22 Gins That Every Martini Lover Should Try

Not every gin is right for every cocktail –– these bottles are the best for Martini making.

A great Martini is one of the classics of the cocktail canon for a reason: It’s clean, it’s balanced, and it showcases the character of its two key ingredients in particularly interesting ways. Yet there are seemingly countless ways to construct one; not including the Martini’s many variations — dirty, Gibson, espresso, and so many more — even the standard is ripe for experimentation. How much vermouth should be employed? How big a glass should be used? Shaken or stirred? Any bitters?

All this commotion for a cocktail with just two main ingredients!

Gins to use for a martini

Matt Taylor-Gross

In order to narrow down this list of top gins for Martinis, then, I had to make some serious decisions. So: I opted for a carefully measured 5:1 ratio of gin to vermouth. There is a lively debate about the proper balance of these two components, but five parts gin to one part vermouth is a solid middle ground, producing a dry drink that’s not overwhelmingly boozy. (The original contained far more vermouth than most do today.) As for that vermouth, I went with Dolin Dry Vermouth de Chambéry, better known simply as Dolin. It’s easy to find and neither overly powerful nor too subtle. No bitters were used, but they can absolutely add a fascinating additional layer if you choose.

All test cocktails were stirred — please, don’t shake your classic Martinis — and assessed for aroma, flavor, and texture. After tasting through several dozen (none of them swallowed, but still…), one thing became clear: Good gin is a prerequisite for a great Martini, but not all gins that are great on their own make for a particularly appealing one. Some, it turns out, are just too idiosyncratic on their own to play well in the proverbial sandbox with vermouth. That’s why this list is missing a number of gins that I love to use in cocktails like a  Gin & Tonic or Martinez, but that didn’t shine when used to make a classic Martini. 

There are other gins that make fantastic Martinis that aren’t on this list but that should absolutely be considered part of any solid Martini rotation: Beefeater, Gordon’s, Bombay Sapphire, Plymouth, and Tanqueray, for example. Buy them, and use them proudly. But the 22 below should also be on your Martini rotation. All of them produce very different cocktails, are delicious in their own unique way, and showcase often unexpected sides to the most famous gin cocktail of them all.

The Best Gins to Use in a Martini

Atian Rose Gin

Crafted in South Africa and incorporating hand-foraged, local botanicals that express the country’s legendary fynbos (rooibos, licorice) this cardamom-forward Martini is spicy and ginger-flecked, with a well-calibrated rose note lifting it all. And depending on the ratio of vermouth you use, the pink-hued gin makes for a particularly lovely Martini in the glass.

Boodles London Dry Gin

Classic, with a sweet edge to the lemon-lime and floral notes. These are joined by a subtle herbaceousness that rounds it all out. Coriander seems to dominate the finish, lending a sense of freshness that demands another sip. Of note is the absence of citrus in this gin, which means you can be generous with your lemon twist!

Citadelle Juniper Decadence Gin de France

22 Best Gins to Use in a Martini

Maison Ferrand

The lifted floral notes here are really appealing, and true to this gin’s name, the juniper character is both perfumed and anchored. Not only that, but the gin is aged for a time in juniper-wood barrels, lending a sweet-spice edge to any Martini.

FAIR Juniper Gin

Best Gins to Make a Martini With


The spice really comes to the fore here, making for a distinctly savory Martini. Call this advanced-level drinking: Notes of tobacco, woodsy spices — cinnamon stick, allspice — and fresh lemon ring through the long finish, all of it vibrating with juniper berries that have been sourced from Fairtrade, organic farmers in Uzbekistan.

Gin Mare Capri Mediterranean Gin

This gin is distinctly summery in character with the woodsy orange notes of bergamot anchoring unexpected flavors of wild berries, candied lemon peels, and charming notes of orange creamsicle.

Gray Whale Gin

Best Gins to Make a Martini With

Gray Whale 

There is so much going on in this gin  made in California with botanicals including juniper from Big Sur, Sonoma fir tree, sea kelp from the Mendocino Coast, and Central Valley almonds. Somehow, they all work brilliantly together, resulting in a creamy, balanced, refreshing, and easy-drinking Martini that could make having a second one way too easy.

Greenhook Ginsmiths American Dry Gin

My Martini feels like it could benefit from a slightly higher ratio of Dolin. Interestingly, a 3:1 or even a 2:1 cocktail proves to be the sweet spot with this Brooklyn-born, assertive but sweet gin. The creamy herbal notes really sing in the context of more vermouth.

Highclere Castle London Dry Gin

22 Best Gins to Use in a Martini

John Shyloski

The lime-forward nature of this silk-textured Martini is surprisingly savory, and the framing of scrubby herbs, juniper, and subtly floral notes is exceptionally balanced through the spice-flecked finish.

KI NO BI Kyoto Dry Gin

Fascinating spice notes shine against lemon oils, verbena, and distinct tea flavors from the use of gyokuro tea, which is a shade-grown green tea, sourced from the Uji region of Japan. There is a nutty savoriness here, as well as a floral lift to the peppercorn that simmers through the finish. Note that the base of this gin is a rice spirit, making it even more unique.

Martin Miller’s Gin

Bracing and vividly piney, this gin amplifies the more nuanced botanicals in the vermouth while remaining true to its own character. It reminds me of a breath of fresh winter air first thing in the morning, and the interplay between juniper and spice amped up with citrus is especially excellent. 

Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin

22 Best Gins to Use in a Martini

Monkey 47

Singed mint, sage, and carob notes make this Martini somehow more powerful than the gin on its own. There is a balance of herbs alongside suggestions of crushed wild berries and simmering spice. An idiosyncratic Martini, and one that will win over lots of fans, including me.

Nikka Coffey Gin

Exceptionally elegant and citrus-forward with lemon, verbena, and herb notes (possibly from the angelica) shining from start to finish. Four types of Japanese citrus are incorporated into the production process, as are apples and Sansho pepper. Something minty comes through on the end, and a chamomile character lends this Martini excellent freshness and lift. 

Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin

Best Gins for a Martini


What a fascinating Martini, with fruit-forward cotton candy flavors that resolve in orange blossoms, springtime florals, and a Sichuan peppercorn spice note that builds through the saline finish, until it’s all that remains after the fruit vanishes.

Pelter Handmade Pink Lady Gin

Crafted in Israel with the unusual and ingenious addition of Pink Lady apples, this gin makes for a totally different kind of Martini. The apple notes are more savory than expected, with flavors reminiscent of mashed almonds providing further depth alongside Israeli sage, dog rose bulbs, and iris root. It made for one of the few Martinis that actually seems to get even more decadent as the chill comes off of it.

Roku Gin

Best Gins to use to make a martini

House of Suntory

Pure and pristine, this Suntory-crafted spirit makes a cocktail that will satisfy classic gin Martini obsessives while also  providing an excellent gateway for vodka fans looking to explore the world of gin. It’s made with two types of tea (Sencha, Gyokuro), sakura (or cherry blossom) leaf and flower, and more.

Sipsmith London Dry Gin

With its historically accurate London Dry Gin recipe, this new classic makes for a savory, velvety Martini in which lemon oils, coriander seeds, and juniper shine, and are perfectly balanced by a subtle nuttiness from the ground almonds used in its production.

Tamworth Garden White Mountain Gin

The addition of hops brings a wonderful sense of pine-y bitterness to each sip, which proves to be both bracing and concentrated. If ever there were a Martini to be paired with salty snacks, this is it: Alongside olives and charcuterie, it’s a home run.

The Botanist Islay Dry Gin

Quietly sophisticated, this makes a surprisingly powerful Martini that remains elegant to the end. Notes of hay, dried pears, and woodsy juniper are assertive but balanced.

The Revivalist Summertide Expression Botanical Gin

Best Gins to Make a Martini

Revivalist Summertide

Crafted in Chester County, Pennsylvania, The Revivalist includes an excellent range of seasonally inspired gins. This one incorporates peppermint, meadowsweet, and jasmine among other botanicals, and the result is a Martini that’s as refreshing and bright as it is comforting.

Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin

When you use Uncle Val’s, you can expect a totally unique Martini that’s bright and vibrant with cucumber and melon notes alongside lemon oil flavors that linger. 

Waterloo No. 9 Gin

From Treaty Oak Distilling in Dripping Springs, Texas, this gin makes for a sweetly spiced Martini, with clove and cinnamon taking the lead and secondary notes of citrus pith and carob following after. It feels like a perfect autumn option, but would be delicious year-round.

Vara Spirits High Desert Gin

Best Gins to Make a Martini With

Courtesy of Vara Winery and Distillery

Based on a spirit that was distilled from grapes grown in New Mexico, this small-batch gem creates a sweetly spiced Martini, with hints of cinnamon-dusted apples and black-licorice powder, but it’s the distinct hit of cardamom that makes this such a standout. Absolutely fascinating in a Martini — the classic reborn.

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