5 Must-Have Gins for Your Well-Stocked Bar
We all know someone who refuses to drink gin, and that someone may very well be you. But a well-stocked bar requires gin. After all, you can't make classic cocktails like a (real) martini, a negroni, a Tom Collins or even your standard gin and tonic without a little of the old "Blue Ruin." So let's get to work.
The first key to liking gin is to stop drinking well gin. Get some good stuff. Of course, that requires knowing what good gin is and what gins work best for what drinks. Here are five examples of "Dutch Courage" that'll round out your well-stocked bar.
Hayman's Old Tom
Old Tom Gin is the historical name for the kind of gin that was being made in England after the whole idea of gin was adopted from the Dutch, but before the making of it was honed to an art. Old Tom is not bathtub gin. It's legitimate, infused, distilled gin. An Old Tom is going to be mildly sweet and not have quite as much juniper flavor as a dry gin, It will have a softer profile, and Hayman's creates a high-quality version of this classic spirit. This is the gin you need for making those tasty and refreshing Tom Collins cocktails you'll be sipping on the patio all summer.
Berry Bros. & Rudd No. 3
The story goes that the Dutch invented gin and English soldiers became so obsessed with it that they brought it home after the 80 Years War. So it stands to reason that if you're going to have a well-stocked bar, it must include at least one Dutch gin. Berry Bros. & Rudd No. 3 is just that Dutch-made gin. It's made in the style of a London Dry, but also boasts a light, citrusy flavor. They keep it simple as far as the blend of aromatics is concerned, using just three fruits and spices. This particular gin will be your sipper, or the one you splash with a tasty tonic and a twist of lime.
Seagram's Extra Dry
If you aren't interested on blowing your booze budget on gin, but would still like to have something good for your guests who partake, pick up a $12 bottle of Seagram's Extra Dry Gin. For the money, this is a surprisingly delicious gin. It's not going to be great for a negroni or a martini, but gimlets and tonics are right up its alley. Don't be turned off by the scent of this gin, as it can lean toward medicinal. The flavor is smooth with a fresh balance of juniper and citrus. The mild sweetness and creamy texture make it a proper addition to the gin section of your well-stocked bar.
Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin
In some instances, it is absolutely okay to judge a gin by its bottle and name. This is especially true if the gin is Germany's Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin. This gin is so unusual, you should add it to your bar just so you can talk about it. A blend of six peppers and no fewer than 19 other botanicals is steeped in French molasses alcohol for more than a day before the distillation process begins. Then, the distilled spirit is left in earthenware for three months to age. Spicy, floral, earthy flavors make the taste of this gin complex and unique. The bottle will start a conversation, but the flavor will keep it going. Simply, there is no other gin like it.
Gilpin's Westmoreland Extra Dry
Finally, if you're going to stock gin in your bar, you might as well go with the best gin in the world. In 2014, Gilpin's Westmoreland Extra Dry Gin received the World Gin Award as the World's Best Traditional Gin. This juniper gin also has earthy, herbal and floral notes due to the perfect blend of eight botanicals added in creation. This classic London dry gin is always at or near the top of any lists of the best gins in the world. Use it to mix a dry martini for a guest, and you will have a friend for life.
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