The Best Gin For A Martini

by Erin Rea  |  06.23.2022

Martinis are a love ’em or hate ’em type of cocktail, as easy to make well as they are to mess up. Everyone seems to have their own requirements for right way to mix one up: spirit selection, dry vs. dirty, lemon or olives, stirring & shaking techniques, and of course, the opinions on vermouth number many. (A side note on that: get a fresh bottle, keep it in the fridge, make enough Martinis to go through it in a few weeks, and you will grow to love vermouth.)

Not just for steakhouses and hotel bars, a Martini can be savory and rich, light and floral, or wildly herbaceous, depending on all of the above. But what’s the best gin for a Martini? There may not be just one be-all-end-all best way to make a Martini, so we’ve got six great gins to discover your new favorite Martini.

Best Classic Martini Gin
Whitley Neill Original London Dry

Classic for a reason, London Dry gin makes for a great Martini. Whitley Neill’s Original is distilled in London proper in copper pot stills. Distinctively floral on the nose, it has a lenghty finish of citrus and black pepper, for a classic Martini the way it should be.

Do the classic right with 2 oz gin and 1 oz dry vermouth, then top with a lemon twist.

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Best Modern Martini Gin
Gray Whale Gin

With botanicals sourced all throughout California, like mint hand picked in Santa Cruz, almonds from the Capay Valley, and kombu seaweed harvested on the Mendocino Coast, Gray Whale exemplifies a modern spin on gin. The result is herbaceous and crisp, familiar yet new.

Mix up 2.5 oz gin and .5 oz dry vermouth and garnish with a lime twist.

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Best Terroir-Driven Martini Gin
Waterloo No.9

Distilled with 9 botanicals, Waterloo No.9 is a true taste of the Texas Hill Country, highlighting local ingredients like lavender, grapefruit, and pecan. The nut lends a round mouthfeel to the gin while bright citrus notes and floral aromas come through for a very versatile base.

Let that texture shine with 2.5 oz gin and .5 oz dry vermouth. Garnish with a big grapefruit twist.

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Best Savory Martini Gin
Four Pillars Olive Leaf Gin

Four Pillars is creating incredible interpretations of gin in Healsevile, Australia. Love a Dirty Martini, but want something more nuanced and a bit lighter? Their Olive Leaf Gin provides all the vegetal, savory notes of olive without the thick brine. It’s made with three types of cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil and olive leaf tea from the world-class groves of Victoria’s Cobram Estate.

Mix 2.5 oz of it with .5 oz dry vermouth and garnish with a lemon twist and an olive – preferably Castelvetrano.

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Best 50/50 Martini Gin
Green Hat Citrus Floral Gin

Citrus-forward gins are always a perfect match for aromatic dry vermouth. Green Hat’s starts off with aromas of lemon and sweet orange, melding with hints of cherry blossom and rose petals. Lively and fresh on the palate with notes of lemon peel and grapefruit, this gin finishes with a cheerful burst of creamy orange and a touch of juniper.

Equal parts all the way, with 1.5 oz gin and 1.5 oz dry vermouth. Garnish with a lemon twist.

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Best Juniper-Forward Martini Gin

Distilled in San Francisco, Junipero is all about gin’s main botanical. Tempered with lemon, angelica, and other botanicals, it has bright citrus notes and herbal complexity. They bottle at an unfiltered 98.6 proof for a bold gin that makes a perfect Martini.

Keep it classic to let the juniper sing, with 2 oz gin and 1 oz dry vermouth, then top with a lemon twist.

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