In the world of iconic cocktails, the classic martini rules the list. A well-crafted martini is a perfection in a cocktail glass, but there’s an art to it. The perfect martini is nothing more than gin, dry vermouth, and maybe a garnish. This means each component needs to stand well on its own. Gin is really the star of the show here, which is why we set out to find the best gin for martinis.
- Best Gin Brands For A Martini
- Best Rated Gin For Dirty Martinis
- Best Inexpensive Gin For Martinis
- Best London Dry Gin For Martinis
- Best High-Quality Dry Gin For Martinis
- Best Non-Alcoholic Gin For Martini
- Best Gin For Vesper Martini
- Top Gin For Martinis With Olives
- Best-Rated Gin For Martini With A Twist
- Best Gin To Use For Cannabis-Infused Martinis
- Bottom Line
Best Gin Brands For A Martini
Before we get into our list of the best gins for certain types of martinis, let’s start with a quick roundup of the best of the best in the world of gins.
Beefeater is a London Dry-style spirit that’s still distilled in London. Beefeater is very juniper-forward and loaded with nice flavors of lemon, grapefruit, and other citrus fruits. Beefeater is a very agreeable spirit, whether you’re enjoying it with vermouth (dry or sweet vermouth) or something simple like a couple of dashes of bitters.
Tanqueray is a classic, and it’s earned medals and accolades to prove it. Famous for its green bottle, Tanqueray offers a unique botanical profile with a blend of juniper, coriander, licorice, and angelica. Only four botanicals, but that’s all this one needs.
Sipsmith – London Dry
Sipsmith is distilled in copper pots, which contributes to its unique flavors. Sipsmith is bold on juniper but is also crisp and fresh with a good citrus profile. In a martini, we really enjoy Sipsmith with Dolin Dry Vermouth.
Bombay Sapphire is crafted from a collection of ten botanicals that are sourced from all over the world. This is why there’s none other like Bombay on any bartender’s shelf. Exotic and crisp, it’s simply unparalleled.
Hendrick’s is crafted from eleven botanicals, and for a relatively new gin, it offers a very classic taste. This is a very floral gin that works well with mellow vermouth or other sweeter aperitifs.
Best Rated Gin For Dirty Martinis
Tanqueray London Dry
A dirty martini is made with gin, dry vermouth, and two dashes (ok, more like two splashes) of olive juice. When looking at gins for martinis, you want one that can stand up to the savory notes of olive brine. Tanguaray is a classic London dry-style gin that does the job perfectly.
Combine all the ingredients in your mixing glass, and enjoy how the olive brine mingles with the Juniper-forward flavor of Tanguaray on your palate. Don’t forget to garnish with a skewer of olives, too!
Region: England, ABV 47.3%
Best Inexpensive Gin For Martinis
Gilbey’s London Dry
Really good gins don’t have to break the bank. Gilbey’s is distilled in Canada and offers a nice balanced flavor with notable juniper in the forefront.
As the martini slips past the palate, you begin to notice more hints of flavors like coriander and a bit of heat that brings to mind cinnamon bark or a modest peppery taste. It’s surprisingly smooth and complex for an inexpensive gin.
Region: Canada, ABV 40%
Best London Dry Gin For Martinis
Beefeater London Dry
A classic London Dry gin is defined as one that is infused with a variety of botanicals during a process called re-distillation. London-style gin is considered to be among the highest quality type due to its pureness. No artificial flavorings or colors are to be added, and it needs to be relatively low in sugar content.
Beefeater Gin makes the best London dry gins. Beefeater in a chilled cocktail glass with a nice extra dry vermouth really brings out notes of juniper, coriander, almond, and orange.
Region: England, ABV 44%
Best High-Quality Dry Gin For Martinis
The Botanist Islay Dry Gin
Ask bartenders anywhere about their favorite gins for martinis, and the Botanist Islay Dry is sure to top their list. This is a smooth, elegant gin that lingers on the palate and makes a perfect martini.
Elevate your martini and give your taste buds a treat with this botanical that’s made with 22 botanicals. It’s juniper-forward but soft rather than sharp and pungent. We noticed subtle hints of citrus, including lemon peel and orange, and a handful of other botanicals.
We also picked up on a bit of rosemary and ginger, but these aren’t flavors that are normally used to describe this slightly sweet gin.
Scotland Region, AVB 46%
Best Non-Alcoholic Gin For Martini
Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic London Dry Gin
Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic London Dry is said to resemble the real deal so much that you don’t know it’s alcohol-free. You can taste the juniper and citrus notes, along with a bit of floral, vanilla, and spice. Serve this chilled and garnish with a lemon peel for pure perfection.
Ritual Zero Proof Gin Alternative
This gin alternative is created to replace equal parts gin in 1:1 ratio drinks, so it’s perfect for an extra dry martini. Ritual Zero Proof is smooth and flavorful enough to pass for some of the best gins when making martinis.
Best Gin For Vesper Martini
A vesper martini is a vodka, gin, and Lillet Blanc, and also a nice thick lemon twist. Thanks to James Bond, the Vesper is one of the most iconic cocktails. For a drink that’s unforgettable, we recommend Hendrick’s.
It has nice floral notes and a hint or two of cucumber, which makes it taste almost a little sweet but so nicely balanced. It’s definitely worthy of a drink like the Vesper. Fans of Hendricks also enjoy it in a chilled glass with elderflower liqueur and a few ice cubes.
Channel your inner James bond with Hendrick’s.
Region Scotland, ABV 44%
Top Gin For Martinis With Olives
Ford’s Gin was created about ten years ago by a man named Simon Ford. Ford, at the time, was a bartender who obviously had a crystal clear vision of the perfect gin for a dry martini. In collaboration with Master Distiller Charles Maxwell, Fords has become a favorite among martini drinkers.
The reason we choose this as the best for a martini that’s garnished with a plump olive or two is how the flavor profile compliments the brininess of an olive. This definitely has a pine-forward attitude, but it’s balanced with the really nice citrus flavors of sweet orange and grapefruit.
There’s just something about how the citrus pairs with the olive flavor that makes this such an outstanding combination. This is great for a dirty martini, too.
Region UK, ABV 45%
Best-Rated Gin For Martini With A Twist
When you’re in the mood for a nice dry martini with a lemon twist, Plymouth is the one you want to reach for. Plymouth Gin’s flavor profile is a bit more delicate than other gins, with a soft texture and floral notes, but that doesn’t mean that it fades into the background.
The juniper is definitely there, along with notes of coriander, cardamom, spice, and a hint of black pepper. When you let it linger on the palate, you pick up on a bit of cucumber and grassy flavors.
Every single flavor component of this works perfectly with the brightness of a lemon twist but works equally well with other garnishes like orange peel, grapefruit peel, and other citrus notes.
Region UK, ABV 41.2%
Best Gin To Use For Cannabis-Infused Martinis
Nikka Coffey Gin
Cannabis-infused cocktails are a big trend right now. If you’re looking for a good gin to infuse with cannabis for your martini recipes, Nikka Coffey has a flavor profile that matches beautifully.
To match the flavors that cannabis brings to a classic martini, Nikka Coffey is one of the best citrus-forward gins. You can taste nice botanicals, including angelica root and pepper, along with the citrus notes.
A classic ratio of 1:1 gin to vermouth in a mixing glass works best when making martinis that are cannabis-infused.
If you’re curious about the cannabis-infused cocktail trend, we suggest picking up a bottle of Nikka Coffey Gin.
Region: Japan, ABV 47%
Want to know about the best gins and dry vermouth for your dry martinis? We’ve got you covered. Create your next martini with one of these gins and your favorite vermouth, then join us for more cocktail recipes and tips at Cocktails Cafe.