The Martini definitely had its moment this year. Whether it’s loaded with olive brine or served dry with a twist, drinkers fell head over heels for the drink’s elegance and endless options for customization. If one of the loved ones on your gifting list happens to be one of those drinkers, a quality bottle of gin is a great place to start. Beyond the Martini, though, gin has great range on the bar cart, and is an important component in cocktails from the bright aperitivo-hour Negroni to the refreshing Corpse Reviver #2.
Though it’s a requirement that juniper plays the leading role in any gin, an increasing number of innovative producers are highlighting more complementary botanicals, which means there’s a wider range of flavor profiles than ever before. The list below showcases gin’s versatility, with some bottles bursting with fresh floral and citrus flavors and others leaning more into the savory side (did someone say pickle Martini?). There are bottles made in the traditional London Dry style as well as more experimental gins from the U.S., Spain, Mexico, and beyond. So, get in the holiday spirit and celebrate the year of the Martini with these seven bottles.
Best Budget Gin: Aviation Gin
Best Splurge Gin: Abrojo Gin Dry Gin Ancestral
Best Gin for Beginners: Bombay Sapphire Premier Cru Murcian Lemon
Best Gin for Geeks: Xoriguer Mahón Gin
Best Gin for Cocktail Lovers: Sipsmith London Dry Gin
Best Gin to Impress: Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry
Best Limited-Edition Gin: Citadelle ‘Vive le Cornichon’
Best Budget Gin
For the cocktail enthusiast who’s also a Ryan Reynolds enthusiast, this gin brings ample character at a great price point. It has aromas of fresh citrus and pepper and a delightfully smooth palate with notes of orange peel and a touch of juniper. Name any classic build — a gin Martini, Last Word, or even the Aviation itself — this option will deliver.
Average price: $25
Best Splurge Gin
This distinctive gin from Mexico departs from the spirit’s typical flavor profile, and it totally works. It’s made with spent agave fiber that’s refermented with wild yeast and spring water, and the resulting gin evokes the smoky flavor of mezcal. The palate also brings a melange of vibrant botanicals like lemongrass and lemon verbena while still managing to deliver the spirit’s signature juniper note. It’s the perfect gift for a gin enthusiast seeking something new, or a mezcal drinker looking to explore a new category.
Average price: $84
Best Gin for Beginners
The original Bombay Sapphire is renowned for its citrus-forward profile, and this new release packs an even more intense flavor. It’s crafted with lemon, mandarin, and sweet orange sourced from Murcia, Spain, resulting in a pop of zesty citrus notes. These generous fruit flavors and bright aromas make this a more approachable bottle that’s ideal for those just starting to dip their toe in the spirit.
Average price: $35
Best Gin for Geeks
Introduce your friend who thinks they’ve tried it all to this out-there bottle this holiday season. It’s made on the Spanish island of Menorca, distilled from grapes in wood-fired alembic stills that range from 70 to 270 years old. And the juniper berries used for this bottling were aged for up to four years in open crates at the distillery, exposing them to the salt-rich sea air. The ocean influence comes out in the gin through its mineral-driven notes of citrus, pepper, and salt. Yes, your gin-geek pal will absolutely eat this up.
Average price: $37
Best Gin for Cocktail Lovers
Do your friend who’s really into mixology a favor and add this quintessential London Dry gin to their at-home stash. It’s accessible and affordable while still providing that craft spirit feel. Brimming with bright notes like lemon zest, black pepper, and crushed juniper berries, this gin adds great character to a cocktail, whether it’s a strong Martini or a refreshing G&T.
Average price: $33
Best Gin to Impress
Crafted in Germany’s Black Forest mountain range, Monkey 47 ranks among the most renowned and sought-after gins for spirit enthusiasts. True to its name, it’s made with 47 botanicals, most of which are hand picked from the distillery’s surrounding woodlands. And high-quality ingredients really come through in this intensely expressive gin: Aromas of dried cranberries and raspberries jump out of the glass with hints of spices and herbs. The palate is expertly balanced with notes of orange blossom, grapefruit peel, and coriander seeds, all tied up with a punch of juniper on the finish. As one of the best high-quality gins on the market right now, it’s sure to impress as a holiday gift.
Average price: $66
Best Limited-Edition Gin
France’s Citadelle distillery recently added this playful flavor to its limited-edition Les Excentriques collection, and we’re here for it. If there’s a dirty Martini lover in your life (or pickle enthusiast, for that matter), this bottle was built for them. While the idea of cornichon-flavored anything seems frivolous, this is no gimmick — it’s well balanced and has a solid juniper backbone to support the prominent pickle aromas.
Average price: $35