Gin is an alcoholic beverage made from malt wine and is a base ingredient in making a dirty martini. A dirty martini can be made from either vodka or gin, the latter of which will be the focus of this article.
We will look at some of the things to consider before buying a bottle of gin and will help you find the best gin for a dirty martini.
- Gordon’s London Dry Gin
- Four Pillars Gin
- Sipsmith London V.J.O.P. Gin
- Whitley Neil Original London Dry
- Gray Whale Gin
What to Consider Before Buying Gin for a Dirty Martini
How to choose gin for a cocktail
There are several considerations to think about before buying a bottle of gin to make a dirty martini. You do not want to buy an expensive bottle of gin if the quality of your homemade cocktail is not a concern. Set your budget and consider how often you will be making dirty martinis.
If your cocktail-making is going to be for special occasions only, perhaps purchasing a higher-priced bottle of gin is something you could be comfortable with. However, if this is something you will be making often and you will need to replace the gin more often, you may want to find a more affordable favorite.
Things to look for in the best gin
Gin can have different factors across brands and production methods. Firstly, you want to look at the strength of the gin you are purchasing. Most gins are produced with an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 40% (80 proof) with the ‘export strength’ variations produced at an ABV of 43% (86 proof).
Next, you want to look at any flavoring or infusions in the gin. Certain flavors can alter the taste of your dirty martini with some botanicals and fruit extracts overwhelming the senses. A flavored option can affect how your dirty martini turns out, so this is an important factor to look at when shopping around.
How to make a dirty martini with gin
The easiest way to make a dirty martini with gin can be done in under 5 minutes. First, you want to place 2 martini glasses in your fridge to allow the glass to chill. Next, thread 4 to 6 pitted green olives onto 2 cocktail sticks.
Next, fill a mixing glass with ice and add 150 milliliters of gin, 25 milliliters of dry vermouth, and 25 milliliters of olive brine. Stir the mixture until the mixing glass is chilled and tastes to ensure the strength and flavor are how you would prefer.
Finally, strain the dry martini into the chilled glasses and garnish the cocktail with olive skewers. This recipe can make 2 dry martinis to share with a friend or loved one.
Top 5 Best Gins for a Dirty Martini
Gordon’s London Dry Gin was established in 1769 by Alexander Gordon, the founder of the gin company. The distillery in Southwark in London is known for its supply of clean water which is a feature that improves the flavor of the gin produced.
This gin has been made with the same recipe for over 250 years, keeping to the traditions and originality in its production. The ideal gin option from the brand is Gordon’s London Dry Gin variation.
This gin is made with handpicked juniper berries and stored for 2 years to ensure the flavor profile meets the brand’s expectations.
- Gordon’s London Dry Gin Export: This bottle of dry gin is bottled at an alcohol content of 37,5% (75 proof). A 750-milliliter bottle of this gin costs approximately $14, the 1-liter bottle costs $17, and the 1,75-liter bottle can be bought for $19.
- Multiple Variations: Gordon’s has several variations available for purchase which include Pink 0% Alcohol-Free, Morello Cherry, Tropical Passionfruit, Sicilian Lemon Distilled, and Premium Pink Distilled Gin.
- While the alcohol-free variation has an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 0%, the other variations do include alcohol. Sicilian Lemon has an ABV of 37,5% (75 proof) along with the Premium Pink variation, Tropical Passionfruit variation, and the Morello Cherry variation.
- Affordable Price Point: Gordon’s Gin is known to be an affordable gin option, with the average price per bottle amounting to $16 to $19. This is a good gin option for someone planning to make dirty martinis frequently and who will subsequently have to replace the bottles frequently.
- Why is this a good gin for a dirty martini? This gin has tasting notes of dry juniper and zesty notes of lemon and other citrus fruits. There is a nose of lemon zest, sweet juniper, and fresh herbs with a medium and simple finish. These tasting notes will not overpower a dry martini, rather enhancing the flavors.
Four Pillars Gin was founded in 2013 by three friends with a single copper still. Since its creation, the brand’s collection of copper stills has expanded to 4 additional stills, all named and appreciated by the founders.
Based in Healesville, Yarra Valley, this brand aims to bring people together and enjoy a beverage in celebration of that togetherness.
- Rare Dry Gin: The rare dry gin is the ideal gin to use to make a dirty martini. This is due to the smoothness of the beverage, which when combined with Asian botanicals and Mediterranean citrus, creates a beverage that highlights the complexities of a dirty martini.
- Botanicals incorporated into the gin: Four Pillars uses botanicals collected from various locations to create a flavorful and fresh gin product. Some botanicals found in this gin include green cardamom, star anise, lavender, cassia, cubeb, green Szechuan, and 11 other botanicals aside from those discussed below.
- The orange is collected from Australia and enhances the spices held within the gin. Juniper is harvested in Macedonia, with Lemon Myrtle found in Queensland and Coriander in South Australia. Angelica root is harvested from the Netherlands with Pepper berries collected from Tasmania.
- Traditional production: This gin is made with copper stills and a carefully formulated recipe that abides by traditional methods of gin production. Once the gin has been produced, it is left for a few weeks to settle, allowing the full flavor profile to emerge.
- Higher price point: This gin is sold at an average cost of $34 per 750 ml bottle, with an alcohol content of 41,8% (83,6 proof).
3. Sipsmith London V.J.O.P. Gin
Sipsmith was founded in 2007 by Sam Galsworthy and Fairfax Hall who had a goal to create a gin ideal for martinis.
They eventually joined forces with Jared Brown who was a renowned alcoholic beverage aficionado. From there they aimed to create the best London Dry Gin that they could.
They created a recipe for their gin that would reflect the craftsmanship and patience that had been exercised in creating this beverage.
The final recipe was finished on the 14th of March in 2009, setting a precedent for how the brand would create gin going forward. Sipsmith London’s V.J.O.P. is one of the brand’s premium gin offerings.
- Refined flavor profile: Sipsmith gin has a nose of cedarwood and juniper pine which are complimented by hints of orange zest. On the palate, this gin brings forth tastes of rich spice, juniper, and dark chocolate with a long and dry balanced finish.
- Why this is a good gin for a dirty martini: With an alcohol content of 57,7% ABV (115,4 proof), this is a stronger gin variation that will make a strong and flavorful dirty martini. Sipsmith was created to be used as a base for cocktails or in mixers, with the brand suggesting a large variety of recipes to use with their product offering.
- High Price Point: Sipsmith London V.J.O.P. Gin costs approximately $46 per bottle, making this a higher-priced gin alternative. This is a gin that is perhaps better suited for someone who prefers higher-priced and quality gin. However, if you are considering making gin martinis often, this may not be the best option as it will cost more to replace each bottle.
Established in 1762, Whitley Neil Original London Dry is a handcrafted, artisanal gin with its roots based in England.
Created at the City of London Distillers, this gin has been produced for 200 years by a family of distillers. The founder, Johnny Neill, was an eighth-generation distiller who inspired his descendants to keep up the family tradition.
The original variation of this gin was created by Johnny Neill who is a direct descendant of the long family line of gin distillers. He wanted to create his blend to create a gin that paid homage to his family’s adventurous tastes and the beauty of Africa which is his wife’s homeland.
- Original London Dry Gin: The original variation of Whitley Neill gin is made with 9 botanicals including coriander seed, orris root, cassia bark, juniper, sweet orange, gooseberry, lemon, angelica root, and baobab. This gives the gin an interesting and flavorful profile.
- This gin has a long finish with subtle notes of candied lemon peels, herbs, and cocoa which complement the nose of pepper, florals, and sweet citrus.
- Wide variety of options: Whitley Neill has a wide product offering including 22 variations which range from alcohol-free to botanical and unique flavor options. Among these flavors are Black Cherry, Blood Orange Gin, Alcohol-Free Raspberry, alcoholic Raspberry, and, much more.
- Why it should be included in your next dirty martini: The flavor profile of this gin will bring out the additional flavors of vermouth and olives in a dirty martini. Without overwhelming those additional characteristics, this gin will create a well-rounded flavor.
- Affordable price point: Whitley Neill Gin can be bought for an average cost of $31 (excluding tax), bottled at an alcohol content of 43% ABV (86 proof).
Gray Whale Gin focuses on handcrafted spirits and the effect that the gin can have by bringing people together. This fin celebrates the long journey Gray Whales make, finding unique ingredients flong that path to create a flavorful and refreshing gin beverage.
This gin is made using botanicals that have been foraged from along the migratory path that the California Gray Whale follows.
The whale will make a 12-thousand-mile migration from the Baja Peninsula to the Arctic with the gin company following that path to collect the botanicals for the gin. This gin is sold at an alcohol content of 43% ABV (86 proof) at an average price of $35.
- Interesting Botanicals: Along the path that the California Gray Whale follows are a host of botanicals and ingredients used to produce this gin.
- Limes from Temecula are hand zested, as well as handpicked fresh mint from Santa Cruz. Almonds are harvested from the Capay Valley followed by wild juniper berries foraged from Bug Sur. Finally, fir is collected from a Sonoma Valley tree farm and Kombu Sea kelp is collected from the Mendocino Coast.
- Wildlife Support: each bottle sold by Gray Whale Gin supports Oceana, an organization that attempts to protect and restore oceans across the world. You can ensure that when you purchase gin from this brand, you are supporting a company that wants to preserve and protect the natural ecosystem that inspired its creation.
- Why it should be used for a dirty martini: This gin has a flavor profile that is created from 6 main botanicals and ingredients. When the gin is in the pot still, the flavors of Kombu, almonds, and juniper are combined to create a refreshing taste. The vapor basket is where the limes, mint, and fir trees are incorporated making a refined and flavorful gin.
Best Gin for a Dirty Martini – Final Thoughts
The best gin for a dirty martini is the gin you will enjoy consuming and that you will use often. You want to ensure it is within your budget before buying it and be aware of how often you will need to replace the bottles of gin. If you need to buy a bottle more often, an expensive gin may not be the best one for you.
For an affordable bottle of gin, Gordon’s London Dry Gin Export could be considered the best option as it comes at an average price of $17,50 per bottle. This is a good option for someone considering making dirty martinis more frequently who does not want to spend too much to replace each bottle.
A middle-price gin option is Gray Whale Gin, making it the best gin for a consumer not too concerned about price, and who wants to support cleaning up the world’s oceans. Another middle-price option is Whitley Neill Gin which has a rounded flavor created with English and African influences.
A gin designed to be used in mixers and cocktails is Sipsmith London’s V.J.O.P. which comes at a higher price and is the best gin option for someone who prefers versatility and rich notes in their gin. Another high-end gin is the Four Pillars Gin which is made with botanicals harvested worldwide, providing cocktails with a flavorful base.
Overall, the best gin for a dirty martini will depend on the flavor profile you wish to incorporate and the price point that is within your budget. Hopefully, you have a better idea of which gin to try next when making your homemade dirty martini.