If gin and juice is your thing, this one has the character to shine through. First up? Where something like Seagram’s falls back on the classical aspects of the gin flavor profile, with punchy juniper and bitter pine, Barton Gin is a more successful implementation of the contemporary or “new western” style that is attempted so bombastically in New Amsterdam. Moderate-to-high sweetness will probably make the classical gin drinker turn up their nose, but it stops short of being cloying. This one doesn’t seem particularly well known among the gin literati, but it’s a solid value, if not at all complex. You might be able to find a good application for a spirit like that, but you won’t see us using New Amsterdam in proper gin drinks anytime soon. On the palate the citrus is more orange-like, with a combination of bitter orange peel, coriander spice and plenty of juniper from start to finish. In terms of character, this one comes across as a pretty classical London dry gin, although its signature is simply that all its notes are on the muted side. It’s still somewhat lacking in character, but balances the tonic better. On the palate, things become quite nicely balanced. Gordon’s won this thing by a country mile. This is a classical London dry gin all the way—we’re actually sort of impressed that something so inherently British-style is coming out of Beam. Gin, the foundational liquor behind so many classic cocktails, as well as some of the world’s most popular mixed drinks, such as the ubiquitous G&T. With spring approaching, Nolet’s silver gin would be my choice for a gin and tonic, A la Espanola style with enhancement of its natural botanicals like: Raspberries, peach and Moroccan rose. © 2020 Paste Media Group. Ultimately, that probably means you won’t be using this in a martini, where we’d appreciate a more diverse or distinctive array of botanicals, but it makes a pleasantly juniper-forward G&T. This is about the point of the tasting where we graduate from “something you should never drink” to “something that might actually be okay as a mixer.” Burnett’s isn’t a terribly visible brand, but it does have its fans, and it can at least claim to hail from a reliable whiskey producer in the form of Heaven Hill. Hendrick’s Gin and Tonic (£££) None have the inherent objectivity you get with a one-day, comprehensive, blind tasting of everything on the list. A twist of grapefruit and orange peel complements the basic structure, but ultimately it’s the juniper that is the star of the show. There’s no shortage of articles online that purport to tell you how to find the best “cheap liquor” or “bottom shelf” picks for various styles of booze. Clearly, when Sazerac Co. acquired the Barton, Glenmore, and Mr. Boston distilleries, they came into possession of quite a few cheap gin brands. That’s the thing about Gordon’s, the impeccable balance. Ultimately, Mr. Boston isn’t anywhere near the most assertive or most unique of these brands, but it’s definitely one of the best balanced and most approachable. On the nose, Gordon’s pops with fresh, resinous pine and sweet citrus impressions of lemon zest and grapefruit peel. These articles suck. This list is part of a Paste series of bottom shelf liquor and craft beer style tastings. As I asked for one of the plastic pints of Taaka from behind the package store register, the cashier casually remarked that this was the most popular gin selection among my city’s homeless gin aficionados, so we immediately knew we were in good hands here.