The 12 Best Gin for Martinis in 2024 - Cocktail Society

By Timo Torner / Last updated on January 16, 2024

Whether you prefer it extra dry, dirty, or shaken - the Martini is one of the most iconic gin cocktails. And the beauty of it is that you can adjust the restrained recipe by changing the Gin or the ratios to your liking without spoiling it.
Bottles of best Gin for Martini cocktails

Looking at the Martini recipe, you've got to love the simplicity. The base of Gin mixed with just a bit of Dry Vermouth is all you need. To twist the recipe to your liking, you can easily play with the ratio of the ingredients or switch the Gin base. -Our recommended ratio for a classic Martini is five parts Gin to one part Dry Vermouth.

For some more variation, you can also add a dash of cocktail bitters or a cocktail garnish, like olives. But nothing changes the taste and balance of the drink like the choice of Gin base.

With so many different types of Gin available, you have endless possibilities to craft your best Gin Martini cocktail. -From classic London Dry Gin to Plymouth Gin to New Western Gin. If you're looking for something new to try, have a look at our selection of the best gins for Martinis.

Our Top Picks

Best gin brands for Martinis

Before diving deeper and recommending specific gins for making your next Martini, let's have a lot at some of the best gin brands to use in a Martini cocktail. The Dry Martini is a classic cocktail, hence, you can't go wrong with a traditional brand of gin. Bottles of these brands are typically heavier on juniper berries and classified as London Dry style gin. Start with the standard offerings of the following brands in alphabetical order:

  • Beefeater Gin
  • Bombay Sapphire
  • Tanqueray Gin
  • Hayman's Gin

Top-rated Gin for Dirty Martini

1. Tanqueray London Dry Gin

Tanqueray London Dry Gin bottle
  • Region: Scotland
  • Distiller: Diageo Cameronbridge Distillery
  • ABV: 47.3%
  • Tasting Notes: Piney juniper, baking spice, and coriander seeds
  • Best matching Vermouth: Dolin Dry Vermouth

There are many exciting options when making a Dirty Martini cocktail. However, a classic London Dry Gin works best and by choosing Tanqueray's London Dry option you get one of the most elegant spirits in this category.

The dominant juniper notes are complemented by citrus notes from coriander seeds and hints of baking spices, all held together by the earthy notes of Angelica root.

Why we like it: The juniper-forward flavor of Tanqueray pairs perfectly with savory ingredients like olive brine. Garnish the drink with an uneven number of olives speared on a cocktail pick.

Best Gin for Dry Martini

2. Nikka Coffey Gin

Nikka Coffey Gin
  • Region: Japan
  • Distiller: Yoichi Distillery
  • ABV: 47%
  • Tasting Notes: Yuzu, citrus, pine, pepper, caramel, and orange
  • Best matching Vermouth: Noilly Prat

Nikka is most famous for producing premium Japanese Whiskey. Maybe you even stumbled across their Coffey Grain Whiskey before. It's distilled using the same Coffey stills as their Gin. It's a great choice if you prefer Dry Martinis made with citrus-forward Gins.

And while most citrus-forward spirits contain lemon, lime, or grapefruit, this Asian-style Gin is flavored with Yuzu and Amanatsu. It's best served with a lemon twist to emphasize the citrus notes of the Gin.

I seriously like it in a Martini, but some people may find it too bitter for their taste buds. Thus, if you're sensitive to bitter flavors, skip that one.

Why we like it: We like the interplay of sweet and fruity Asian ingredients combined with a distinct bitter note.

Best Rated Gin for Vesper Martinis

3. Hendrick's Gin

Hendrick's Gin
  • Region: Scotland
  • Distiller: William Grant & Sons
  • ABV: 44%
  • Tasting Notes: Rose, cucumber, floral, coriander, and juniper
  • Best matching Vermouth: Dolin Dry

Hendrick's Gin is another unconventional Gin but works brilliantly in a Martini cocktail. The notes of rose and cucumber add a nice touch to the drink without being overpowering. Hints of juniper shine through but are overall very restrained.

And Hendrick's Gin also is one of my favorite Gins for making a Gin & Tonic.

Why we like it: Hendricks is a standout Gin for many mixed drinks, the Martini being one of them. The unusual flavor profile makes it a superb choice for everyone who wants to try something new and unexpected.

Best budget-friendly Gin for a Martini

4. Beefeater Gin

Beefeater Gin
  • Region: UK
  • Distiller: Beefeater Gin Distillery, London
  • ABV: 44%
  • Tasting Notes: Almond, juniper, coriander, lemon, and licorice
  • Best matching Vermouth: Carpano Dry

Beefeater is probably the most classic option on this list. Traditionalists typically use it in a 5:1 Martini with a Carpano Dry or Dolin Dry Vermouth. And even if the Gin comes across as a bit ancient, Beefeater is still one of the best Martini Gins. In addition, it's also one of the more affordable options out there.

The flavor profile is very traditional and juniper-forward. -A perfect representation of the London Dry category that works perfectly in a Martini cocktail.

Why we like it: A good Gin for a Martini and quite budget-friendly, Beefeater Gin is way better than its reputation might indicate.

Best London Dry Gin for Martinis

London Dry Gins have the most regulations regarding ingredients and production process. They're usually quite junipery with relatively similar flavor profiles. Nevertheless, you will find notable differences in quality and taste within this category.

Here are our choices for the best London Dry Gins for making a great Martini.

5. Sipsmith London Dry Gin

Sipsmith London Dry Gin
  • Region: UK
  • Distiller: Sipsmith Distillery
  • ABV: 41.6%
  • Tasting Notes: Juniper, pine, lemon, mandarin, and coriander
  • Best matching Vermouth: Dolin Dry

Sipsmith produces some of the best Gins on the market. But while I love their VJOP expression in other drinks, their standard London Dry Gin is my preferred choice for making a Martini.

When combined with a lovely Dry Vermouth like Dolin, you get a very dry but delicious Martini.

Why we like it: Sipsmith has a beautiful balance of citrus, juniper, and floral notes. And it's those floral notes of the Gin that harmonize perfectly with the floral notes of Dolin Dry. It's best in a Dry Martini served with lemon peel.

6. Bombay Dry Gin

Bombay Dry Gin
  • Region: UK
  • Distiller: Bombay Sapphire
  • ABV: 43%
  • Tasting Notes: Almond, angelica, cassia bark, cardamom, juniper, lemon, and licorice
  • Best matching Vermouth: Noilly Prat

Bombay Dry is another classic London Dry Gin and has a unique flavor profile. This inexpensive option has wonderful earthy and grassy flavors. Used in a Martini, it makes for a light and well-balanced cocktail.

However, when you prefer citrus or spicy notes, this one might not be for you. Even though Bombay Dry Gin is well-balanced, it lacks that punch of citrus of many other brands. But since palates are different, this earthy base deserves its place on our list.

Why we like it: It is a budget option that makes for a wonderful Martini with earthy and grassy notes.

Best New Western Gin for Martinis

New Western Gins are more modern representatives of Gin. Most of them are toned down when it comes to juniper and instead have unique and surprising flavor combinations. Think of rose, pineapple, coconut, or citrus. The unconventional flavor profile makes them particularly interesting in a Martini cocktail.

7. Tanqueray No. 10

Tanqueray No. 10 Gin for Negroni
  • Region: Scotland
  • Distiller: Diageo Cameronbridge Distillery
  • ABV: 47.3%
  • Tasting Notes: Angelica, juniper, grapefruit, lime, and licorice
  • Best matching Vermouth: Dolin Dry

For many bartenders and Martini lovers, Tanqueray No. 10 is the perfect choice for a Martini. When made with the classic ratio of 5:1, the drink pronounces the Gin's complexity perfectly.

And especially for fans of citrus, this Gin is excellent. The flavors of grapefruit and lime shine through.

Why we like it: Tanqueray ten, just like regular Tanqueray, is one of the best Gin for a Dirty Martini. So, if you need a bottle that tackles both dry and dirty, this one is a great choice.

8. Iron Balls Gin

Iron Balls Gin Bangkok bottle
  • Region: Thailand
  • Distiller: Iron Balls Distillery
  • ABV: 40%
  • Tasting Notes: Lemongrass, pineapple, coconut, coriander, cinnamon, and ginger
  • Best matching Vermouth: Riserva Carlo Alberto Dry Vermouth

Iron Balls Gin makes for a surprisingly good Martini when used right. This tropical Gin, made in the center of Bangkok, has a truly unique flavor profile.

To make this Gin shine in a Martini, you might want to make a more wet version. Apply a ratio of 3:1 with Riserva Carlo Alberta Dry Vermouth and garnish the Martini with a lemon twist. It clearly is not ideal for enthusiasts of traditional Dry Martinis but makes for a wonderfully modern and tropical twist.

Why we like it: Made from housemade pineapple and coconut wine, the Gin is full of tropical Asian flavors. Think of Lemongrass, ginseng, coriander, and ginger. -A must-try for Martini lovers who like to experiment.

9. Monkey 47 Gin

Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin
  • Region: Germany
  • Distiller: Black Forest Distillery
  • ABV: 47%
  • Tasting Notes: Herbaceous, juniper, pine, citrus, floral, and angelica
  • Best matching Vermouth: Mancino Pink Vermouth

Monkey 47 Gin is famous for its extensive list of ingredients. The 47 botanicals used to make the Gin create a complex range of flavors. Garnished with orange peel and accentuated with a few one or two dashes of orange bitters, the drink tastes even better. My preferred choice for the Vermouth part here is Mancino Pink.

However, as Mancino is so subtle in taste, you'll need to use more of it. Try a 2:1 ratio or even go for 1:1. Combined with Monkey 47's vast amount of botanicals, you'll get a very complex and utterly delicious drink.

Why we like it: The 47 botanicals make for a flavor sensation when used in a Martini. We love the notes of pine and other grassy flavors that shine through when used in a Martini.

Top gin for a Martini with olives

10. Botanist Islay Dry Gin

Botanist Islay Dry Gin
  • Region: Scotland, UK
  • Distiller: Bruichladdich Distillery, Islay
  • ABV: 46%
  • Tasting Notes: Herbs, flowers, mint, juniper, and lemon
  • Best matching Vermouth: Dolin Dry Vermouth

The Botanist Islay Dry Gin is an outstanding pick for a Martini, thanks to its unique combination of 31 botanicals, blending Islay-specific and traditional flavors

This gin beautifully encapsulates its Scottish heritage, presenting a well-rounded flavor profile of herbs, florals, mint, juniper, and lemon that harmonize seamlessly. Its adaptability is evident in both classic and modern cocktails, making it the perfect choice to craft an exceptional Martini. 

Moreover, its compatibility with olives as a garnish elevates the experience by complementing its nuanced botanical character with a touch of briny richness.

Why we like it: We particularly appreciate the Botanist gin for its ability to create a potent and flavorful Dry Martini. Its balanced botanical blend allows for a higher gin-to-vermouth ratio, resulting in a strong and tasteful Martini with a delightful aftertaste and warmth that lingers after every sip, all while masking the high ABV and raw alcohol taste seamlessly.

Best non-alcoholic gin for an alcohol-free Martini

11. Siegfried Wonderleaf

Siegfried Wonderleaf non-alcoholic Gin
  • Region: Germany
  • Distiller: Siegfried Distillery, Bonn
  • ABV: 0%
  • Tasting Notes: Herbal, fresh, and distinct notes of juniper
  • Best matching Vermouth: Lyre's non-alcoholic Dry Vermouth

Siegfried Wonderleaf is an excellent choice of non-alcoholic gin to craft alcohol-free Martini mocktails due to its impeccable herbal and fresh taste. While it might not stand alone for sipping, when combined with other elements, its character shines. 

With discernible notes of juniper and a carefully crafted blend of about 18 secret botanicals, including coriander and cinnamon, Wonderleaf lends a sophisticated depth to alcohol-free cocktails. Its vegan, sugar-free, and all-natural composition make it a go-to option for crafting flavorful and satisfying mocktails that capture the essence of a classic Martini minus the alcohol.

Why we like it: Siegfried Wonderleaf's herbal freshness pairs remarkably well with Lyre's non-alcoholic Dry Vermouth alternative, creating a captivating alcohol-free Martini mocktail that stands out for its intricate botanical notes and balanced flavors.

12. Special mention: Plymouth Gin

Plymouth is actually its own category. But I want to include it as a special mention because the citrus-flavored Gin fits wonderfully in a well-crafted Martini.

Plymouth Gin White Negroni
  • Region: UK
  • Distiller: Black Friars Distillery
  • ABV: 41.2%
  • Tasting Notes: Juniper, lemon, orange, Angelica, and black pepper
  • Best matching Vermouth: Noilly Prat

Plymouth Gin is famous for its unique flavor, soft texture, and smooth mouthfeel. It works great in a Martini combined with Noilly Prat in a 2:1 ratio. Add two dashes of orange cocktail bitters to your Martini, and you get an amazing Martini.

If you don't like the taste of Noilly Prat in this particular case, try it with a Dolin Blanc. Though it's not a Dry Vermouth, it works exceptionally well with Plymouth Gin.

Why we like it: Plymouth Gin is a fantastic choice for a Gin Martini with a traditional flavor profile. It's also super easy to mix and pairs well with the most common Dry Vermouths.

How to Master a (Dry) Martini

In its early days, a classic Martini used to be a mix of Sweet Vermouth and Old Tom Gin, a rather sweet type of Gin.

Today, a classic Dry Martini uses Dry Vermouth, commonly Noilly Prat or Dolin Dry, and Dry Gin. And also, most Martini recipes are based on London Dry Gin, so it's no surprise we have some of those on our list.

Besides your choice of Gin and Dry Vermouth, the ratio of the ingredients is key to making your drink perfect. While 5:1 is the most pleasing to people's palates on average, your preference can differ.

Seasoned Martini drinkers might want to increase the Gin proportion to 7 or even 10. But you can also start with a ratio of 3:1.

Elon Soddu, an ex-head bartender at The Savoy, has a tip for everyone to make your Martini the right way:

"In a dry Martini, you use it (the Vermouth) just to rinse your glass, whereas, in a wet Martini, you actually add it into the mix, stirring it well."

Stir both ingredients on ice in a mixing glass and strain into a chilled Martini glass.

Related Articles

  • Gibson cocktail - A simple variation of a Martini, famously garnished with pickled onions.
  • Vodka Martini - A vodka based twist on the classic Martini recipe.
  • A collection of Martini drinks - From closely related recipes to loose interpretations like Espresso Martinis.

Final Verdict

Besides the traditional London Dry Gins, we included some less common options in our list of best Gins for Martinis. Try to make a Martini with Hendrick's Gin or Iron Balls to experience your Martini in a new way.

If you're looking for a more classic option as the base in your Martini, opt for a Tanqueray No. 10 or Sipsmith.

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