15 Popular Gin Brands, Ranked

There seems to be a stigma around gin. The spirit is often misunderstood and cast aside by so-called gin haters due to one bad experience when, in reality, it is a versatile, nuanced, bright spirit that comes in many different styles by many different brands. The only requirement of gin is that it includes juniper berries. Other than that, producers have free range to make the spirit entirely their own.

Gin contributes to so many different cocktails, both classic and modern, and if you are keen on keeping your home bar well stocked, it is never complete without a quality bottle of gin. Unlike other spirits, though, gin is widely inexpensive, so trying out different brands and finding your own personal preference is more accessible than you might think.

Under the current craft cocktail renaissance, gin is being given new life and new chances by drinkers eager to expand their alcoholic palette. If you are curious about the spirit or want to give it a fair chance, here is your guide to finding brands that will give you the best shot of becoming a proud gin drinker.

15. Gordon's Gin

The first gin brand on the list is one of the most historic. Gordon's Gin was founded by Alexander Gordon all the way back in 1769. The original distillery was opened in Southwark, London, but the brand's spirits are currently produced in Edinburgh under the ownership of Diageo.

The flagship bottle of Gordon's brand is its classic London Dry Gin, and the others include a Sicilian Lemon gin, Premium Pink, and Tropical Passionfruit. Gordon's cans and sells a gin and tonic cocktail made with its signature gin. Unfortunately, the base spirit is not the best foundation, so any expression built on top of it fails to perform.

Gordon's prides itself on being "the ginniest of gins" but this is actually more of a turnoff to us than it is alluring. While the juniper berry is supposed to take center stage in a London dry gin, it is also supposed to be well-balanced by a range of other botanicals. In the case of Gordon's, the unwavering dryness is what keeps people away from gin. At an average price of just $12 a bottle, this is gin is popular due to its price rather than its taste and quality.

14. Bombay Sapphire

Bombay Sapphire is another gin brand founded in London and also a producer of the city's namesake gin style. The distillery is located in Hampshire, England, and employs its own Master of Botanicals, a good sign for any gin producer. This person is tasked with finding the best botanicals possible to go into the gin, no matter where they might be found. In this brand's case, these botanicals include licorice from China, coriander from Morocco, and orris from Italy, to name a few.

The signature bottle of the brand is Bombay Sapphire, and others include Bombay Dry, the citrus-enhanced Premier Cru, the far east-inspired Sapphire East, and Bramble, which is naturally flavored with raspberries and blackberries. Bombay Sapphire also sells a canned gin and tonic, which is a refreshing and simple alternative to your typical hard seltzer.

This brand is very affordable, priced well below $30, but where Bombay Sapphire comes up short is exactly where a brand like Gordon's goes too big. Gin is supposed to be a juniper-centric spirit that is densely flavored and supported by surrounding botanicals, and Bombay Sapphire's character is just mild.

13. Aviation American Gin

Of all of the celebrity-owned spirit brands, Aviation American Gin is perhaps the most redeeming. The brand actually predates the ownership of actor Ryan Reynolds, who happened to discover the brand in a bar and, upon researching how small the company was, become one of its owners.

The only technical difference that makes Aviation an American gin is that it is made in America. This gin, the only bottle in the brand's catalog, is made with a typical range of botanicals found in a London dry gin such as lavender, coriander, anise, and, of course, juniper. It profiles definitely qualifies for being a dry gin, but its slightly smoother drinkability does make it distinct. This gin is not the most complex, but its straightforward and familiar character gives American gin some well-deserved kudos. Aviation's lack of variety is really the only thing missing. It is a classic-tasting gin made the traditional way and is a great buy for less than $30, so if you are curious about celebrity-owned spirits, you can rest assured this one will come through.

12. Gray Whale Gin

Speaking of promoting American gin, Gray Whale has been doing so since 2016. This gin is produced at Golden State Distillery, opened by the husband and wife team of Marsh and Jan Mokhtari. Both have a love for nature, which became the main inspiration behind their gin and the organizations it supports.

Gray Whale Gin is made using botanicals found along the annual journey the mammal takes along the pacific coast. These include sea kelp, Californian limes, mint, almonds, and fir trees, along with juniper berries. These botanicals are infused into a neutral spirit distilled six times, an ultra-smooth foundation on which they can prosper. This is the only bottle of the Gray Whale brand, but it is truly a one-of-a-kind gin that is also fairly priced.

Not only is this gin a reflection of these magnificent creatures, but a portion of its profits are also donated to Oceana, an ocean conservation non-profit. So, by going for a bottle, not only are you getting a super unique gin rich with botanicals specific to its environment, but you are also supporting an amazing cause.

11. Tanqueray

There may be no gin on the market more common than Tanqueray. This iconic London dry gin is most likely in stock at any place that sells gin, and its popularity is well deserved. It has been making gin since 1830 when it was founded in London but has since been acquired by Diageo.

Tanqueray's flagship bottle  is instantly recognizable as a London dry gin, with its juniper berry at the forefront of its profile. However, the other botanicals seem to get lost in the background, failing to come out and support the juniper. Even so, Tanqueray remains an excellent London dry gin, one of the fundamental expressions of the style, in fact.

It is the brand's Tanqueray No. 10, however, that deserves more credit. This expression of the brand is also a dry gin that has a much greater presence of citrus. This enhanced flavor does exceptionally well to propel the juniper forward while also making the spirit more vibrant and fruity. The price jump from the brand's flagship bottle  to its best one is about roughly $10, which is probably worth it, but the discrepancy between the two is worth noting.

10. Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin

Ireland is obviously much more well-known for its smooth whiskey and creamy stouts, but this next gin brand is representing both the Emerald Isle and East Asia very well. Drumshanbo Gunpowder gets its name from a town in County Leitrim and the tea that goes into the brand's gin. Gunpowder tea is a type of green tea that is dried out and, in this case, used to infuse gin.

The other botanicals that go into Drumshanbo Gunpowder include Indonesian grapefruit, Kaffir lime from Cambodia, meadowsweet from Drumshanbo, and other typical gin ingredients. It is the gunpowder tea, though, that makes this gin stand out. It is bright, vibrant, and delicate; the perfect complement to the foundational juniper. This gin is a result of combining two things that otherwise would never go together, and it is safe to say it worked out very well.

Other gins in the Drumshanbo Gunpowder catalog include Californian Orange Citrus and Sardinian Citirus, two naturally flavored expressions that kick up the lemon and grapefruit botanicals. This is a very unique brand of gin and one you definitely should not miss.

9. Roku Gin

Roku Gin is another brand combining traditional gin-making methods with ingredients from East Asia, in this case, Japan. The Roku brand belongs to Suntory, a Japanese beverage company that was founded back in 1899. Roku Gin is just spirit under the Suntory name, and it is the only expression of gin by the brand.

The inspiration behind Roku is to craft a gin that utilizes Japanese ingredients at their peak aroma and flavor. The six Japanese botanicals that go into it are Sakura flower, Sakura leaf, Yuzu peel, Sencha tea, Gyokuro tea, and Sansho pepper, all of which are harvested at their peaks. They are combined with other typical gin botanicals to make a gin that is distinctly Japanese. Even the bottle itself is a symbol of the mindfulness that goes into it. Bottles of Roku Gin are shaped like hexagons, representing the six botanicals. Roku Gin is another unique and crystal clear gin that is delicate and made with great attention to detail.

8. Hendrick's Gin

This next gin brand is one of the most respected in the industry. Hendrick's is a botanically rich gin made in Scotland. It is made traditionally and has an alcohol content of 44%, per the brand's site, but it is not actually classified as a dry gin. Hendrick's is great if you are looking for a gin that introduces new botanicals but is still familiar and classic in its character.

The flagship bottle of Hendrick's includes botanicals like chamomile, elderflower, and other ingredients common in Scotland. Then, after distillation, the gin is infused with rose and cucumber. Other bottles in Hendrick's catalog take these bright botanicals to another level. Its Flora Adora expression is garden-inspired with bursting floral notes and the others include a sea-inspired gin, a citrus-forward one, and the special edition Midsummer Solstice.

Hendrick's flagship bottle remains supreme, though, and is one of the most flavorful gins on the market. However, it barely remains under $40 and its additional expressions come at an even higher price, landing it at a middle spot in this ranking.

7. Sipsmith Gin

Sipsmith is one of the newer brands on this list and offers one of the most diverse lineups of the spirit, including different styles altogether. Its most fundamental expression is a classic London Dry, but it's Sipsmith's other expressions that make it stand out. These include the Lemon Drizzle, Zesty Orange, Strawberry Smash, and V.J.O.P, or "Very Junperry Over-Proof."

Sipsmith also makes a Sloe Gin, a style that largely flies under the radar. Sloe Gin is made by resting gin on sloe berries, which Sipsmith harvests at their peak in the fall. The gin absorbs the flavor of the berries and its ABV is reduced, making Sloe Gin perfect for low-alcohol cocktails or just adding some more dimension to classic ones.

Sipsmith produces an outstanding, well-rounded lineup of gin, but its most unique takes on the spirit are priced quite high. Its flagship London Dry is within a reasonable price range, however, and if you do spend the money on the others, you will definitely get your money's worth.

6. Empress 1908

Empress 1908 has become one of the most iconic gins on the market simply because its color makes it stand out. This indigo gin is made with butterfly pea blossom, which imparts a deep indigo color as well as unique earthy flavor notes. This gin is an instantaneous way to up the aesthetic of any gin cocktail, but its appeal goes far beyond its appearance.

Empress 1908 is also made using a tea blend made up of teas from all over the world, as well as cinnamon bark, ginger, rose petal, coriander, and juniper. These botanicals combine for a gin that is floral, fruity, and spicy but still driven by the dry juniper.

This very special makeup is directly inspired by the Fairmont Empress Hotel in British Columbia, Canada, which opened in 1908. This gin is a reflection of the hotel's sophistication, elegance, and combination of timeless style and modern influence. The only thing lacking in Empress 1908 is there are no other bottles to choose from. However, the gin that it does make is so good that producing any others really isn't necessary.

5. Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin

We have traveled all over the globe to different countries, continents, and hemispheres throughout this list, and the journey continues with Monkey 47, a German gin brand producing the spirit in the Bavaria region. The brand was inspired by Montgomery Collins, who used his unique and well-traveled upbringing to create a gin reflective of his experiences. Collins's father was a diplomat in East Asia, where he lived for years before his military career in Berlin and finding home thereafter in the Black Forest. Through all of his ventures, Collins's compiled a selection of botanicals to make his gin, and there is no location highlighted more than the Black Forest.

The one-of-a-kind botanicals found here make for an equally special gin. Monkey 47 is nuanced and complex and unlike any other gin on the market. The only setback is that it is expensive. The flagship bottle of the brand costs over $60, which definitely exceeds competitors. The annual "Distillers Cut" release and other special editions are even more pricey. However, if gin is your spirit and you don't mind splurging on a bottle, it does not get much better than this one.

4. Plymouth Gin

Plymouth Gin is one of the most classic brands out there, founded back in 1793 in England. Plymouth has always made its gin in its own style, revolutionizing the citrus-forward category of the spirit. In fact, Plymouth gin has become its own class  and was first started by this brand, and while it is made using traditional London Dry methods, it has cemented itself as its very own.

Plymouth's signature expression is technically a dry gin, but its bright and vibrant citrus character makes its function a bit more nuanced than a typical dry gin. This gin is best in any spirit-forward cocktail, like a martini, for example, and a lemon or orange twist will make it that much better. Plymouth's lineup does not stop there, though. There's also Plymouth Sloe, Fruit Cup, and a Navy Strength .

The entire Plymouth lineup is a very affordable and versatile one. This brand has been around for a long time for good reason, so if you have never had an introduction to the Plymouth category, do not hesitate to seek this brand out.

3. Bar Hill

Bar Hill is another American brand of gin that take full advantage of the lush and abundant natural resources found in the state of Vermont. Bar Hill's flagship expression is made with juniper, other typical botanicals, and raw honey for an intensely flavored, rounded, rich-tasting gin. Since its establishment in 2012, it has won Bar Hill countless awards on the international stage, and its Tom Cat gin is nothing short of spectacular, either.

Bar Hill Tom Cat gin is matured in American oak, similar to bourbon whiskey. This takes the honey notes to a whole other level, enriching them with barrel notes of vanilla and caramel. Gin is most commonly enjoyed in cocktails, but Tom Cat is well suited for sipping straight. It's that good. As if you needed any more convincing to try out this amazing brand of gin, Bar Hill has been sponsoring Bee's Knees Week since 2016, an annual celebration of the cocktail and the hardworking bees that contribute to the brand's gin.

2. The Botanist Islay Dry Gin

The runner-up of the list is courtesy of the Scottish wonderland of Islay. While the isle is most known for its peaty and smoky scotch whisky, the abundance of fresh botanicals that grow there are put to the ultimate use with The Botanist Islay Dry Gin.

The Botanist is made with 22 hand-foraged, wild botanicals. These include birch leaves, wild thyme, wood sage, water mint, oris root, a collection of wildflowers, and barks. The Botanist is the most botanically rich gin on the market. It is bursting with an array of flavor notes that all contribute to something greater than the sum of its parts. The Botanist is ideal for the most simple gin cocktails, and switching up different tonic waters effortlessly brings even more life out of it.

This brand also offers the Plant Conservation edition, which is sold to raise money for botanical garden conservation. The Botanist is proud of the land that forms its spirit, and this passion for fresh and all-natural ingredients comes through in every ounce of its gin. We love this one a lot, clearly, but this brand was just shy of taking first place.

1. Beefeater Gin

The number one spot on the list goes to Beefeater Gin, one of the most historic brands of gin on the market and one that has called London its home for the entirety of its lengthy lifespan. Beefeater was established all the way back in 1863 and has been an industry leader since. In 1995, the brand hired Desmond Payne as its Master Distiller, one of the most experienced gin makers on the planet. 

The products of Beefeater are reflective of Payne's expertise, as each one is as balanced, approachable, and versatile as any other. The secondary bottles in the Beefeater lineup include a Pink Strawberry expression and Beefeater 24, which is made by steeping 12 botanicals in the gin for 24 hours for a bolder, more refined rendition of its classic recipe.

Beefeater's flagship bottle remains the best gin on the market when all things are considered. Its profile promotes the juniper with an extensive and classic range of supporting botanicals. Its character is balanced, sharp, and complex, making it perfect for any cocktail you can think of no matter how basic or complex. Plus, at an average price of less than $20, it simply can't be beaten. It is the quintessential London Dry Gin, and if you only ever buy one bottle of the spirit, this is the one to get.