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Bartenders Name Their Favorite American Gins For Summer

Summer is prime gin time. A sunny day calls for a citrusy, floral, refreshing gin-based drink. We know what we’d choose — line up the gin and tonics because we’re going to be drinking this thirst-quenching, subtly bitter, and citrus-filled mixed drink from now until late September. But there are other great options out there, too.

While gin’s heart is firmly located in England (and, more recently, Scotland), the US is no slouch in the juniper game. Distilleries all over the country are cranking out high-quality, award-winning, flavorful gins with a great mix of unique botanicals adding new dimensions. To find the best, we once again turned to the folks behind the bar. We asked a few well-known bartenders to tell us the best American-made gins to drink as summer begins in full.

Check out all of their picks below and click on the prices if you want to try one for yourself.

St. George Dry Rye

St. George

Chad Laforest, bartender at manager at Le Prive in New York City

ABV: 45%

Average Price: $35

Why This Gin?

I would go with the St. George Dry Rye gin. For me, it’s one of the best American Gins to drink during spring and summer. The botanical Dry Rey has an aroma of juniper and natural black pepper adding a warm and spicy touch to the palate.

Greenhook Ginsmiths

Greenhook Ginsmiths

Marcio Ramos, partner and mixologist at The Honey Well in New York City

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $36

Why This Gin?

I’ve been a big fan of this 10 botanical gin since it came to the market, out of Brooklyn, New York. I mix Greenhook Gin with Aperol, St-Germain, and lemon juice for a refreshing summer cocktail.

Spring 44

Spring44

Young Kim, director of spirits education and bar manager at Fine & Rare in New York City

ABV: 44%

Average Price: $25

Why This Gin?

My favorite expression is Spring 44 Old Tom Gin. It’s made using natural water from the Rocky Mountains. It’s aged in toasted chardonnay barrels which will add a gentle agave nectar flavor to a refreshing lemon, lime, and rosemary flavor notes.

St. George Terroir

St. George

Andy Shannon, bartender and co-founder of Candra in London

ABV: 45%

Average Price: $35

Why This Gin?

St. George Terroir is a little bit of a change of pace from my usual go-to. I love classic London dry gins with juniper being the dominant flavor. St George isn’t quite that, but in this case, I think it’s great. Representing the terroir of California with notes of Douglas fir and coastal sage, mixing this into a wet martini makes for a really great cocktail.

Far North Solveig

Far North

Jeff Rogers, bar director of Jester Concepts in Minneapolis

ABV: 43.5%

Average Price: $38

Why This Gin?

Far North Spirits has produced some amazing spirits. Their Solveig gin is a rye-based gin with a contemporary flavor. The juniper is still there, but the citrus and other botanicals shine for a bold-flavored gin — lavender and grapefruit shine in this beautiful bottle.

It mixes well with tonic or can be used for a gimlet.

Brooklyn

Brooklyn Gin

Mark Phelan, beverage director at 16” on Center in Chicago

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $42

Why This Gin?

Hand peeled fresh citrus is the secret weapon in Brooklyn Gin, giving this gin a floral brightness and oily body that shines in everything from a gin and tonic to a white Negroni. The bottle itself is gorgeous, making it all the more satisfying that the juice inside is beautiful as well.

Conniption Navy Strength

Durham Distillery

Aaron Lambert, bartender at Whisky Kitchen in Durham, North Carolina

ABV: 57%

Average Price: $42

Why This Gin?

Hands down, Durham Distillery Conniption Naval Strength Gin is my favorite gin. It’s a hometown favorite here in the Triangle with great local people making rad spirits.

Seersucker

Seersucker

David Wheelahan, bartender at Commander’s Palace in New Orleans

ABV: 42%

Average Price: $23

Why This Gin?

It’s a golden age of American gin and there are so many good brands out there. For me, Seersucker is a real standout though. Mint as a botanical makes so much sense as a complement to juniper, and it really lends itself to refreshing summer cocktails.

Letherbee

Letherbee

Brenna Gay, bartender at Bradford House in Oklahoma City

ABV: 48%

Average Price: $32

Why This Gin?

Letherbee Gin, from Chicago, is a great choice for summer sips. It’s not the most juniper-forward, but it has enough to remind you she’s still at the party, while cardamom, almond, and ginger hit the dance floor. I love this gin chilled and neat, but add a nice mixer, or swirl into a dry martini with a twist and you’ll be dancing along with it.

Bluecoat

Bluecoat

Robert Kidd, head bartender at Le Cavalier in Wilmington, Delaware

ABV: 47%

Average Price: $40

Why This Gin?

I really like Bluecoat Gin from Philadelphia. This American gin stays true to having the nice herbal juniper notes with nice citrus aromas of its London dry counterpart. Some American gins tend to get too light for my taste — this is the one I reach for.

Copper & Kings American Gin

Copper & Kings

Craig Schoettler, executive director of beverage and corporate mixologist for MGM Resorts

ABV: 46%

Average Price: $41

Why This Gin?

Copper & Kings are known for the brandy and eau de vie distillations. Their American gin is distilled from apples which gives it an amazingly fruity flavor while still balancing the classic botanicals of juniper, coriander, angelica, and orris.

Don’t worry, this is not an apple-flavored gin. The apple wine that it’s distilled from gives it subtle complexity that opens up beautifully with the addition of tonic.

St. George Botanivore

St. George

Slava Borisov, mixologist at Travelle at The Langham in Chicago

ABV: 45%

Average Price: $35

Why This Gin?

St. George Botanivore is not a traditional “ginny” gin. I would compare this gin with a flavor bomb stuffed with plenty of different botanicals including citruses, barks, seeds, and plant roots (nineteen of them in total). If you are planning to mix this gin in a cocktail, I would recommend trying a French 75, Southside, or classic gin and tonic.

But before beginning to mix your cocktail, pour this gin neat (or over ice) and try it without any other ingredients first. You may be surprised at just how refreshing and crisp this gin is.

Aviation

Aviation

Hadi Ktiri, beverage manager at Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences in New Orleans

ABV: 42%

Average Price: $25

Why This Gin?

I love the well-rounded Aviation Gin repped by infamous brand ambassador Travis Tober and the endlessly hilarious Ryan Reynolds. It’s balanced, good quality, and mixes well with just about anything. For a great summer cocktail, mix up 1.5 ounces of Aviation Gin with fresh coconut water and cut it with plenty of fresh lime juice. It’s perfect for a hot day by the pool.


As a Drizly affiliate, Uproxx may receive a commission pursuant to certain items on this list.

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