Gin Martini - Review and List of Gin Brands and Gin Types for Martini's

A martini is made with gin. Period. Not vodka. There's another name for that. Choose a good brand of gin to use in your martini. Badly made gin will taste horrible while good gin will be aromatic and distinctive. Martini's were made famous on good gin. The Vodka Martini or vodkatini came much later and in purist circles is not considered remotely related to a martini. That's how coveted good gin was in those days. See our review of vodka brands to know which type of vodka you prefer in your vodka martini.

Glance at the following gin brands and types. Each is crafted with distinctive aromas, spices and fruit. What is your favorite Gin Brand?

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Blue Gin
We've heard that the model was not part of the maceration process ;-)

Blue Gin Model Advertising for USA - 2010

Blue Gin goes through two distillation processes: the raw material is first distilled in small copper pots (pot-still method). The pot-still method is still considered one of hte gentlest distillation methods because there is no overheating. The wheat base, called Mulan, is grown in Austrian fields. The second distillation process, called rectification, results in a distillate of 84% by alcohol.

During maceration (softening and separating through soaking), the aromas are carefully extracted and authentically conserved in the grain alcohol. After a few days, the grain alcohol and botanicals are pot-still distilled again to separate the solid botanicals from the alcohol.

Twenty-seven botanicals are used to create what Blue Gin calls a "fresh, elegant juniper aroma with fragrant lemony and spicy facets". Some of the spices used in the making of Blue Gin are: lemon rind, angelica root, cilantro seeds, turmeric, and licorice. They are imported from such countries as Egypt, China, Spain, Indonesia, Macedonia, The Netherlands, Romania, Turkey, the United States and Vietnam.

Bombay Sapphire Gin
Bombay Sapphire Gin is crisp and light with a hint of lemon. Its spice blend is well balanced.

Tanqueray Gin
Tanqueray Gin lingers on your tongue, is spicy, fresh and evokes an herbal flavor. It is said to be a complex gin.

Gordon’s Gin
Gordon’s Gin is straightforward and honest. You will taste juniper berry immediately followed by coriander and ending with citrus. Gordon’s is not priced expensively..

Beefeater Gin
Beefeater Gin is also straightforward. You again will taste juniper berry immediately along with spices and fruit followed by lavender.  Beefeater is said to not be complex or expensive.

O-N Gin
Organic Nation Gin, distilled in small batches in Ashland Oregon, contains 12 different botanicals (from plants or herbs), juniper berry, black pepper, coriander, angelica, and basil. Organic Nation Gin is only one of four organic gins produced in the world and it is the first organic gin produced and distilled on the West Coast of the United States. O-N Gin surprises the palette with a slight hint of citrus combined with a complex nose. Diane Paulson, Owner of Cascade Peak Spirits and distiller of Organic Nation Gin, says that mixologists are touting her gin as "a remarkable gin that stands outs and stands up to create unparalleled cocktails and a delectable Martini!"

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List of Gin Brands

  • 209 Gin - San Francisco - Distillery No. 209
  • Anchor Junipero Gin - California - Anchor Steam Brewery
  • Aristocrat Gin
  • Aviation Gin - Portland, Oregon - House Spirits
  • Bafferts Gin - England - Triple-distilled with Four Botanicals
  • Barton Gin
  • Beefeater
  • Bellringer Gin - England
  • Blackwood's Superior Nordic Vintage Dry Gin
  • Blue Riband
  • Blue Gin - Pot-distilled - Austria
  • BOLS - Dutch Jenever
  • Bombadier Military Gin
  • Bombay - Distilled with Eight Botanicals
  • Bombay Sapphire - Distilled with Ten Botanicals
  • Boodles British Gin
  • Boomsma Jonge Genevere Gin
  • Booth's - First Produced in 1790 by Sir Felix Booth
  • Broker's Premium London Dry Gin
  • Bulldog Gin - Infused with Poppy and Dragon Eye
  • Burnett's Gin - Based on a 1770 Recipe by Sir Robert Burnett
  • Caballito - Panama
  • Cadenhead's Old Raj Gin - Small Amount of Saffron
  • Calvert Gin
  • Cascade Mountain Gin - Oregon - Hand-picked Wild Juniper Berries
    check out Cascade's organic O-N Vodka
  • Citadelle - France - Distilled with 19 Botanicals
  • City of London Gin - England - Premium Small Batch
  • Coldstream
  • Cork Dry Gin
  • Damrak Amsterdam
  • Dirty Olive - Olive-flavored
  • DH Krahn Gin - Northern California
  • Downings - New Zealand
  • Eyguebelle - France - Orange Peel
  • Gale Force - Nantucket, Massachusetts
  • Geek Gin
  • Gilbey's London Dry Gin
  • Gin Bulag - Philippines
  • Gin Llave - Argentina
  • Gin Lubuski
  • Gin Xoriguer - Minorca
  • Ginebra San Miguel - Philippines
  • Glen's Gin
  • Gordon's - England - "by appointment to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain"
  • Greenall's
  • Hamptons Gin
  • Hayman's 1820 Gin Liqueur - England - Sweet
  • Hayman's Old Tom Gin - Modified version of the original recipe - Sweeter
  • Hendrick's Gin - Cucumber, Coriander, Citrus peel and Rose petals.
  • Iceberg Gin - Made with iceberg water
  • Jacquin's®
  • Juniper Green Organic Gin - England - 1st English organic gin made with Four Botanicals
  • Larios - Spain
  • Leyden Dry Gin - Distilled 3x - 2x in a column still and 1x in a pot still
  • London Silk
  • Magellan Gin - Blue Color - made of Iris root
  • McCormick Gin
  • Martin Miller's Gin - England - Eight Botanicals blended with Icelandic spring water
  • Miller's®
  • Mr. Boston
  • Old Tom®
  • Oude®
  • Phillips Dry Gin - England
  • Pimm's®
  • North Shore Distillery Distiller's Gin No. 6 - Citrus, Spice and Floral accents
  • Pink 47 London Dry Gin - England -
  • Plymouth
  • Quintessential
  • Raffles Gin
  • Sarticious Gin - Santa Cruz, California (Dutch-style) - Orange and Cilantro
  • Seagram's Gin
  • Silver Wolf Gin
  • Smeets - Belgium - Range of fruit flavoured gins
  • South Gin - New Zealand - 3x distilled - Juniper berries, Lemon, Orange, Coriander seeds, Angelica leaves, Orris, Gentian root, Manuka berries (New Zealand), Kawa kawa leaves, used by the indigenous Maori people for medicinal purposes
  • Steinhäger
  • Swordsman
  • Taaka - England
  • Tanqueray
  • Tanqueray Rangpur - Botanical Rangpur Lime
  • Tanqueray No.10
  • Toojburn's Signature
  • Van Gogh Gin - Dutch - 10 botanicals, Triple distilled
  • Whitley Neill London Dry Gin - England - Baobab tree fruit (the "Tree of Life") and the Cape Gooseberry, two botanicals from Africa
  • Uganda Waragi - Uganda - Triple distilled

 




Over 250 Martini Recipes!

Martini of the Month

Holly Jolly Christmas Martini Recipe
Dedicated to Burl Ives

  • 3 oz Gin
  • 1/2 oz Dry Vermouth
  • 1 tspn Peppermint Schnapps
  • 1 small candy cane

Add the gin, vermouth and peppermint schnapps together into a cocktail shaker which is filled halfway with cold, cracked ice. Shake well and then strain the delicious mixture into a chilled cocktail glass. Hang the small candy cane off the side of the rim and voila - you have the Burl Ives' Holly Jolly Christmas Martini.


Burl Ives' Holly Jolly Christmas Martini Recipe

 

Baklava Martini
We take from the Greeks in our celebration of the fall/autumn season with the Baklava Martini. The closest ting to eating this delicious Greek dessert.

  • 1 fluid ounce amaretto liqueur
  • 3 fluid ounces gin
  • 1 fluid ounce creme de cacao
  • 1 1/2 fluid ounces simple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine amaretto, gin, creme de cacao, simple syrup, and cinnamon in a cocktail shaker full of ice. Shake the mixture together and then strain it all into 2 martini glasses.


En-Lighten-Mint Martini
Perfect for Spring and Mother's Day. Hemingway may even have tried one!

  • 1 oz Cucumber Infused Clique Vodka
  • 3 Lemon wheels
  • 3 oz Sparkling water
  • 1 Mint sprig

Muddle infused vodka, 2 lemon wheels and mint sprig. Strain into a tall glass with ice and top with soda water. Garnish with a cucumber strip and lemon wheel.


Clique Vodka En-Lighten-Mint Martini

 

Baklava Martini
We take from the Greeks in our celebration of the fall/autumn season with the Baklava Martini. The closest ting to eating this delicious Greek dessert.

  • 1 fluid ounce amaretto liqueur
  • 3 fluid ounces gin
  • 1 fluid ounce creme de cacao
  • 1 1/2 fluid ounces simple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine amaretto, gin, creme de cacao, simple syrup, and cinnamon in a cocktail shaker full of ice. Shake the mixture together and then strain it all into 2 martini glasses.


Lefty O'Doul's Pineapple Martini Recipe
JC writes in to the Muse:
"a few weeks ago my wife and I were in San Francisco and stopped in Lefty O'Douls for drinks... she had a SKYY infused pineapple martini that she loved... I've looked all over for a recipe and can't find one...do you know of any?"

Well, JC, we were wondering how Lefty O'Doul's made their Pineapple Martini also so we called them. We spoke with Chuck Davis, the Manager/Bartender. He was the bartender who made your pineapple martini.

  • 1 ½ oz. SKYY pineapple vodka
  • 1/8 oz. dry vermouth
  • Chill the mixed concoction
  • Serve it all up in a martini shell glass
  • Optional: add a slice of pineapple on side of glass as a garnish


Manmohan Prashar's Real Martini Recipe
Manmohan Prashar emailed us this simple, pure and tasty martini recipe:

  • 1 part red dry vermouth
  • 2 part vodka
  • 3 part gin

Step 1: start with vermouth; measure 1 part, drop a few drops in a chilled cocktail glass; rotate the glass so that vermouth is spread on the glass walls. Pour rest of the vermouth left in the measure glass in cocktail shaker.

Step 2: Add 2 parts vodka to the cocktail shaker.

Step 3: Add 3 part gin to the cocktail shaker.

Shake well and serve
Cheers!!
Manmohan Prashar


  Meadow Lark Vodka Martini

Mike Sherwood of Santa Rosa Spirits writes The Muse that he's been experimenting with two infusions from Sub Rosa Spirits. Nothing radical and, that he says, is the point. He likes mixing Elderflower Liqueur with Tarragon Vodka. The Saffron and Cointreau seemed destined as partners, "very lush and warming", he says. Mike adds a hint of fine freshly ground black pepper into a plain Tarragon martini. Grinding in white pepper also works well. The martini is meant to be understated which brings out the delicate flavor of the tarragon.

  • 1/4 oz. St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur
  • 2 oz. Sub Rosa Tarragon Vodka
  • splash of lemon juice
  • 2 oz. soda water

Combine all ingredients into a martini glass over cold ice - check out Swank Martini Glasses for a nice selection of classic, cool and artsy martini glasses - and shake. The elderflowers bring imagery of a fresh summer meadow at sunrise. The Meadow Lark is Oregon's state bird.


  The Marseille Airport Martini

The Marseille Airport Martini may require 1-2 ounces of ginger ale or a juice of your liking. The weekend bartender at Serattos make this one with a little soda water mixed in. Soda cut the sweetness of the orange liqueur but need to play with this one a little more. The Marseille Airport Martini has a pale yellow orange cast to if from the Saffron vodka and Cointreau. The aroma is warm and familiar yet not completely identifiable due to the toasted cumin wafting over the orange liqueur and fresh lime. Think Golden Cosmopolitan minus the juice.

  • 2 ounces Sub Rosa Saffron infused vodka
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • 1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 dashes Peychaud's bitters (Orange bitters will work as well)

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with cracked ice. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a long twist of lime.


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