9 Best Gin for Gin and Tonic

By Timo Torner / Last updated on May 3, 2023

Choosing the right gin can be complicated. Here's our guide to finding the perfect gin for your next G&T.
Best bottles of Gin to make a Gin and Tonic

A well-made Gin and Tonic is easily my favorite Highball drink. It's refreshing, easy to sip, and even low in calories. On top, it's fun to experiment with different types of gin and tonic water to find the perfect combination. Especially in a G&T, choosing the right gin is essential for the taste and quality of your drink. The problem here is, the selection seems endless. So what is the best gin for a Gin Tonic?

In my opinion, and many of my fellow bartenders might agree with me, Monkey 47Hendricks Gin, and Tanqueray Ten are all excellent gins to use. However, many other products also guarantee an excellent G&T. Find inspiration in our guide to the best gins for Gin and Tonics.

Summary: Our Top Picks

  • Best London Dry: Tanqueray Ten
  • Best Dry Gin: Monkey 47
  • Best Juniper-Forward: Sipsmith VJOP
  • Best New Western Dry: Bobby's Dry Gin
  • Best for Summer: Sugarbird Gin

Best Gin for Gin and Tonic

Gin styles can be very different. They range from traditional juniper-forward London Dry to more modern and unconventional Western Dry Gins. We included exquisite solutions for any discerned gin drinker and lots of recommendations for those who are looking for some G&T inspiration.

1. Tanqueray No. Ten

Tanqueray No. 10 Gin for Negroni
  • Type of Gin: London Dry Gin
  • ABV: 47%
  • From: Scotland
  • Best paired with: Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water, Gents Swiss Roots Tonic Water

Tanqueray No. 10 is the premium version of the House of Tanqueray. This gin is quadruple-distilled and quite complex in taste. And at the same time -as a result of the multiple distillation process- it is very mild.

Tanqueray Ten is a typical London Dry Gin with intense notes of juniper. But in contrast to other London Dry Gins, it also offers citrus notes from grapefruit and lime. Other dominant botanicals in this perfectly balanced gin are chamomile and coriander.

When looking for the perfect tonic water to complement this gin, pick one that pronounces the grapefruit, lime, and juniper aromas. My recommendation is the Fever-Tree Indian Tonic water that emphasizes the citric notes of the Highball.

2. Bobby's Gin

Bobby's Schiedam Dry Gin
  • Type of Gin: Dry Gin
  • ABV: 42%
  • From: Netherlands
  • Best paired with: Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water

Bobby's Gin is an interesting gin from the city of Schiedam, the so-called capital of Genever. When tasting this beautiful composition, you can immediately realize that the flavors are not very Dutch. In fact, the original recipe from Jacobus Alfons, also known as Bobby, was created during his time in Indonesia. More than 60 years later, his grandsons found an old bottle and started to re-create Bobby's old recipe.

With the help of Master distiller Herman Jansen, they created an exciting gin with a unique botanical profile. Strong notes of lemongrass, cinnamon, fennel, and rosehip are complemented by more classic flavors like juniper, cubeb pepper, and coriander.

My favorite tonic to match with Bobby's Gin is the Fever-Tree Mediterranean. But you also can't go wrong with classic Indian tonic water.

3. Iron Balls

Iron Balls Gin Bangkok bottle
  • Type of Gin: New Western Dry Gin
  • ABV: 40%
  • From: Thailand
  • Best paired with: Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water

I have been a big fan of this gin since my first to their Distillery & Bar outlet in Bangkok. The base of Iron Balls is homemade pineapple and coconut wine which is then distilled and flavored with tropical botanicals. Juniper is part of the mix, but it's barely present. Instead, you'll be surprised by the taste of tropical fruits, lemongrass, and some Asian spice.

Iron Balls Gin is a pleasant and easy-to-sip gin. When used in a Gin and Tonic, make sure to follow the signature serve and garnish your G&T with fresh (Thai) basil and fresh pineapple. That may sound weird at first, but it results in a delightful Gin Tonic.

My recommendation for the perfect tonic to go with this tropical gin is the Fever-Tree Mediterranean. That's also the recommended tonic when you visit them at their Iron Balls Distillery & Bar outlet.

4. Monkey 47

Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin
  • Type of Gin: Dry Gin
  • ABV: 47%
  • From: Germany
  • Best paired with: 1724 Tonic Water, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water

Monkey 47 is, without a doubt, the most popular gin from Germany. The Dry Gin from the Black Forrest receives its flavor from 47 different botanicals. It is a very complex premium gin with notes of juniper, herbs, and berries and also carries pronounced citrus notes.

The gin emphasizes its roots in the Black Forrest, and rightly so. More than a third of the 47 botanicals grow in the Black Forrest and its surroundings. Softened and prepared in fresh spring water from the Black Forrest, ingredients like elderflower, coriander, dog rose, ginger, licorice, hibiscus, honeysuckle, jasmine, lavender, and several types of pepper are all sourced regionally.

Most Gin & Tonic connoisseurs agree that pairing it with a classic-style tonic water is the best way to drink Monkey 47. My favorite choice is the 1724 Tonic Water. 1724 Tonic has some fruity notes to it. And that works exceptionally well with the Monkey 47 Gin.

5. Hendricks Gin

Hendrick's Gin
  • Type of Gin: New Western Dry Gin
  • ABV: 44% 
  • From: Scotland
  • Best paired with: Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water

Hendrick's Gin is another excellent premium gin. The spirit from Scotland not only has unique botanicals like rose and cucumber, but it also rewards the buyer with tons of dry British humor. Slogans like "Preferred by 1 out of 1.000 gin drinkers" are typical of their tone of voice.

The taste of the gin is not as bold as the marketing statements. Hendrick's is a very mild and floral gin with hints of roses. The juniper notes are in the background, and the cucumber notes are only slightly present. That changes, if you're using it in a Gin and Tonic, garnished with fresh cucumber.

Hendrick's Gin in a G&T goes well with Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water and some fresh cucumber.

6. Sugarbird Gin

Sugarbird Cape Fynbos Gin
  • Type of Gin: Gin
  • ABV: 43% 
  • From: South Africa
  • Best paired with: Fitch & Leedes Indian Tonic, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water

During my last trip to South Africa, I had the chance to taste-test various South African gins. And what only a few know (yet), the African country famous for creating renowned wine developed a world-class distilling culture. For me, Sugarbird was the star among them.

Like many others, this gin incorporates indigenous botanicals to flavor the gin. The primary ingredient, Cape Fynbos, is complemented by a selection of rooibos, honeybush, rosemary, cinnamon, cardamom, and coriander. Despite following the traditional principles of a London Dry Gin, Sugarbird's taste is far from conventional.

Combined with quality Indian tonic water, Sugarbird makes one of the best Gin and Tonics. My preferred one is Fitch and Leedes. However, depending on your location, that may be hard to get. If it's unavailable in your place, Fever-Tree Indian tonic water is a decent alternative.

7. Sipsmith VJOP

Sipsmith VJOP Gin
  • Type of Gin: London Dry Gin
  • ABV: 57,7% 
  • From: England
  • Best paired with: Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water

Sipsmith is renowned for making excellent gin. And they also accomplished this with their VJOP version. VJOP stands for Very Junipery Over Proof - this also clearly signals what you get. At 57,7% ABV, this gin is a Navy Strength, and the juniper notes are overly pronounced compared to the regular Sipsmith distillates.

Besides the intense juniper taste, Sipsmith's VJOP offers some spice and orange notes. And as the Sipsmith VJOP is such a strong gin, you need tonic water to stand up against it. My preferred one is Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water. Garnished with an orange peel and a sprig of rosemary, you'll get a traditional Gin & Tonic with some extra booze and flavor.

8. Gin Mare

Gin Mare
  • Type of Gin: New Western Dry Gin
  • ABV: 42,7% 
  • From: Spain
  • Best paired with: 1724 Tonic Water

Gin Mare is a Mediterranean gin, indeed, and, among others, is distilled from olives, thyme, rosemary, and basil. Juniper is existent but not as pronounced as in more traditional gins. The spirit is produced in a small fishermen's village at Costa Dorada just south of Barcelona.

The taste is sweet with notes of fresh herbs and citrus fruits. And although the basic concept of Mediterranean flavors is there, it's lacking a bit of flavor when consumed neat. The overall taste is quite floral and very mild.

However, when mixed with the right tonic water, the gin unfolds its true potential. In combination with 1724 Tonic Water, the thyme and rosemary notes are perfectly pronounced. You'll get a very summery version of a Gin and Tonic with almost no bitter notes and perfectly balanced aromas.

9. Ungava Gin

Ungava Gin
  • Type of Gin: Gin
  • ABV: 43,1% 
  • From: Canada
  • Best paired with: Fentimans Herbal Tonic Water

Ungava is an unusual choice in a list of best gins for a Gin and Tonic. Not because it's a bad gin, but because its taste is quite extraordinary and requires a perfectly matching tonic water to make a great G&T. The first thing you'll notice about Ungava Gin is the striking yellow color. And this color is a result of a unique botanical selection.

Based on corn-spirit, the gin is infused with six arctic botanicals like rosehips, cloudberry, crowberry, Nordic Blend, bakeapple, and labrador tea, all harvested from the region of Ungava. The taste is quite unusual for a gin. Dominated by a melange of spicy and herbal notes, the spirit also offers slightly bitter notes. It's hard to describe but reminds one of a mix of pepper and saffron.

This gin is certainly a challenge to pair with tonic water. Yet, I found one that fits the brief and creates a stunning Highball. Fentimans Herbal Tonic doesn't even try to take away from the herbal and spicy notes of the gin but finds a way to pronounce them while adding a bit of sweetness to the drink. A perfect match and a must-try for every Gin and Tonic enthusiast.

Which Type of Gin Should I Use?

You can make a Gin and Tonic with any gin type from London Dry to New Western Dry Gin. It is more important to combine the gin with the appropriate tonic water to achieve optimal results. After all, the mixer usually makes up 3/4 of the drink.

However, if you prefer a more classic taste you should stick with London Dry Gins and juniper-forward expressions like Sipsmith's VJOP. If you prefer unusual flavors and a more modern approach to gin, I recommend trying the various New Western Dry kind of gins in our test.

How We Chose Our Gin Recommendations

We tested some of the most mentioned gin bottles, our preferred brands and products, and asked experienced bartenders for their favorites. We also included our Social Media following to get even more input on products we should consider for this article. This mix gave us an excellent selection of classics and unusual gins.

The recipe we use for our comparison is pretty classic:

  • 1.5 ounces gin
  • 3.5 ounces tonic water
  • Matching botanicals

We tried each gin with several tonic water options to get a feeling of what works best with each gin.

Why Trust Cocktail Society

This list was written and edited by Timo Torner. Timo is a certified bartender and has been writing about the craft of making cocktails, bars, and spirits for more than a decade.

He visited countless gin distilleries, wineries, and cocktail bars all across the globe, tasting raw Tequila in Jalisco, Mojitos in Cuba, Soju in South Korea, and red wine in Cape Town and Australia.

His favorite spirits are gin and mezcal, and his greatest passion is striving for perfection in cocktails and writing about it.

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