The Gins of Summer - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

Tequila and rum often get the lion’s share of attention when it comes to summer cocktails. But gin can be as summery as it gets: think about the infinitely refreshing Gin & Tonic, the ice-cold Freezer Martini, and even the classic Negroni. To lean into the flavors of the season, mix up your favorite recipes with these summer gins, featuring extra layers of floral and fruity character.

Awayuki Strawberry-Flavored Gin

Rare Awayuki strawberries are used to make this new gin, yielding juicy fruit flavors and delicate aromas. Although the light pink strawberry is available in the winter through spring in Japan, the gin’s vibrant berry flavors make it perfect for warm-weather cocktails. Blend it up in this gin slushy. $40.99,

Bayab Burnt Orange and Marula Gin

Bayab Gin, a San Francisco World Spirits gold medal-winning small-batch gin from Africa, released this citrus-forward expression last year. Distilled with burnt orange peel and Marula fruit, the sweet and tangy African fruit, the unique gin balances crisp juniper with layers of citrus and fruit notes, cinnamon, coriander, rosemary, and sea salt. Refreshing with a sublty sweet finish, the Bayab will summerfy a Martinez and work beautifully in a Negroni Sour. $36.99,

Bombay Sapphire Premier Cru Murcian Lemon

Unlike many citrus-forward Western gins, the Bombay Murcian Lemon still presents first and foremost as a London dry. Rather, the citrus element comes through in bright, floral aromatics, zesty flavor notes, and the barest hint of sweetness that serves to complement the gin’s juniper overtones. The result is pleasantly understated and works particularly well in citrus-driven cocktails, like a French 75, or a classic Martini with a twist. $40.99,

Hayman’s Vibrant Citrus Gin

Hayman’s was the first London gin distiller to include citrus as a key botanical over a century ago. But this past June the distillery released its new Vibrant Citrus Gin in the States, just in time for summer. Distilled with the sun-dried peels of mandarins, pomelos, kumquats, and Persian limes, the gin’s vibrant citrus aromas and flavors brighten its bold juniper notes. Try it in this Army & Navy variation. $30.99,

Hendrick’s Gin Flora Dora

This fourth release from Hendrick’s innovation lab Cabinet of Curiosities features bright raspberry and lemon flavors that balance out the gin’s heavy rose, botanical, and floral notes. Breathing in its aromas and sipping it conjure up images of a lush garden. It’s a lovely spirit that shines in a summery G&T. $44.99,

Las Californias Cítrico Gin

Rev up your Negroni with this Mexican-distilled gin, flavored with Californian juniper, a slightly sweeter variety of the common juniper. As gin distillers look to bottle their local terroir, the makers of this one find inspiration and ingredients from the arid deserts and evergreen forests of California and Mexico. Its citrusy fragrance, complex flavors, and lush finish are courtesy of almonds, apricots, citrus leaves and peels, lemongrass, and grape vines and leaves. $24.99,

Sipsmith Strawberry Smash Gin

This limited-edition gin celebrates Sipsmith’s partnership with Wimbledon. Strawberries and mint are distilled into Sipsmith’s signature gin for a summer-perfect spirit. No need to fuss with cutting up and adding fresh strawberries to a spritz or Collins. Simply swap in this gin that boasts fresh strawberry flavors paired with notes of juniper and mint. $30,

Vara Spirits High Desert Gin

Made from a grape distillate, this gin captures the essence of a summer day cooled by a brief rain. “The notes from sage, juniper, and earth co-mingle with brief humidity—a specific smell that I find unique about the desert in New Mexico,” says assistant winemaker and distiller Djuna Benjamin. To keep those aromas intact in a cocktail, let the gin be the star, mixing it in a G&T or Martini. $46,

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