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.
“This is truly one of the most versatile and affordable gins on the market. It is a classic London dry style, is perfectly balanced and has beautifully layered notes of citrus, coriander, cardamom and pepper that make me want to use it in just about every cocktail.”—Anna Moss, bartender at Portland, Ore.'s La Moule
“This Spanish gin made from olives, basil, rosemary and thyme makes the perfect Gin & Tonic. Soft and elegant yet with a slight brininess from the olives, it also bodes well in a Martini. It’s a versatile gin that can be enjoyed on the rocks or in cocktails.”—Alicia Walton, owner and bartender at San Francisco's Sea Star
“This delicate yet sophistic Brooklyn gin is distilled under pressure with organic botanicals that leaves them bright and crisp. It’s available outside of New York for the first time. I sure hope to find this in my stocking!”—Keli Rivers, bartender at San Francisco's Whitechapel and brand ambassador for Monkey 47
“It is made with rose peach and raspberry and is fragrant and floral—delicious in cocktails or by itself.”—Willy
“This is more citrus-forward. The cold distillation preserves all the aromas. It makes fantastic Martinis.”—Willy
“Versatile and delicious, this gin by New York Distilling Company is high enough proof for life’s needs.”—Dong
“It’s reasonably priced, Midwestern and delicious.”—Szot
“It’s probably the best aged gin that I've had. You still taste all of the gin qualities but it’s weighty enough to sip alone or use for stirred drinks.”—Bodenheimer
“For a Martini drinker, I highly suggest Sipsmith as a gift. Sipsmith is a remarkable gin distilled in copper pot stills and is beautifully dry but with a slight bright citrusy finish. I love it in a dry Martini with a twist.”—Cari Hah, bar manager at Los Angeles' Big Bar
“This gin is delicious and unique and successfully bottles the sense of a place. It’s transportive.”—Thorn
“I love this gin so much. It uses Italian juniper, so it’s much softer than most juniper-forward gins (great for anyone who is normally juniper sensitive), and it’s full of grapefruit and citrus flavor and a little hint of cardamom.”—Aaron Paul, bar director at San Francisco's Alta CA
“This is a gin not made from grain but from grapes. With botanicals from nearby mountains, this gin is piney, with a good mouthfeel, and herbaceous. Like Plymouth gin, it’s one of the only gins to have a geographical indication.”—Kang