There comes a time in every gin drinker’s life when they want nothing but the most junipery of juniper-flavored gin. Simply being juniper-forward just will not do. It must taste like the berries have been plucked straight off the tree and placed onto your tongue. If this is you right here, right now, there’s good news: There’s a gin out there that’ll fit your needs. Most of these are London Dry style, and a few are American twists on London Dry. All of them will satisfy your juniper craving.
Sipsmith’s V.J.O.P. stands for “Very Junipery Over Proof.” That alone is enough to tell you what you’re in for with each sip. V.J.O.P. is bursting with piney juniper notes. Sipsmith uses triple the amount of juniper berries in this expression as in its normal London Dry, chasing “a desire to create the ultimate gin for juniper lovers.” It’s also 57.7 percent ABV, making it a solid pick for a strong Gin & Tonic.
A classic, old school London Dry, Beefeater is an affordable gin that holds its own in cocktails. Its pine and citrus notes helped define London Dry as a style, and it holds up to this day. The Yeoman of the Guard on the label will be marching into your juniper loving heart every time you use Beefeater in a cocktail.
Each bottle of Broker’s comes topped with a little tiny bowler hat. That’s your first hint at how English—specifically, the London Dry type of English—Broker’s is. The flavor starts and ends with strong juniper, and packs a punch at 47 percent ABV. It prides itself on sticking to a straightforward, 10-botanical ingredient list (juniper first and foremost), avoiding “the modern trend of using weird and wonderful spirits and botanicals,” as the distillery states on its website.
Tanqueray is another classic brand, and the standard London Dry uses the same recipe of four botanicals that it did when the company started in the 1830s. Since it’s only competing with three other botanicals, the juniper has plenty of room to shine, which is obvious no matter what mix of of juice you throw into your Gin and Juice.
Junipero was one of the only American gins on the market when Hotaling & Co. (formerly Anchor Distilling Company) first released it in 1996. It follows the lead of London Dry gins that came before it with a focus on juniper (as the name suggests). It’s not a numb-your-face-off amount of juniper, and strong pine notes are rounded out by pepper and cardamom.
The juniper is strong in all of the gins on this list, but Portland Dry Gin 33 takes things to a whole other level. New Deal Distillery went for a juniper purist vibe and only put juniper berries in its gin. That’s it. No citrus, no cardamom, just juniper. The small batch spirit can be hard to find outside of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, but all juniper heads should have Portland Dry Gin 33 on their radar.