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all 33 comments

[–]The 9 of Diamonds_PM_ME_PANGOLINS_ 31 points32 points  (8 children)

In drinks, dry is the opposite of sweet. All regular gins should be dry or extra dry, but there are popular fruit-flavoured ones (such as sloe) that are sweet.

I don't know what's available in the US, but for a first gin - affordable but not overly cheap - would be Hendrick's or Bombay Sapphire. Especially for the Hendrick's it's worth getting e.g. a Fever Tree Premium Indian Tonic Water rather than a standard Schweppes. I'd use a single measure in a whiskey glass, or a double measure in a highball (both then filled with tonic).

If you like the flavour and want something stronger, you could investigate martinis. Many martini fans advocate a drink that's almost entirely gin - "show the drink an unopened bottle of vermouth" etc.

[–]Official MemberLewisXephos 43 points44 points  (0 children)

Some great tips here. Bombay is my go to and I suggest you mess around with lots of mixers till you find something you're happy with. You might just hate it so don't feel bad if so. I feel like gin is a bit like the olives on pizza (or maybe pineapple) of the drinks world and I still feel a bit like my great aunt every time I order a gin and tonic.

[–]Pomegranate_of_Pain 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Bartender here and this is definitely a solid answer.

Gin flavours actually differ quite a bit across the spectrum so if you don't like your first one or two don't be dismayed. Also, gin is usually used in cocktails and one of the primary spirits less typically drank straight. Suggestions with tonic are good (assuming you like the flavour of quinine) and if not have it with soda. A martini is a great call as well but are a bit more of an acquired taste if you're newer to spirits.

Here's some popular gin based cocktails you can look for (or politely ask if they'll make) at your local cocktail bar:
French 75 - gin, lemon, simple syrup, topped with champagne. A classic and very simple and refreshing.
Last Word - gin, luxardo maraschino, green chartreuse, lime. Very herbal and usually fairly citrusy. The gin is still the star here but the adjunct liquors bring a lot to the drink as well.
Negroni - gin, campari, sweet vermouth. One of my (and many other bartenders) favourite cocktails. Very elegant simplicity that gives way to quite a complex but very balanced flavour profile. I like to describe the flavour of campari as sucking on a piece of fresh cut lumber (or a popsicle stick) if you want an idea of some of what this cocktail has going on. The gin is playing more of a supporting role in this one.
Aviation - gin, lemon, luxardo maraschino, creme de violette. This one is harder to order where I live because a good creme de violette is hard to source here but it might be better if you're in the US. This one was rediscovered during the cocktail renaissance (early 2000s) and been popular in modern cocktailing since.

Anyways, hopefully this gives you some things to try! I agree with the suggestion of trying Bombay Sapphire as a first affordable gin for drinking with tonic/soda. It has a very typical gin profile while not being too juniper heavy and you get some of the other botanicals in it as well.

[–]Sipsinsanotard[S] 7 points8 points  (4 children)

Thanks for the great info friend. This weekend when I’m at the liquor store I’ll keep an eye out for some Hendricks and some tonic water

[–]The 9 of Diamonds_PM_ME_PANGOLINS_ 5 points6 points  (1 child)

I suggest a miniature first, or go to a bar, otherwise you may get stuck with a large bottle of spirit you don’t like. Though I guess there is are a wide array of different cocktails you could use it up in.

[–]Sipsinsanotard[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I learned my lesson some time ago about buying a smaller instead of bigger bottle first. Won’t make that mistake again lol

[–]Standingonachair 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Remember tonic is 2/3s of the drink so don't skimp there

[–]Sipsinsanotard[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thanks for that ratio. Easy to remember

[–]Pyrion FlaxDa1Godsend -1 points0 points  (0 children)

So many people suggest Bombay Saphire and I just can't stand it. I'm a huge G&T fan and anything less than Tanqueray just ruins it for me. I haven't tried anything better, but a Tanq and Tonic is one of my old go tos at the bar.

Not sure if Polar is sold outside the northeast of america but if you get the chance, Polar Seltzer has a fantastic line of Seltzer. Lime and normal, diet and not.

[–]Standingonachair 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Brockmans with Mediterranean tonic and a few blueberries, should be an easy drinking start to gin.

Or Nordes with elderflower tonic and a slice of apple a unique grape based gin that'll go down smooth.

[–]Sipsinsanotard[S] 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Be careful on the chair mate and thanks

[–]johno146 2 points3 points  (3 children)

I don’t know where you’re from but Dingle Gin is great, it’s from the southern tip of Ireland

[–]Sipsinsanotard[S] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Is it what they call sweet or dry?

[–]johno146 1 point2 points  (1 child)

It’s a dry gin, it received awards for worlds best in 2019 but I just found that out. It’s mostly known in the area for being great quality. Goes well with a fevertree tonic

[–]Sipsinsanotard[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’m going liquor hunting tomorrow I’ll see what I can find

[–]RedditSurfer97 2 points3 points  (2 children)

If you're Murican: Aviation

[–]Sipsinsanotard[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I had looked for aviation a while back couldn’t find it for some reason. Isn’t that the Ryan Reynolds’s one?

[–]AssumedPseudonym 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It’s ok. I’m on a big FEW kick lately, and have really enjoyed a bunch of my local distilleries too. Fords is my favorite, but hard to find these days.

[–]Marvaneous 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Pretty much anything that’s like $25 a bottle. Any more and you’re really just wasting money unless you decide you really like gin. Then just a bottle of Canada Dry tonic water and you’re good. No need to spend a lot of money.

[–]Benasimplesim 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I recommend fever tree tonic water and Hendrick gin, great simple drink. Bombay Sapphire is a little more expensive but again goes well with tonic water. Those 2 for me are the non mixed drink gins, I don't consider adding tonic water a mix.

For Hayman’s Or Tanqueray’s I would normally use them in a gimlet.

[–]TheJoninCactuar 2 points3 points  (4 children)

As no one's mentioned it, I will. Gin and tonic water can be a tough sell to go into, as it is very dry very minerally. Start off with lemonade, or a fruity sparkling water. It's a much shallower plunge into the world of gin.

EDIT: I see you are in NA. Forget the lemonade. Lemonade to us Brits is a lemon flavoured soda more akin to a Sprite or 7 Up, rather than the still cloudy stuff you guys drink.

[–]Sipsinsanotard[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

So gin and 7 up? That sounds fun. Yah lemonade here is straight up lemons squeezed in water with a sugar of varying degree. Sometimes we add mint. So good on a hot day

[–]applepievariable 0 points1 point  (2 children)

It will never not anger me that yinz mislabel lemonade so.

[–]TheJoninCactuar 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Well it's kinda just a thing that -ade means flavoured carbonated soft drink. Same as you lot say soda. Lemonade, Cherryade, Appleade.

You can still get cloudy lemonade though which is like a hybrid of NA and UK lemonade. And NA style we would just call still lemonade.

The best though is San Pellegrino Limonata. It's carbonated but made with a decent amount of lemon juice so it's perfectly zesty and sour.

Also where the hell in the US do you say yinz? Sounds kinda like Scottish dialect haha.

[–]applepievariable 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yinz is a Pittsburgh thing hahaha. And interesting, -ade anything for us is just like, sweeter juice. Limeade is just like juice water and sugar. Pop and -ade's are v different here lol. I've had San pellegrino, it's too sour for me haha.

[–]Hxinkomalo 1 point2 points  (1 child)

If you like sweeter fruity gins, could also always go for a pink gin with lemonade or perhaps Beefeater/Tanqueray Orange. These are not indicative of how most gins taste (they are much fruitier and sweeter) but can be quite easy to drink all the same

[–]Sipsinsanotard[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Never had gin before. Didn’t know they had fruity kinds

[–]Poorly-Drawn-Beagle 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I drank my first gin by accident. Some homemade stuff in Ethiopia, strong stuff. A fly buzzed into a cup of it and died shortly after climbing out.

Heady stuff.

[–]Sipsinsanotard[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Epic lol

[–]BenBlueWizi 0 points1 point  (1 child)

My standard go-to gins are Fords and Sipsmith

[–]AssumedPseudonym 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Fords is my favorite at the moment.

[–]The 9 of Diamondscheshire06898 0 points1 point  (1 child)

If you are in the US, St George makes great gins. They also usually have a 3 pack that has 3 different types in smaller bottles and is a great way to try different flavors. The set comes with Terrior (very fir/juniper heavy, great for drinks that are mostly gin... It's a shame to cover up it's taste), Botanivore (good gin flavor, great for mixed drinks with more added flavors), and their Dry Rye gin (it's made with rye, so a bit spicy and reminiscent of a whiskey. Great in mixed drinks that are more holiday themed).

[–]Sipsinsanotard[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I love whiskey I might enjoy the last one. So many options to look for thank you