10 Great American Gins

Gin is making a comeback—and not just any gin. American insurgents are wooing fans of well-known British brands (Plymouth, Beefeater) by toning down the juniper and ratcheting up other botanicals—citrus, florals, spices. Call it a Western ginaissance. We had just one question: Which are the best?

1. Corsair Gin

Nashville
The Gin:
Sleek and bright, with cucumber, coriander, and licorice root.

Fun Fact:
It’s Tennessee’s only gin distillery. “We’re surrounded by gin haters,” says co-owner Darek Bell. “What we do with gin in whiskey country—it’s a gintervention.”

The Appeal:
No boiling—botanicals are bathed in alcohol vapor, extracting lighter, nuanced flavors.
$30

2. Ebb+Flow Gin

Seattle

The Gin:
Classic, with coriander, cardamom, and angelica (the root is used in herbal medicine).

Fun Fact:
"Instead of neutral grain spirits, we use a malted-barley blend to make it a little softer," says owner Steven Stone.

The Appeal:
High-proof spirits, like full-bodied wines, feel richer in the mouth. But at 94 proof, lesser gins might also burn. Not Ebb+Flow.
$33

See more: 10 Wine Pairings for Junk/Comfort/Stoner Foods

3. Greenhook Ginsmiths American Dry Gin

Brooklyn

The Gin:
Fruity and fragrant, with chamomile, citrus, and cinnamon.

Fun Fact:
Founder Steven DeAngelo was a capital-markets broker in 2008 when the economy collapsed, “and we drank a lot.” By 2012, he and his brother had traded Wall Street for gin-making.

The Appeal:
A unique vacuum process creates low-temperature distillation, which helps protect Greenhook’s delicate nose from getting knocked out of joint.
$34

4. Vikre Distillery Boreal Cedar Gin

Duluth, Minnesota

The Gin:
Smoky, thanks to red cedar.

Fun Fact:
"I developed the Cedar specifically to make my perfect Negroni," says cofounder Emily Vikre.

The Appeal:
For fermentation and proofing, Vikre uses purified Lake Superior water, which is soft and devoid of (taste-altering) minerals.
$30

5. Dry Fly Gin

Spokane, Washington

The Gin:
Very Pacific Northwest, with native Fuji apple, lavender, and hops.

Fun Fact:
"We both despised gin, and it was over a bottle of overpriced, average vodka that we decided to make Dry Fly," says co-owner Kent Fleischmann.

The Appeal:
Instead of buying their alcohol base in bulk, they make it from local ingredients.
$30

6. Bristow Gin

Madison, Mississippi

The Gin:
Citrusy, because of minty hyssop and lemon verbena.

Fun Fact:
Distiller Phillip Ladner started out in wine in New Zealand (where he crushed grapes) before turning to gin and settling in Mississippi.

The Appeal:
Instead of soaking herbs for one day, Ladner lets them seep for a week, intensifying flavor. It’s remarkably smooth, despite its higher proof.
$35

7. Glorious Gin

Brooklyn

The Gin:
A combo of ginger, rosemary, citrus, and, yes, juniper.

Fun Fact:
"The base is more like a white whiskey," says distiller Brad Estabrooke. Upstate New York grain lends it sweetness and kick.

The Appeal:
While most gins distill botanicals at once, Glorious slow-distills each individually before blending them to get the balance just right.
$32

See more: The 7 Best Food & Drinks to Cure a Hangover

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Cask to Flask: Barrel-Aged Gins

The latest trend in American gins is barrel aging. We know what a little wood can do to tame tequila and rum, and the added texture and richness to gin will surprise even the staunchest whiskey loyalists. This winter, try one of these in lieu of bourbon in your next Old Fashioned.

Barr Hill Tom Cat Barrel Aged Gin
Hardwick, Vermont, 43 percent ABV
$54, caledoniaspirits.com

No. 209 Barrel Reserve Gin (Sauvignon Blanc or Cabernet Sauvignon casks)
San Francisco, California, 46 percent ABV
$65, distillery209.com

Smooth Ambler Stillhouse Collection Barrel Aged Gin
Maxwelton, West Virginia, 49.5 percent ABV
$44, smoothambler.com

By Jason Tesauro

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