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The 7 Best Gins for a Perfect Gin and Tonic

Get ready to elevate your cocktail game and savor the flavors of these exceptional tonic-worthy gins. (Photo: Laure Noverraz/Unplash)

Originating in the 19th century, the iconic gin and tonic combination emerged when British soldiers in India mixed gin with quinine-based tonic water to make the bitter cure for malaria more palatable. The recipe evolved with additions like citrus fruit, usually lime, and bitters as it reached England.

Today, the beloved gin and tonic remains a popular cocktail enjoyed in homes, bars and restaurants worldwide. While almost any gin you grab off the shelf is designed to be paired with tonic, some just make for a better, more elevated cocktail.

To help you get your mixology on, here are the seven best gins to use in a classic gin and tonic cocktail.

Rehorst Gin

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Produced in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at Great Lakes Distillery, Rehorst Gin is a modern-style gin with a classic dry approach. While this gin is great in a martini, as evidenced by its bottle’s label, it makes for a stellar gin and tonic.

Rehorst Gin’s aroma features sweet cream, honey, lemon, ginger, juniper, pepper and pleasant floral notes. The palate showcases a balanced blend of sweet citrus, pepper, orange peel and juniper, with a thick mouthfeel. Basil adds vibrancy, and the finish balances subtle pepper and herbal elements.

Find this 44%-ABV gin for under $35.

Death’s Door

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Distilled in Wisconsin at Death’s Door Distillery, Death’s Door Gin incorporates locally sourced botanicals, including juniper, fennel and coriander. This London dry gin is bottled at 47% ABV, making it a punchy spirit that holds up well against bitter tonic.

On the nose, this gin offers citrus, rosemary, basil and pepper aromas. A sip reveals a combination of creaminess, vanilla, anise, brown butter, pepper and, surprisedly, bubblegum. The finish is sweet with hints of cinnamon, more bubblegum, lemon, lime — and even potato rolls.

Find this powerful gin for around $32.

Falcon Spirits Botanica

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Falcon Spirits Botanica is a vapor-infused gin made from non-GMO corn. Distilled six times in small batches of less than 300 bottles, this gin incorporates citrus during a winter infusion, rests for a month and is then proofed with cucumber water. Hello, hello, we see a cucumber garnish in this gin’s tonic cocktail future.

This gin boasts bold juniper, citrus, cucumber, cream, honey and a zest nose. On the palate, it delivers a rich experience with cucumber, lemon, honey and crisp juniper. The finish is long and captivating, featuring pepper, rising bread, cucumber and honey.

This gin is priced at about $35 and rests at 45% ABV.

Griffo Scott Street Gin

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Griffo Scott Street Gin is Griffo Distilling’s interpretation of a crisp English gin and makes for a particularly refreshing gin and tonic.

The nose is vibrant, floral and effervescent, featuring coriander, lavender, pepper, juniper and a fresh citrus snap. The medium-bodied palate offers a pleasant coating, balanced with honey, pepper, floral notes and the harmonious blend of coriander and cardamom. The clean and long finish showcases prominent pepper and juniper, accompanied by hints of lavender, sourdough, lime and honey.

Score this 46%-ABV gin for under $35.

Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin

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Another gin with a higher-than-usual ABV, Nolet’s Silvery Dry Gin is produced by Nolet Distillery in Schiedam, Netherlands.

The nose reveals a combination of sweetness, prominent juniper, cream, sugar, pepper, melon and a cardamom and floral note. On the palate, it starts sweet and develops fruity complexity, featuring juniper, apple, pear, a touch of peach and honeydew. The finish is long, showcasing pepper, lavender, coriander and orange peel.

Bottled at 47.6% ABV, this gin can be found for around $45.

Lee Spirits American Dry Gin

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Produced by Lee Spirits in Colorado, this American dry gin is zippy, peppery and just a touch sweet.

On the nose, it delivers a sweet, rich and effervescent experience with hints of freshly baked bread, sourdough, juniper, pepper and honey. The medium-bodied palate provides a pleasant mouthfeel, featuring sweet cream, rich juniper, pepper and citrus flavors with a well-balanced ethanol presence. The finish is long, with a savory and peppery character that complements the initial sweetness.

This 45%-ABV gin can be found for under $30.

Juniper Jones Earl Grey Gin

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If you haven’t tried a barrel-aged gin in a gin and tonic yet, there’s no time like the present. Juniper Jones Earl Grey Gin is made in Colorado and starts its life as The Family Jones Distillery’s signature gin, which is then aged in ex-bourbon barrels that also once held Earl Grey tea leaves.

Earl Grey tea, as one would expect, dominates the nose. Dill and herbal thyme notes can then be detected alongside juniper and black pepper. The palate is subtly sweet and floral with hints of charred sugar, more dill, cacao and brushes of earthy herbs. Bergamot and a smack of citrus peel come together at the finish.

At a whopping 48% ABV, this barrel-aged gin is priced at about $40. However, its a touch hard to find, so if you happen to cross paths with a bottle, snag it!

Read next:

How to Make the Perfect Gin and Tonic Every Time

7 Must-Try Gins for an Aviation Cocktail

Every Gin That Won a Double Gold Medal at the 2023 San Francisco World Spirits Competition

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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 an extra-dry martini while painting or relaxing by the pool with a campy mystery novel.