A negroni is a carefully well-balanced cocktail, but don't assume that it's a fragile cocktail easily ruined by a splash of an extra ingredient or even with an unusual or unexpected gin. Negronis are one of my favorite cocktails, so finding the right profile and the best flavor is serious business. So I did some work to find the best gin for any negroni.
10 Best Gins for Your Negroni: Finding Your Taste
Most Approachable: Best pick for those that want a neutral, original Negroni.
Best of the Familiar: For those that want a comforting, familiar gin for their cocktail.
Tanqueray London Dry Gin
Best Floral Gin: A revolutionary gin, made with honey for distinctive sweetness and flavor.
Barr Hill Gin
Best London Dry: The ideal gin for that London Dry gin taste.
Beefeater London Dry
Best German Gin: This unique gin packs in 47 botanicals from a surprising geographical location.
Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin
Best of Botanicals: For those that want that botanical flavor.
Bombay Sapphire London Dry Gin
Best of the Old School: Plymouth-style gin is produced by a single distillery, and it's also one of the oldest.
Best of Earthy and Aromatic: For those looking for an earthier gin with an aromatic presence.
St. George Terroir Gin
Best Japanese Gin: A smooth sipping, new school gin from Japan.
Best of the Dry Botanicals: For those who want a rich and herbaceous yet dry gin.
The Botanist Gin
The beauty of Bombay Sapphire is its ability to blend and mix with a host of ingredients. Its juniper and botanical flavors will always shine through, in all the right ways, particularly in a negroni.
The botanicals are handpicked by the distillery, where they're then infused with the spirit, giving Bombay that signature and heartwarming gin thanks to the light peppery notes woven with soft almond.
Tanqueray gin is a household name, as it's been around for nearly 200 years. Its well-balanced flavor and dry finish are beloved among gin drinkers. With notes of juniper, coriander, and licorice, its herbaceous palate complements the sweet vermouth and Campari.
Tanqueray has a distinctive taste, so there's no hiding that this gin is present, but it keeps the Campari from dominating the classic cocktail.
Distilled in custom-built stills, Barr Hill is a juniper-forward gin, with a floral flavor boosted by the raw honey used in the distillation process. The result is a distinctive gin with just a touch of sweetness.
It's a simply made gin, skipping the long list of botanicals, to reimagine a light and floral gin, verging on playful, and it has been done so quite successfully.
Beefeater is a household name, its juniper and citrus flavors are known around the world. Made up of nine botanicals, this is the quintessential London dry gin. Perhaps not for the new gin drinkers, but a welcoming friend for those that are experienced.
Still made today using the original recipe from 200 years ago, it has a bold juniper flavor with notes of lemon zest and orange lurking just below the surface, a smooth and traditional flavor lingering after each sip.
Distilled in the Black Forest in Germany, this gin uses 47 botanicals in its recipe, and its name gives a nod to this fact. The recipe is a secret, shared between just two people, and it continues to be made by hand with fresh ingredients.
The recipe results in a gin with floral flavors, tangy citrus notes, and a peppery whisper, all while juniper shines through to remind you that this is a gin at heart. Despite these complex and original flavors, the gin remains balanced and tasteful.
With flavors of orange and juniper, as well as subtle floral notes, Fords gin is already a well-rounded gin before it even meets the vermouth and Campari in the glass.
With a total of nine botanicals that it brings to the table, it's not lacking in flavor, but it's certainly not overwhelming as some gins can be. It holds its own and makes a beautifully balanced Negroni.
Plymouth-style gin is typically a lighter gin, with more citrus-forward notes than its traditional counterparts. True Plymouth gin can only be produced at one distillery, making their recipe unable to be reproduced or copied anywhere else in the world.
The distillery uses the same blend of botanicals since the mid-1900s, the recipe having adjusted only slightly over time. The result is a smooth yet rich gin. With cardamom and coriander on the nose, along with juniper as well, it's a creamy yet full-bodied gin, with a crisp and fresh finish.
While typically well-known for smooth whiskeys, Japanese gin has started to appear on the scene. This style is well worth noticing and sipping.
Utilizing six uniquely Japanese botanicals, there's a refreshing nose of cherry blossom and green tea. There is a traditional gin palette that's offset with notes of yuzu, helping in delivering a smooth and silky sip. On the finish is a lite spice flavor, thanks to sansho pepper, lingering in the silky tones.
Botanist gin has a whopping 22 handpicked botanicals, local to the distillery in Scotland. Of their botanicals, they include nine different types of berries, barks, and seeds to make up the flavor profile.
Its main profile of coriander, juniper, and citrus combine for an incredible tasting gin, both on its own or stirred smoothly into a negroni. The delicately sweet notes marry well with the rich and mellow flavors that warm the body on the finish.
St. George Terroir has an earthy presence, that's also heavily aromatic for a full drinking experience. With flavors of coriander, fir, and sage, St. George opts for big and unusual botanical flavors. These nontraditional botanicals are followed by bay laurel leaves and juniper berries which are vapor-infused before further distillation.
The resulting gin has woodsy notes from the fir, laurel, and sage. A hint of citrus shines through, to give an elegant balance. This gorgeous combination makes for a unique but memorable negroni.
Whether you're thinking of adding a traditional gin, London dry, Japanese, or whatever bottle catches your eye, you can't go too wrong. Luckily, there's a gin for every palette and budget when it comes to finding the best gin for a Negroni.