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Bartenders Tell Us Their Favorite ‘Bang For Your Buck’ Gins To Drink This Winter


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Chilly winter nights might not feel like gin drinking weather. The season is overshadowed by the likes of cognac, rye, dark rum, bourbon, and Scotch. But in the right cocktail, gin always works. Especially when it’s able to remind you of sunny, warm, summer days instead of gloomy, wintry ones. A well-made, simple gin & tonic can cure even Alladin’s genie-sized winter blues.

Since we’re all about getting the summer feels mid-winter, we asked some of our favorite bartenders to tell us their favorite bang-for-your-buck gins. Because if you’re drinking gin in the winter, we don’t want you spending a lot to do it.

Spring 44

Mariel Burns, head bartender at Trademark Taste + Grind in New York City

“What’s my go-to budget gin and why? I have to go with Spring 44, out of Colorado. It’s a really nice gin with an even flavor profile, without going too piney nor too floral.”

Gordon’s London Dry Gin

Andrew Meltzer, bartender at Noosh in San Francisco

“Gordon’s London Dry Gin. This gin is a bar staple that can be found around the world, whether you’re at a craft bar in Japan or on a cruise ship in the Bahamas. The gin has classic botanicals and works well in everything from a Martini to a Gimlet. She’s not a delicate or high-strength gin, but it’s a workhorse that won’t let you down.”

Ford’s Gin

Spencer Elliott, head bartender at The Boogie Room in New York City

“Fords Gin, hands down, a crazy good gin for a crazy price. The fact that they can pack so much flavor and so much quality in something under $30 is a steal. I’d call Ford himself and ask how he even makes money on this but I’m too afraid he’ll raise the price. Either in a 50/50 martini or just with tonic, this takes the cake for me.”

FEW Earl Grey Gin

Andrew Holmes, director of food and beverage at Hotel LeVeque in Columbus

“What’s my go-to budget gin and why? FEW Earl Grey Gin. This gin is infused with Earl grey tea — which gives it a smooth feel, and a wonderful taste for any time of the day.”

St. George Terroir Gin

Casey Lyons, lead bartender at Pacific Hideaway in Huntington Beach, California

“Anything St George. Bonus points for the gift box with Terroir, Botanivore, and the Rye. It’s like taking your taste buds on a flyover of the California coast.”

Tanqueray Gin

Nikki McCutcheon, beverage manager at Moxy Times Square in New York City

“My all-time go to is Tanqueray, I think every home bar should be stocked with it. It’s a great London dry style gin that just a touch less expensive than some of the other big names cornering the market. Another great budget gin I recently discovered is Malfy. It’s an Italian crafted gin that comes in an array of fresh natural flavors which they distill using native Italian fruits like Lemon and Blood Orange.”

Beefeater Gin

Jason O’Bryan, spirits director at The Florence in San Diego

“How budget is budget? I’m beginning to think Tanqueray is the best gin in the world and can find 1.75Ls pretty reliably at Costco for some absurdly small amounts of money. Also, Beefeater is like $15 in any grocery store, and if I can’t find $15 to spend on a bottle of gin, I have bigger and more immediate problems.”

Citadelle Gin

Tyler Zielinski, bartender at Backbar in Hudson, New York

“Luckily, we’re in an age where craft gin is at its peak and there is an overwhelming number of gins to choose from. That said, if I’m on a budget, I want something that can play well in a variety of classic cocktails. Citadelle Gin can be found for as little as $25 and is a popular well gin at many of the top cocktail bars in the country, due to its quality and flavor.”

Damrak Gin

Ryan Andrews, beverage director at Prohibition in San Diego

“What’s my go-to budget gin and why? I like Damrak Gin. It is one of the easiest to mix with gins from the Netherlands and it has nice floral and citrus notes.”

New Amsterdam Gin

Shawn Stanton, bartender at Public House in New York City

“What’s my go-to budget gin and why? New Amsterdam Gin. Why? It’s cheap as heck. Also great with any mixer.”

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