American craft gins are enjoying quite a heyday right now, and it’s great to see liquor store shelves stocked with intriguing new spirits flavored with Douglas fir and California bay laurel. But any gin enthusiast should have a firm grasp on the classics, and it doesn’t cost much to educate yourself on the distinguished English gins that bartenders have revered for decades. Every home bar should include at least one of these tasty stalwarts.
(Note: These are English gins, not UK gins, which means no Hendrick’s or Tanqueray. No offense to the Scottish—but those gins deserve their own post.)
One of the original London dry-style gins, Gordon’s was first distilled in 1769. The recipe has remained the same since its inception, but we do know that Gordon’s gets its clean flavor from plenty of juniper berries, coriander seeds and citrus peels. Don’t be afraid of the low price. Gordon’s is a terrific, basic bottle to have on hand for cocktails like gin and tonics and gimlets.