I’m not sure why you’d want to drink gin so strong that it makes you wince, as they indicate with the #1 strongest?
I like gin and tonic in summer with lemon/lime but can’t do it neat or in a martini.
I think one of the grand things about living life is that most of us get to pick favorites. I have found my two favorite Gins for my favorite Martini. I’ve found another three that I can drink over rocks. This makes me content in my old age. This post is kinda calling out a few distillers who are pushing the limits to appeal to a new consumer base.
They kinda lost me at “An overlooked spirit.” Gin’s my favorite liquor; I’ve actually been to several Gin Club events at The Winslow in Manhattan. And I’m glad to read about some I haven’t heard of. But “strongest” isn’t what I look for. I’ve had some lousy gin in my life, but never one I thought was too weak.
What are the Five Greatest Sins, then?
By the way, the last gin is extremely strong. I suppose it doesn’t matter if one is to use it as a mix drink. Otherwise, drinking is straight/neat will be too strong for most people.
None of them are on this list.
I’m not at all interested in THEIR list.
I want YOUR list.
Here ya go…
For Gin Martinis & Gin and Tonic:
Gordon’s London Dry Gin,
Tanqueray No. 10,
High proof spirits are often loaded with flavor. Just not vodka
OK, thx. I didn’t care for Sapphire finding it too flowery.
My fave for martinis is Plymouth. For sipping I prefer “Scotch”.
I love Bluecoat martinis, but I like mixing it up occasionally. Opihr can be interesting in a martini, and I had a great one with Dry Fly, a WA gin.
Beefeater’s perfect for G&Ts.
We have an emotional attachment to Bombay Sapphire. As the story goes, we were taking our kids to see the Grand Canyon a couple of decades ago. Drove up from Sky Harbor Airport and spent a night in Casa Grande. Needed snacks for the kids, so hit up a grocery store, which ALSO SOLD LIQUOR. Stumbled upon Bombay Sapphire for the very first time. Forgot to buy Tonic or Vermouth, so had to drink it over rocks. Did that sitting outside our motel rooms, watching bats feeding on the moths flitting around the parking lot lights. Memorable start to a memorable vacation. Been the way we enjoy Sapphire ever since. (On the rocks, that is…)
Plymouth is my favorite for martinis, too. Interestingly, one of the few gins that I’ve tried that I really like for sipping is “The Botanist,” which is…from a Scotch distillery (Bruichladdich).
My favorite “sipping” gin is Brockman’s. Pity it’s not distributed on the West coast.
While the “Navy Strength” gins (57% abv.) and higher have their place, and a strong and solid history, they just aren’t the gin for most people. Approximately the equivalent of barrel strength whiskey, but for gin drinkers. Strong doesn’t equal good, and weak doesn’t equal bad. (Look at Japanese shochu which is high quality and full of flavor, but around 25% abv. for traditional ones.) In general, but not always, they do have a more concentrated flavor to match the increased alcohol.
Personally I really like sipping my gin on the rocks. Although I use it in cocktails when designing menus for bars/restaurants.
My favorites top three are, in this order:
Half Moon Orchard gin - 46% abv. - Tuthilltown Spirits (I also place it as the house gin at places I consult to.)
Greenhook Ginsmith’s gin - 47% abv. - (American Dry, although their Beach Plum gin liqueur is excellent as well.)
Barr Hill gin - 45% abv. - Caledonia Spirits - (some people say it is technically an Old Tom style (a sweetened gin), using honey. But actually most of the honey is fermented before a double distillation, so it’s the aroma and flavor of the honey that comes through, not the sugar. Then a small amount of raw honey is added afterwards for a very slight sweetness.)
I don’t turn down regular/original, London Dry versions of Gordon’s, Tanqueray, Beefeater, or Bombay either.
And there are so many other great craft gins out there these days. Both London Dry style, and New Western style like the above three.
My everyday Martini gin is either Tanqueray or Bombay Sapphire. My favorite Martini gins (drunk infrequently, since they’re more than double the price) are Junipero and St. George Botanivore (both from the Bay Area).
Not a huge gin fan but always keep Hendricks on hand for negroni and martinis if anyone wants one.
Hendricks is good stuff. Also double the price of Tanqueray or Bombay Sapphire, so it’s only an occasional for me.