5 Best Gins for Beginners
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5 Best Gins for Beginners

The shelves of the Mothers Ruin gin bar, which stocks 144 gins from around the globe. Don’t let that overwhelm you; instead, look to the five best gins for beginners. (Photo: Rodger Bosch/Getty Images)

Starting to sample a new liquor category can feel daunting — you don’t know what you’re looking for besides a bottle with some words on it. And when it comes to gin, the number of brands in production makes choosing one like throwing a dart in an ocean and hoping to nab a fish. Don’t waste your efforts; here are five best gins for the beginner gin drinker.

Plymouth Gin

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Described as soft and citrusy, this gin makes for a smart beginner’s choice. Other tasting notes to expect are candied zest, cardamom and coriander. Plymouth Gin is produced in — you guessed it — Plymouth, England, and is one of few gins with a geographical indication.

Plymouth Gin is sweeter than the average dry gin, which will open your palate to gin botanicals without being too hot to handle. You can usually find this 41.2% ABV gin for under $35, nice!

Beefeater London Dry Gin

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This gin has it all: balanced juniper and citrus, mixing versatility and a thrifty price tag. Beefeater is a classic London Dry gin that begs to be enjoyed in any standard gin cocktail your bartender could dream of. Beefeater is also known for its clean flavor; therefore, making it a good stepping stone to moving on to more complex gins.

You can snag yourself a 44% ABV bottle for under $30, so you don’t have to sacrifice quality for price.

Hendrick’s Gin

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Hendrick’s is a modern styled gin, so juniper is downplayed in favor of other botanicals. Cucumber and rose, oh my. Hendrick’s has just the right amount of rose flavor for a beginner gin drinker. Since flowers are frequently used in flavoring gin, it’s important to be familiar with floral notes.

The original Hendrick’s Gin can be found for around $35, bottled at 44% ABV. Don’t forget to garnish your cocktail with some cucumber slices!

Roku Gin

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This gin uses six Japanese botanicals. Sakura flowers and leaves work in harmony with sansho pepper and green tea. Roku Gin is modern, but still pleases seasoned gin drinkers. So, why can’t it do the same for you? Roku Gin is known for being crisp and easy to mix with almost anything. This gin also allows the beginner to sample the savory side of gin, as the sansho pepper lends a unique vegetal essence.

Roku Gin can be bought for about $30, bottled at 43% ABV. It’s also nice that with the gin, you get a pretty floral-embossed bottle.

Tanqueray No. Ten Gin

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After you’ve tried the above liquors and strengthened your gin palate, look to the green bottle. Tanqueray is a gin head honcho and you’ve likely already had their classic London Dry. You’re a beginner to gin, but you’re still adventurous. So, try Tanqueray No. Ten to taste gin at its prime. Tanqueray No. Ten adds whole citrus fruits and chamomile flowers to the botanical mix.

This gin also happens to be on one of Stanley Tucci’s favorites, so you know you’re about to sip something with class.

Tanqueray No. Ten Gin is top shelf, but can be found for around $45, bottled at 47.3% ABV. Enjoy this gin by sipping it neat, if you haven’t tried that yet.

Read next:

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The Best Gins for Every Type of Tequila Lover

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Candie Getgen is the managing editor for Gin Raiders. Before immersing herself in the world of spirits journalism, Candie has been many things: a bartender, a literary journal editor, an English teacher — and even a poet. Now, Candie shares her passion for gin with the world and hopes to help others fall in love with it, too (if they haven't already!). When not writing, Candie enjoys sipping a Negroni while drawing or relaxing by the pool with a campy mystery novel.