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While you want the best gin for your martinis, pricier brands don't always fit into the budget. That’s when you look to the bottom shelf at the liquor store for a bottle that bears a more reasonable price tag. It can be tricky to find a good-tasting gin that's also inexpensive because quite a few duds exist—but there are some gems out there, too. Keep these budget-friendly bottles in your well for mixed drinks and cocktails, including classics like the gimlet, gin and tonic, and Negroni.
When you want to save money, check out our top picks for the best cheap gin.
Best Overall: Gordon’s London Dry Gin
Reliable and affordable
Signature bold juniper notes
A bit harsh for martinis
ABV: 40% | Region: UK, Canada, US | Tasting Notes: Bold juniper, Citrus, Coriander
Gordon's is a go-to value gin. It's available in nearly every liquor store, and it makes an excellent mixed drink. You can also rely on Gordon’s if you travel the world. It’s so widely distributed that the gin is made in other countries outside of its current Scottish home distillery, including the U.S. and Canada. Also, in the U.K., the bottle is green while export bottles are clear. No matter how it’s packaged or sold, it’s always the same reliable gin.
The 80-proof spirit has a strong juniper base—the mark of a good London dry gin—and a selection of other botanicals that blend well with nearly any mixer. The average gin highballs, such as the gin sling and gin rickey, are excellent uses for this inexpensive gin. It can also hold its own in drinks with strong mixers and juices, like the paradise cocktail.
Best Western-Style Gin: New Amsterdam Gin
Soft juniper notes
Mixes well with fruits
Too soft for some gin drinkers
ABV: 40% | Region: US | Tasting Notes: Lime, Orange, Florals
For years, the inexpensive gin scene was dominated by London dry gins. Following larger market trends, more Western-style gins are available in this price range, and New Amsterdam Stratusphere is among the best. So as not to confuse it with the brand’s London dry—which has an entirely different profile—look for the grey label marked “The Original.”
Characterized by a softer juniper profile, it’s a fantastic representation of this modern style of gin. This 80-proof spirit has sweeter citrus and floral notes, so it appeals to drinkers who don’t necessarily enjoy the full-pine flavor of juniper berries. Distilled in California, it’s a good candidate for fruity mixed drinks, such as the salty dog. It's also pleasant in modern cocktails with unusual ingredients, like the lemongrass-infused Soho cocktail.
"We often associate high costs with quality, but New Amsterdam Stratusphere is the exception. This 95-point award-winning icon, uses only high-quality ingredients, such as its phenomenal makeup of botanicals, and sits in a pocket most gins do not—lower proof with an explosion of citrus flavors. This delightful combination offers both the traditional gin consumer and those new to the category the flexibility to explore many styles of cocktails without breaking the bank." - Christopher Chamberlain Manger, Spirits Academy
Best High-Proof: Booth’s London Dry Gin
Large bottles are ultra-economical
Good in tall drinks
Not as delicate because higher proof
Not sold in smaller bottles
ABV: 45% | Region: UK | Tasting Notes: Bold juniper, Coriander, Lemon, Dry finish
Booth's London Dry can be found in most markets and is a surprisingly nice gin. It has the characteristics often found in this price range: full juniper in the front followed by coriander, lemon peel, and other spices. It's bottled at 90-proof, which means those flavors are bigger and bolder, though not quite as brash as navy-strength gin.
Booth’s may not be the best-known brand, but it easily beats many of the other low-priced gins. It’s also almost exclusively available in 1.75-liter bottles. While that stretches your money even further, it also means that you have to commit rather than pick up a small amount to sample. Best in a tall, refreshing highball, give this one a try in any gin and soda drink. That punch of flavor also ensures it won’t get lost in a cocktail, even something with bold flavors, such as a Negroni or Last Word.
Best Sweet: Boomsma Jonge Genever
Most affordable genever
Balance sweet-botanical flavor
Good intro to genever
ABV: 40% | Region: Netherlands | Tasting Notes: Malty, Light juniper
Characteristically, gin is dry, though there are a couple of styles that break from that profile. While neither Old Tom gin or genever is sweet like liqueurs, they are decidedly sweeter than London dry and other types of gin. They’re classic styles primarily made by premium distillers, so there aren't many inexpensive options available. If you want to give one a try without breaking the bank, Boomsma Jonge Genever is a good option.
Genevers are Dutch and “jonge” means “young.” Similar to whiskey, it costs less than genever that's aged longer. The subtle sweetness comes from the inclusion of malt wine, and it has a rich maltiness that’s reminiscent of whiskey, but with a delicate juniper twist. Boomsma Jonge fits the profile perfectly and is an impressive award-winning genever. Drink it straight or experience its mixability in cocktails, including classics like a gin daisy.
Best for a Gin and Tonic: Burnett's London Dry Gin
Perfect with tonic water
Semi-harsh alcohol burn
ABV: 40% | Region: US | Tasting Notes: Juniper, Citrus, Floral, Bitter finish
Burnett's London Dry rivals Gordon’s in longevity, taste, and thriftiness. Classically styled, it originated in 18th-century London but is now owned by Heaven Hill Distillery and produced in Kentucky. A little lighter than most, it has a nice taste that balances out the pine and citrus flavors, and the florals are surprisingly pleasant. There is some distinct bitterness in the finish, but that’s not uncommon in this price range.
This 80-proof gin is carried by many liquor stores and is an excellent budget-friendly option for a gin and tonic. The crispness pairs nicely with any tonic water, so feel free to save a little money there, too. With that duo in stock, just pick up a few limes—because even budget-conscious drinkers know that fresh fruit is best—and you’ll be all set for a simple happy hour drink at home.
Best for Martinis: Pearl Gin
Good in flavored martinis
ABV: 44% | Region: Canada | Tasting Notes: Juniper, White pepper, Citrus
Generally, the “rule” is that budget gin should not be mixed into martinis and that’s good advice to follow. The classic gin martini is a very transparent cocktail that will not hide any of the spirit’s impurities. However, that’s just one cocktail recipe and there are many “martinis” that will work out just fine with a value find such as Pearl Gin.
This 88-proof Canadian gin is from the makers of Pearl Vodka. It’s distilled from winter wheat, which gives it a softer, sweeter base, and is blended with Rocky Mountain water. It’s crisp and clean, with a nice juniper profile backed by other botanicals. Try it in gin martinis with extra flavors, like pear vodka, fresh fruit, or even cucumber and wasabi. At this price, you can afford to experiment as much as you'd like.
Best for Fruity Cocktails: Gilbey's London Dry Gin
Classic gin taste
Easy to find
Smoother than expected
Most often sold in liters
ABV: 40% | Region: US | Tasting Notes: Juniper, Lemon zest, Coriander
There are no frills about Gilbey’s. It’s most often found in plastic bottles with that red cap and simple label combination familiar among bottom-shelf spirits. That said, this reliable 80-proof London dry gin makes rather nice drinks and is available at a price that’s hard to beat.
Gilbey’s has a flavor comparable to any other gin, and many fans even say it outshines the high-priced bottles. Its juniper-forward blend of botanicals makes it an excellent choice with any mixer, though it’s particularly suited to fruity drinks. Pour it into citrus juice beverages, mix it with fresh berries, or enjoy it in a strawberry gin and tonic. It can even handle the likes of a French martini.
Best for Hendrick's Drinkers: Hadley & Sons Gin
Cost-effective alternative to Hendrick’s
Cucumber and floral notes
Not light enough to get lost in drinks
Too soft for some tastes
ABV: 46% | Region: US | Tasting Notes: Cucumber, Floral, Soft juniper
When it was first released in 2001, Hendrick’s Gin turned the entire gin world upside down. Known as the “cucumber gin,” it also has rose notes that play wonderfully off the softer juniper and botanical blend and is exquisite in cocktails. Finding something similar for a fraction of the cost was impossible until Hadley & Sons Gin came around.
Produced by TerrePure Spirits in South Carolina, this gin is as close as you can get to Hendrick’s. It’s not as refined, but it does have nice cucumber and floral notes with a lovely citrus touch that plays very well off the lighter pine flavor. Bottled at 92-proof, it’s no weakling, and that extra alcohol does give it a nice flavor boost. Hadley & Sons is a good choice for a Tom Collins and similar tall drinks. Some fans even find it smooth enough to enjoy on the rocks dressed with a lemon twist.
Best for Vodka Drinkers: Dover Strait Gin
Very soft botanicals
Good with soda and citrus
Might be too vodka-like
ABV: 40% | Region: US | Tasting Notes: Lemon peel, Subtle juniper
Vodka drinkers tend to enjoy a clean, crisp spirit, and that can be challenging to find in gin. For a bottom-shelf option with subtle botanicals, Dover Strait Gin is a good choice. In fact, many experts find it so mild that they compare it to cheap neutral vodka.
Dover Strait is distilled in California from neutral grains. The taste has hints of lemon peel and whispers of juniper, so you’d think you’re drinking a botanically infused vodka, which is not a far stretch. Rather than drink it straight, top this 80-proof gin with tonic or seltzer and add a lemon or lime wedge to give it a tart boost.
Best Flavored: Seagram’s Peach Twisted Gin
Peach schnapps meets gin
Rather easy to find
Almost too sweet
ABV: 35% | Region: Canada | Tasting Notes: Peach, Honey, Herbaceous
Seagram's produces a good gin for the price. It doesn't have the full flavor of others, but it still contains a pleasant juniper profile. The company also bottles flavored gins; the lime is a favorite and watermelon is certainly quirky. However, Seagram’s Peach Twisted Gin steals the show.
Bottled at 70-proof, the original Seagram’s gin is blended with peach liqueur for a fun take on the botanical spirit. The liqueur also makes it sweeter, and almost like herbal peach schnapps, so you’ll want to take that into account when using it in recipes. This one does well with a little soda, iced tea, or an equally affordable dry sparkling wine. In mixed drinks, hold back on any sweeteners because the gin will take care of that on its own.
For an inexpensive gin that shines in any adult beverage, we suggest Gordon's London Dry Gin (view at Drizly). New Amsterdam Stratusphere Gin is an excellent choice when you want to break from tradition. And, if you have a thirst for something stronger, get bold with 90-proof Booth's London Dry Gin (view at Drizly).
What to Look for in a Cheap Gin
This might seem obvious, but flavor is an important consideration; even a neutral spirit such as gin receives flavor because it's infused with botanicals. But consider, for example, whether you want a gin whose juniper flavor is predominant and dry, as in a classic London dry gin. Or perhaps you're looking for something a little lighter with some citrus elements—that's an Old Tom style, most notably used in the Tom Collins cocktail. And, of course, a more modern style pervades, too, one that, instead of emphasizing juniper, brings other flavors and botanicals into the mix.
How do you use gin at your home bar? If you like gin and tonic, or you're a gin highball drinker, you may have preferences and want the flavor of the gin—whether it's heavy on the juniper or presents citrus notes, too—to be pronounced enough to come through. Gins that are flavored are sweeter and can be used in creative ways that will differentiate them from, say, a standard London dry gin. Finally, if you're primarily a vodka drinker and are coming to gin for the first time, selecting a brand that's less forthcoming with its pine flavor may help ease your transition into gin-based cocktails.
The gins on this list are fairly inexpensive, but it all depends on what you are looking for and your budget. Buying less expensive bottles enables you to experiment more easily, without breaking the bank.
What makes gin expensive?
The cost of gin can become expensive due to a few factors. First, if the ingredients used in the distillation process are unusual or imported, that can drive up the price. Also, makers of inexpensive gins tend to blend the ingredients and botanicals—it's much less labor-intensive—whereas premium gin distillers will often distill things multiple times and, in some cases, every time a new ingredient is added. This added labor has a cost.
What soft drinks go with gin?
Several beverages will pair well with gin. These include soda water, cranberry juice, ginger beer, lemon-lime soda, tomato juice, and cola. You can even seek out a fizzy elderflower or other floral or herbal-based sparkling water geared toward cocktail mixers.
How can you make gin taste better?
If gin is a new spirit for you, and you're used to a more neutral spirit, such as vodka, you might not be sure what to pair with it. But lime juice, lemon juice, or orange juice—indeed any citrus juice—will instantly perk up your gin.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Colleen Graham is a food and beverage writer with over a decade of experience writing about cocktails, beer, and wine. She is the author of two books and has toured many distilleries to get a firsthand look behind the scenes and talk to the experts who craft distilled spirits.