Most mixology buffs will agree that gin is one of the most versatile cocktail spirits—whether you’re just pouring in tonic, stirring it into a martini, or shaking it into a much more complex drink. For centuries, it’s been a bar staple, and indeed, many of today’s predominant brands have a century (or more) of history behind them.  But recently, a dizzying number of smaller brands, from America and abroad, have entered the market. So which bottles are worth your time? Here’s a quick primer — whether you’re into the London Dry classics, newer upstart American brands, or unusual bottles that really expand the definition of the spirit.  —Carey Jones

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