The current gin growth has launched an exorbitant variety of unfamiliar bottles for drinkers to select from. Some of those new-wave gins have a powerful concentrate on terroir and provenance, highlighting the spirit’s distinctive capability to showcase botanicals native to a particular area; others search to imitate the standard juniper-forward profiles of a London dry; others nonetheless are sizzling pink.
While these choices have offered recent flavors for bartenders to experiment with, they’ve additionally flooded retailer cabinets, making it tough to parse one bottle from the subsequent. According to Dawn Davies, head purchaser for the web retailer Whisky Exchange, this has solely pushed customers again towards the classics. “In times of uncertainty, we like to go back to familiarity—and, in the case of gin, that means London dry–style gins with some nuance,” she says. “Over the last six months, our bestselling gins, both online and on-trade, have been modern classics such as Sipsmith, The Botanist, Hendrick’s and so on.”
The attraction of those bestsellers is, undoubtedly, their versatility: In a cocktail, gin’s botanicals have to be balanced and never overpowering. For many bartenders, which means sticking to expressions that embrace the core botanicals, reminiscent of juniper, coriander, angelica root and citrus peel. “When it comes to choosing a spirit like gin, we generally go for one that doesn’t have a flavor profile that dominates other flavors,” says Guillaume Quenza, head bartender and co-owner at Fréquence in Paris. “We want the gin to have a nice texture, balanced flavor with a long finish, and [be] at least 80 proof or higher to stand up to the other flavors paired with it.”
At Scarfes Bar in London, head bartender Yann Bouvignies usually begins with the imaginative and prescient and total taste profile of the drink, then works backwards to discover a gin that has complementary botanicals. “The beauty of gin is that it can be so diverse, which is perfect for creating an array of different styles of cocktails,” he says.
With this breadth of gins available on the market, there may be undoubtedly a gin for each cocktail and event—although some are extra adaptable than others. To reduce by the fats, we surveyed 13 bartenders from world wide, asking for his or her go-to gins for mixing in cocktails. Here’s what they needed to say.