If gin isn't among your go-to drinks, it may be time to give it another try.
Gin usually sees a popularity surge in summer—gin & tonics, Tom Collins and other classics—but it's also experiencing a less-seasonal renaissance on cocktail menus and a stronger presence on liquor store shelves, thanks to the craft distilling boom.
"There's a massive amount of potential, and we've just started in the past year or so to see some really, really interesting products coming on to the market," said Nima Ansari, spirit buyer and sales manager for New York City's Astor Wines and Spirits. "It's turned into a category of, there's something for everyone." Even those who might normally give gin a wide berth.
"There's always some weird hesitancy toward gin," said Matt Tocco, beverage director for Pinewood Social, a bar and restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee. Some people think of it as something their grandparents drank, he said, while the juniper flavor has left others with a bad taste in their mouths from earlier drinking experiences.
"Contemporary gins are getting away from the big London dry, juniper-heavy styles," he said. "You can use them as a gateway to get more people to like gin." (See chart below for a list—by no means exhaustive—of expert picks. Click on the drink names to see the recipe.)