yerba mate with mint and eucalyptus. So herbaceous while also earthy, it lends itself to both refreshing and more savory drinks.“—Smyth
“My new go-to for a Gin & Tonic, it's a bit floral and makes for a much loftier and vibrant Negroni. This gin is great for someone who has previously denounced gin. This one will make them a believer.”—Johnson
“Lemons, a little bit floral—it's a great mixing gin for light, bright cocktails.”—Strohm
“Sipsmith Very Juniper Over Proof is perfect for anyone who loves gin. Juniper is infused in three different ways, making the spirit full-bodied and juniper-forward—a real treat.”—Matteson
“Never break up with an old steady. My favorite in a Gin & Tonic, it's a great benchmark bottle to give someone building their home bar.”—Dorman
“It's a juniper-heavy gin that works best in Gin & Tonics or other highballs—a flavorful gin that's heavy on the botanicals but also smooth.”—Kasin
“The first time I sipped on this, I was blown away by how smooth this gin is—heavy juniper notes but a silky smooth mouthfeel. I generally prefer my gin chilled in some fashion—stirred or shaken into cocktails—but this particular gin is just perfect straight out of the bottle and into the glass.”—Smyth