Best Gin in X Drink?

The Ultimate Cocktail Challenge in NYC this past April sought to figure out a) what the best makes of each liquor was and b) which liquors worked best in various drinks.

Of course this is a commendable idea in that this is exactly what I am working on doing in this blog, gin by gin. However, I feel that their gin results are somewhat off base. First, there are notable omissions. Not only is my favorite gin Miller’s not on the list- but the list of Gins reviewed hardly matches the breadth of the gins on the market currently. Some of my least favorite gins: the dull Plymouth, the oddly spiced Citadelle and of course Tanqueray dominated the top 10 whereas strong new varieties of gin such as Hendrick’s, G’vine and Bluecoat seem relegated to the bottom of the list almost without fail.

Tanqueray won nearly every drink category as the best gin of choice for any beverage. How did they overlook Bluecoat’s subtle citrus notes in a proper tom Collins; the way saffron and violet eerily go together in an Aviation; or the way that a straight gin and tonic brings out the unique flavors of G’vine? But Tanqueray? Perhaps this is the reason why Gin has a reputation as an old man’s drink, because those who drink it seem to prefer their grandfather’s gin.

So what gives?
I’m sure that the people who reviewed these gins are well educated connoisseurs of alcohol. I do not doubt that, but I think that the study is biased towards the traditional gin “flavor” rather than for an innovative or new approach on an old classic. I found it odd however, that they did highly rate flavored and exotic vodkas.

London Dry Gin surely comes in many forms and I definitely know the motto “to each their own” applies to gin as much as any other beverage, but I am not sure I understand the ratings criteria where G’vine’s Nouaison fails to push Tanqueray back to the shelf one from the bottom.

My List (as of 4.27.10) Theirs / Mine
Aviation– TANQUERAY NO. 10 / Hendrick’s (but up for debate)
Dry Martini– TANQUERAY LONDON DRY / Miller’s
Gin & Tonic- PLYMOUTH / G’vine Nouaison or Miller’s
Tom Collins-  TANQUERAY LONDON DRY / Bluecoat

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One thought on “Best Gin in X Drink?

  1. […] few years ago (and with a much more limited scope of gin experience!) I took a first shot at trying to figure out which gins worked best in a series of classic gin cocktails. Since that initial attempt, I have tried more gins than I can even attempt to count, and […]

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