We have a Beefeater Problem

I only started procuring gin to make certain exotic cocktails, such as the Saturn shown here. I picked up a bottle of Beefeater London Dry Gin and haven’t looked back. I like the flavors that it imparts and I like the bottle design. Even better was how it was issued at 47% ABV, a step up from many retail spirits, giving this spirit a lot more flavor than vodkas and light rums. I’ve tried other gins but found that I like Beefeater and while I have dozens of rums, I didn’t feel like I needed to do much exploring in the gin category.

A couple years back Beefeater dropped their ABV to 44%, which I didn’t bat too much of an eye at though I will say I did buy a couple bottles of the 47% version that I found at a local liquor store. All seemed to be okay.

But Beefeater recently dropped their proof again and is now a paltry 40% ABV! This is a bridge too far, though I did go back to that store to buy a couple more 47s they still had in stock. But I can’t recommend the brand per se anymore. I do see that brands like Tanqueray are still at 47%, which is where I guess I’d stand from a recommendation standpoint, even though I haven’t done a side by side comparison.

What do you think, dear reader? What are your recommended gins for mixing?

4 Replies to “We have a Beefeater Problem”

  1. I prefer Bombay Sapphire in a Saturn. The strong botanicals in Sapphire work well in a mixed drink. I do find Sapphire a bit too much in a martini and prefer Tanqueray for that.

  2. Gin is a huge category. I would say it’s right there with rum/cane spirits to compete for broadest spectrum of flavors. This is due to the simple fact that gin is all about the recipe, and producers today are experimenting with all kinds of things.

    For a go-to London Dry to mix with, I’d suggest Ford’s. Sipsmith is also great and Tanqueray is also without fault in this category. If you want to experiment, try Gunpowder Irish Gin, which is a gin in the same style, but with gunpowder green tea. Two more fantastic recommendations would be Monkey 47 and the Botanist, both dry gins that have make use of different locally-available botanicals.

    But there’s also the new-school “American” style gins, like Hendrick’s, Aviation, and I would include Citadelle in this group as well. These tend to focus on more vegetal, fruity, and/or floral flavors such as cucumber, rose, etc. These are super fun to play with.

    Lastly, even if you don’t want to experiment, there’s a good case to have room on your shelf for at least a few other bottles: Plymouth (kind of its own style), an Old Tom gin (especially or classic cocktail recipes as this is a vintage style), and if you’re so-inclined a Sloe Gin which is something totally unlike any other gin style, almost closer to a liqueur.

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