When it comes to summer cocktails, nothing quite beats gin. Crisp, complex, and refreshing, gin is an adaptable spirit showcasing a broad range of flavors: from citrus to pine to spice and many others. Just as versatile as vodka, with the added bonus that it isn't vodka, gin is the perfect cocktail base to beat the heat. Here are some of our local favorites in this week's
Chicago Distilling Finn's Gin
A more balanced gin than some classic London Drys, with more citrus to round out the juniper. This easy sipping, lemon forward gin is perfect for the French 75
Layer upon layer of botanicals is the strength of this Whiskey Hotline favorite. All those layers of juniper, coriander, cinnamon, pepper, and citrus shine with the sweet and sour flavors of The Last Word
North Shore Gin No 6
This balanced, citrus-y, and floral gin is about as easy drinking as gin gets. Perfect for those new to gin, or for cocktails that need lighter flavors. It really soars in a classic like the Aviation
where it doesn't overpower the violet.
North Shore Gin No. 11
The granddaddy of local gins. This juniper heavy London Dry is a classic on its own, so we like it in a cocktail that showcases the gin, like a dry martini or a gin tonic.
ch Distillery Key Gin
Our go-to local gin for a classic Gimlet. CH Key is a very approachable gin with notes of key lime, pepper, and lavender. Perfect for the lime-forward Gimlet.
ch Distillery London Dry Gin
Although not as over-the-top juniper heavy as some other London Dry's, this beauty from CH is a balanve of cardamom, citrus, and pepper. Goes great in a spirit forward cocktail like the Vesper
Oppidan Botanical Gin
Loads of citrus lead the charge with grapefruit and lemon peel at the front. Backed up by floral, pepper, and ginger notes. Great gin for those not so in love with juniper.
Copper Fiddle Gin
This Genever style from Lake Zurich is fuller flavored but soft and round. Perfect for our Veel Geluk
, where it sits in perfect balance with a good raspberry liqueur.
Fox River Distilling Geneva's Preservation Gin
The Western 'burbs are getting into the mix as well with this citrus forward favorite from Fox River Distilling. Wonderfully balanced gin that is versatile enough for any classic gin cocktail.
Quincy Street Distillery Old No. 176 American Gin
Its bourbon mashbill (83% corn) gives a round body and a touch of sweetness. Very floral with hints of licorice and pepper. Goes great in a Bee's Knees.
Blaum Bros. Gin
A well balanced, classically styled gin. All the usual suspects like juniper, citrus, and pepper with a slight floral punch. A Negroni's
Koval Dry Gin
Don't be fooled by the pretty label, this gin is the real deal. Lots of floral elements with some mild citrus make this one of the most refreshing summer gins on this list.
FEW Spirits Breakfast Gin
Infused with Earl Grey tea, the BG certainly lives up to its name. Bergamot heavy, of course, but complimented by lemon, pepper, mint, and lingering floral notes. Another great choice for the French 75
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