Gin may be the quintessential British spirit, but small-batch distillers in the United States have begun producing some fantastic bottles worthy of our erstwhile overlords.
Made by the New York Distilling Company, Perry’s Tot ($36) is surprisingly approach-able, considering its “navy strength” (114 proof as compared to the typical 80 or 90), and has notes of citrus, cinnamon, and juniper—the botanical used to flavor all gins, by law.
Floral with a slightly rounder mouthfeel, Ingenium ($40), from Maine’s New England Distilling, retains the flavors of the barley and rye used to make it.
The spiciest and most intense of this trio, No. 209 ($36), released by the San Francisco distillery of the same name, offers hints of bergamot-orange peel and coriander.
Though you could sip any of the above in a sophisticated martini, summer calls for a gin and tonic. With only two ingredients (three if you count the de rigueur squeeze of lime), the elements must be great on their own, and exceptional together. Thing is, the Brits still beat us on the mixer: Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water. Crisp G&T in hand, your shorts and T-shirt might suddenly seem quite chichi.