Bartenders Pick The Best New Gins For Fall 2019

As the weather grows colder, we tend to take spirits like vodka, tequila, and gin and place them on the bottom shelf of our liquor cabinets, only to grow dusty until next spring. It doesn’t have to be this way. We can take a stand for the likes of gin and keep drinking it all year long. Want a gin & tonic in the middle of winter? Who’s to stop you? Certainly not us.

The complexity of gin (while perfect for warm weather cocktails) is also full of unique flavors from various botanicals — making it an herbaceous addition to cold-weather cocktails, too. That’s why this fall, instead of just whiskeys and cognacs, we’re in search of new and interesting gins to try.

“Though gins are often complex in flavor, acquiring notes from a variety of botanicals and herbs, it’s rare to find significant distinction outside of a few general flavor profiles,” says David Bliszcz, bartender at The Franklin in New Orleans. “Oftentimes, a liquor rep will share new gins and each will inspire the same thought: ‘This tastes as if I’ve tasted it before. Nothing new to see here.’ However, there is certainly an opportunity for the ‘wow, I have never tasted anything like that before!’-effect and we’re eager to find those bottles.”

That’s what we’re looking for, too: the wow factor. To help us out, we asked some of our favorite bartenders to tell us their go-to new gins. And if that wasn’t enough, we chimed in with our personal choices.

Hendrick’s Orbium Gin

Alexis Brown, founder of Causing a Stir in Chicago

Hendrick’s Orbium, contrary to the original recipe it truly works better in classic gin cocktails because of the focus and addition of bittering agents quinine, wormwood, and blue lotus blossom to the recipe.

Green Hat Gin

Emmanuel “Manny” Pressley, bartender at Brabo Brasserie in Alexandria, Virginia

My favorite new gin is a local favorite. The folks at Green Hat make an outstanding product. It’s quite possibly one of my favorite gins to play with at home. Green Hat offers a great contrast to heavier juniper-based gins and provides enough botanicals to be a unique drinking experience. It also boasts a solid price point to comparable gins.

Roku Gin

Drew Hairston, beverage director at Dirty Habit in Washington, DC

I’ve been enjoying Roku Gin a lot lately. It’s from the Suntory portfolio and is a good stand-in for the increasingly hard to find Nikka Coffey Gin. It uses similar botanicals like yuzu, sencha, and sansho, which add a unique citrus profile making this perfect for tonics and Tom Collinses.

Gracias a dios Gin

Brittany Villafane, mixologist at db bistro moderne in New York City

For me, I’m obsessed over Gracias a Dios gin. It was made by students of Oaxaca University and is a 100% agave triple distilled with juniper and 32 botanicals and spices from Mexico.

Oxley Gin

Hemant Pathak, head mixologist at Junoon in New York City

Oxley, the first of its kind using 14 botanicals the cold (vacuum) distillation technique. A dry style with 47% ABV makes it perfect for cocktails.

Barr Hill Gin

Brian Krux, mixologist and bartender at Topnotch Resort in Stowe, Vermont

Barr Hill Gin is definitely the best new gin brand in my opinion. It is a different kind of gin experience. Because it is distilled with honey there is a sweet characteristic that plays so well in cocktails. For instance the Bees Knees cocktail takes on new life when using Barr Hill

Seersucker Southern Style Gin

David Bliszcz, bartender at The Franklin in New Orleans

The latest revelation is Seersucker Southern Style Gin. Distilled with a unique blend of honey and mint, this gin has an earthy quality with virtually no bite. Founders Kimberly and Trey Azar worked for more than a year to create a taste profile that is light on the palate, includes recognizable southern flavors, and maintains the nuances that a seasoned gin drinker could appreciate.

Guess what? They nailed it. And with a firm belief that presentation can be everything, I must add that the bottle is quite attractive in its seersucker stripes.

Boardroom Gin

Mary F Wiley, bartender at Sabroso+Sorbo in Philadelphia

What’s the best new gin and why? I love Boardroom Gin. It has strong botanicals and citrus with a more muted juniper flavor. Plus, it’s local to Philly.

Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin

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

While it’s been popular in Ireland for a few years now, Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin is now making its presence known in the states. Made from spices like Cardamom and Star Anise, with gunpowder tea and citrus, its unique flavors stand out against many traditional gins.

This expression’s subtle smoke and spice are perfect in a 50/50 martini or simply mixed with club soda in a highball for a refreshing drink anytime.

Treaty Oaks Waterloo Old Yaupon Gin

Dakota Marchio, lead bartender at Caroline in Austin

Treaty Oaks Distilling Waterloo Old Yaupon Gin has a unique blend of Yaupon Holly, Juniper, Makrut lime, anise, orris root, and wildflower honey that works well in cocktails or a G&T.

Future Gin

Cameron Shaw, head bartender at The Lookup in New York City

Future Gin out of California is totally delicious, bright and citrusy with a nose full of Meyer lemon and honeysuckle on top of a classic London Dry style body. Plus, it’s made by four awesome women in California who are committed to doing it right in service of a future that’s bright and inclusive.

Ford’s Officer’s Reserve Gin

Hilary Chadwick, director of food and beverage at Viviane in Beverly Hills, California

My pick is Ford’s Officer’s Reserve. It’s the latest to come from the 86 Company. Overproof and barrel rested, it’s the perfect gin for a 50/50 martini.

Wolffer Estate Rose Gin

Nikki McCutcheon, beverage director at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge in New York City

Wolffer Estate’s limited edition Rose Gin is definitely one of my favorites, mainly because of its unique production. Gin is defined as a neutral spirit distilled with Juniper and botanicals, so Roman Roth of Wolffer distilled their hugely popular Rose and infused it with their estate grown Juniper berries.

The product is a beautiful hint of pink, which has been trending for some time, and has a smooth floral finish that drinks well on its own, as well as in a cocktail.

Beehive Jack Rabbit Gin

Christopher Stephenson, bartender at The Vault in Salt Lake City

Beehive Jack Rabbit from Beehive Distilling. This sage-forward gin is softened up with some nice rose petal notes. On the rocks with a twist of grapefruit is the way to go with this one.

Apostles Gin

Phil Testa, beverage manager at The Rickey in New York City

Apostles Gin – by far. It is fairly new but certainly “new to me” and I am obsessed with it. It is from Argentina and made with some great local herbs and botanicals that make its profile truly special. At The Rickey, we just created the Rizzo, which is made with Apostoles Gin, Passion Fruit juice, fresh Grapefruit, and Lemongrass Syrup. It is extremely delicious and my new favorite cocktail on the menu

Jocassee Gin

Drew Breen, bar manager at Jianna in Greenville, South Carolina

My favorite newer bottle is Jocassee Gin. I love the fact that it’s made with the citrus trinity (orange, lemon, grapefruit) and only four botanicals.

Trail Trillium Gin

Brandon Lockman, lead bartender at Red Star Tavern in Portland, Oregon

I always go for something local. Take your pick. Micro distilleries are popping up everywhere and putting you within easy range of good product. Around here: Trail Distilling’s Trillium Gin is that bottle.

Jocassee Gin

Drew Breen, bar manager at Jianna in Greenville, South Carolina

My favorite newer bottle is Jocassee Gin. I love the fact that it’s made with the citrus trinity (orange, lemon, grapefruit) and only four botanicals.

EDITOR’S PICK: Whitley Neill Quince Gin

Steve Bramucci — Editorial Director, Uproxx Life

Flavored gins make a lot more sense to me than flavored vodkas, as there’s some precedent there and more complex notes that the flavoring has to be balanced against (botanicals). This “new to me” quince gin is bright and fruity but also incredibly lush. It’s not quite syrupy, but at 43% abv, it will at least vaguely remind you of a liqueur… in a nice way.

The gin itself is incredibly smooth and the hit of orange, apricot, and pear on the front of the taste mellows beautifully to a nice, smooth, quince flavor on the back end. Here’s how I say to use this gem: serve G&Ts with a nice, simple artisan tonic. Then make yourself a Spanish or Middle Eastern style cheese or snack plate with quince paste complementing manchego cheese.

Your quince double-up will be a smash, trust me — I’ve done it twice now.