Bartenders Tell Us Their Favorite Value Gins For Summer

A few weeks ago, we wrote about the Spanish Gin Tonic — a drink that’s sure to become one of your summer staples. But, to truly enjoy this cocktail (and the Negroni), you have to have the right gin. How, in a marketplace (literally) saturated with competing gin brands are you supposed to pick the one that’s right for you? Mostly, it depends on your own personal taste. A trip to your local liquor store and a conversation with a clerk there will definitely point you in the right direction. But what if you don’t want to go through all that trouble and you just want a great gin for a reasonable price (under $30)? Well, that’s where bartenders come in. We asked some of the top bartenders in the US to tell us their favorite value gins and this is what they said.

It should be noted that “value” means good quality for a decent price. It doesn’t mean dirt cheap.

BOMBAY DRY — Ann-Marie Verdi, Co-Owner and Beverage Director at The Bellwether in Studio City, California

“Bombay Dry. Not the Sapphire, just the original London Dry. Again, easy to infuse, easy to approach, and easy to drink. It’s like the Triple Crown of liquors.”

FORD’s — Mario Flores, Bartender at Maple & Ash in Chicago

“Ford’s Gin. It’s one of my favorite dry gins to make guests a drink, and it makes everything from Martinis to a Gimlet taste delicious.”

FARMER’S BOTANICAL — Charity Johnson, Bar Manager at ROKU in Los Angeles

“Farmers Botanical Small Batch Gin. I love this product in a martini or in cocktails. It’s smooth, has the taste of lemongrass and elderflower, and has light floral and citrus notes.”

BEEFEATER — Lucinda Sterling, Bartender at Middle Branch in New York City

“Beefeater goes into our well because it is balanced yet strong, and the bottle is the perfect size and shape.”

J. RIEGER — Claire Sprouse, Bartender at Sunday In Brooklyn in New York City.

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“My bargain gin right now is J. Rieger & Co. Made by some of the best minds in this industry, it will hold up in any gin cocktail and makes for a killer gin & tonic. There must be something in that Kansas City water…”

TYLER’S — Eric Ochoa, Bartender at Over Proof in San Francisco

“Tyler’s City of London Gin. It’s made in the heart of London and their two copper pot stills are producing some of the country’s most tasty gin. Nine botanicals are expertly selected, steeped, and distilled to create an amazing gin. The unmistakable flavors of London Dry Gin can be in your glass (filled with tonic or with dry vermouth) for around $17-$20 a bottle.”

CITADELLE — Jillian Voss, Beverage Director at The Dead Rabbit in New York City

“Citadelle Gin. It’s made in a London dry style, it’s under $30 and it’s made in copper pot stills. It’s made with 19 botanicals, yet pretty juniper forward.”

MARTIN MILLER’S — Trevor Bierwirth, Beverage Director at SideDoor in Chicago

“Martin Miller’s hands down – easy to execute classic cocktails with this smooth gin. However, it has a fantastic flavor profile with earthy botanicals that can help it stand out in a fairly complex drink.”

NONE — Rael Petit, Consulting Mixologist for Delilah in New York City

“There’s no good bargain gin. There’s no good cheap gin. I typically use Fords gin and Dorothy Parker at my bars .”

NEW AMSTERDAM — Eric Trousdale, Beverage Director at Arbella in Chicago

“New Amsterdam. Was and still is around 12$ at any Walgreens or CVS. I drank it in college when I was broke and knew nothing about gin. Still stands up today for the price point despite knowing a thing or two more about gin since then.”

DEATH’S DOOR — Jessica Balts of FireLake Mall of America in Minneapolis

“Death’s Door Gin, good flavor and a great story behind it to tell guests.”

TANQUERAY — Tara Shadzi, Lead Bartender at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood, California

“Gin has a great history and strict rules for distillation. Our well gin and worldwide staple, Tanqueray is delicious, dry, and flavorful. Tanqueray is what you would expect out of a London dry gin and I respect it incredibly for that. For an added burst of botanicals, Tanqueray Ten is softer, and more botanical than its classic partner.”