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The 10 best gins for a refreshing gin and tonic

Grab one of these for your next G&T

The Botanist Islay Dry Gin
The Botanist Islay Dry Gin
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Aviation Gin
Aviation Gin
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Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin
Jaisalmer Gin
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Hayman's Old Tom Gin
Hayman's Old Tom Gin
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Still Austin "The Naturalist" Gin
Still Austin "The Naturalist" Gin
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Citadelle "Jardin D'ete" Gin
Citadelle "Jardin D'ete" Gin
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Juniper Grove American Dry Gin
Juniper Grove American Dry Gin
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Ford's London Dry Gin
Fords London Dry Gin
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Tanqueray London Dry Gin
Tanqueray London Dry Gin
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Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin
Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin
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Voloshin311 / Getty Images

The gin and tonic is always in season, even in the depths of winter, but there's something perfect about a great G&T as the days get longer and warmer (aka, right now). Naturally, the best gins make for the best G&T, so don't sell your drink short.

Quinine, the main flavoring and base of tonic water, turned out to taste pretty bitter and nasty, so people turned to gin to help get their daily dose of the malaria-fighting compound. Combined with a little lime juice, a warm-weather classic was born. These days, the G&T can be simple or extravagant, so to help you find your best version, we've put together a list of our favorite gins for a G&T. Here are the best gins.

The Botanist Islay Dry Gin
The Botanist

The Botanist Islay Dry Gin

Born in Islay, the land of Scotch, this gin is the sum of careful craftsmanship and 22 botanicals from the Scottish island. There's a backyard foraging element to the gin, with its immensely fresh character, thanks to things like barks, berries, and even salty greens like orache. It's complex while delicate, meaning it won't overpower a tonic--instead, it will become best friends with the tonic.

The Botanist Islay Dry Gin
The Botanist Islay Dry Gin
Ryan Reynolds Aviation Gin
Aviation Gin

Aviation Gin

Aviation has played a big role in the resurgence of quality American gin as of late. Less juniper-driven, this batch is floral, with lavender elements and so much finesse. It's no wonder it's the byproduct of distillers wanting to make a so-called "summer gin." Yes, Ryan Reynolds is an owner, but the gin transcends any kind of celebrity support.

Aviation Gin
Aviation Gin
Jaisalmer Gin
Jaisalmer Gin

Jaisalmer Gin

The lion's share of Jaisalmer's botanicals is sourced from its stomping grounds in India. The resulting gin boasts some serious terroir, with flavors like pepper, lemongrass, and Darjeeling tea. It does excellently with tonic, especially specialty tonics like those by Fever-Tree.

Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin
Jaisalmer Gin
Hayman's Old Tom Gin
Hayman's Distillery

Hayman's Old Tom Gin

Bigger and creamier, Hayman's Old Tom is all the better with a few added ingredients, in this case, some citrus and tonic. These counterparts balance out the slightly sweeter nature of the gin, which sips fine on its own, but becomes borderline magical as a G&T, showing lemon peel, juniper pastry, and fennel.

Hayman's Old Tom Gin
Hayman's Old Tom Gin
Still Austin The Naturalist Gin
Still Austin Whiskey Co.

Still Austin "The Naturalist" Gin

A Texas addition to the list, Still Austin is the impressive work of a producer founded on whiskey. Made with a wide bill of botanicals like cinnamon, coriander seeds, elderflowers, and allspice, the spirit is crafted via a 42-foot-tall custom still. The result is bright and earthy with a kick of rye.

Still Austin "The Naturalist" Gin
Still Austin "The Naturalist" Gin
Citadelle Gin Jardin D'ete
Citadelle

Citadelle "Jardin D'ete" Gin

One of the most revered gin producers in France, Citadelle has been at it for 25 years, distilling from its chateau in the southwest corner of the country. This new addition to the lineup is ideal for a gin and tonic, made with ingredients like fresh melon and yuzu zest and showing layer upon layer of intriguing flavors.

Citadelle "Jardin D'ete" Gin
Citadelle "Jardin D'ete" Gin
Juniper Grove Gin
Juniper Grove

Juniper Grove American Dry Gin

This standout gin is made in the Sierra Nevadas and is equal parts floral and zesty. Juniper Grove is a tailor-made liquor for a tonic and smells wild and free in your favorite cocktail glass. There's a classic element to this gin, as it is far from showy. It's just all-around solid and enlivening.

Juniper Grove American Dry Gin
Juniper Grove American Dry Gin
Fords London Dry Gin
Fords Gin

Fords London Dry Gin

This gin was devised as a mixer and does great with most tonics. It deviates from the London Gin category some, offering juniper notes but also some tasty herbal notes and a bracing overall build. There's a compelling jasmine trait to this spirit, which persists from the nose to the palate.

Ford's London Dry Gin
Fords London Dry Gin
Tanqueray London Dry Gin
Tanqueray

Tanqueray London Dry Gin

It's hard to mess with a real classic. Tanqueray has become iconic because of its versatility — tasty on its own, in a Martini, and especially as a gin and tonic. You can practically taste the greener notes the liquid exudes, like pine, lime, and even a bit of rosemary. It's easy to see why this bottle is in just about every bartender's arsenal.

Tanqueray London Dry Gin
Tanqueray London Dry Gin
Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin
Drumshanbo

Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin

This Irish gin is so refreshing that it's practically bracing. The spirit is just begging for a good tonic and exudes notes of citrus rind, delicate tea, and subtle spice. There are some greener notes that remind us of spring, balanced out by a hit of vanilla. We suggest keeping a bottle of this thirst-quenching gin in your freezer.

Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin
Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin

With the above gins at your disposal, your G&T game will reach new heights. And while we're on the topic of gin, check out our guides on the history of gin as well as a brand that makes gin with terroir. Here's to warmer days ahead.

John Maher
Former Digital Trends Contributor

Born in Richmond, VA, Chef John Maher has over two decades of experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry. From cooking in and running Michelin-started kitchens, creating award-winning cocktail programs, and owning his groundbreaking restaurant and cocktail bar, Rogue, John is a master in his field. Having left the day-to-day restaurant industry in December, John is now a freelance food & drinks writer. He enjoys cooking dinner for his husband Drew, drinking lots of rosé, and watching reruns of Schitt's Creek. Please reach out to The Manual editorial staff with any questions or comments about John’s work.

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