The Top Gins from California

Often made using local ingredients, gins made in the Golden State range from classic London Dry to barrel-aged and everything in between. Here are a few of our favorites, all worthy of being added to your home bars.
Sep 22, 2019
  • 10
    10 Anchor Old Tom Gin
    84
    Sweet
    Unlike some other Old Tom gins, Anchor's derives its sweetness from distillation with star anise, licorice root, and stevia. The spirit is distilled in copper pot-stills and is not chill-filtered. It was first introduced in September 2004 and is bottled at 45% ABV.
  • 9
    9 Distillery No. 209 Gin
    89
    Floral & Spicy
    Distillery No. 209's flagship gin is distilled a total of 5 times from corn harvested in the midwest. The first four distillations are done in a column-still (essentially a vodka base) and before the final distillation in their hand-hammered 25-foot alembic copper pot-still, botanicals are macerated in the spirit overnight. The botanical blend includes Calabrian juniper, bergamot orange peel, lemon peel, cardamom pods, cassia bark, angelica root, coriander seed, and other secret ingredients. It is bottled at 46% ABV.
  • 8
    8 Botanica Spiritus Gin
    89
    Fruity & Rich
    Hailing from Richmond, California--close to the San Francisco Bay--Spiritus seeks to take advantage of the Golden State’s diverse and abundant supply of natural produce. These ingredients are painstakingly distilled — sometimes individually — and married together to allow them a clear voice over the base of non-GMO grain spirit. Perhaps most intriguing, the high-proof distillate is cut with a solution of fresh Sierra Nevada mountain-range spring water and aromatic Persian cucumbers.
  • 7
    7 St. George Terroir Gin
    90
    Spicy & Herbal
    St. George produces three distinct gins. Their Terroir Gin aims to highlight the forest and earthy flavors of the state of California. They do this by using a dozen botanicals including local California bay laurel, Douglas Fir and coastal sage, the latter two they distill individually. As for the others, the juniper and bay laurel get placed in a basket to be vapor-infused while the remaining botanicals are placed in the pot-still. This is sold at 45% ABV and is available in 750ml or 200ml sized bottles.
  • 6
    6 Venus Spirits Gin Blend No. 01
    90
    Juniper
    Venus Spirits Gin Blend No. 01 is distilled from wheat and features a botanical blend of 10 different herbs and spices including ginger, tangerine, licorice root, and lavender. It is bottled at 46% ABV.
  • 5
    5 Junípero Gin
    90
    Juniper
    Junípero is made in the London Dry style with juniper as the featured botanical. Other botanicals in play include aniseed, cardamom, cubeb, grains of paradise, and bitter and sweet orange peel. The spirit is distilled in a copper pot-still and is not chill-filtered. It was first released in 1996 by San Francisco's Anchor Distilling Co. now known as Hotaling & Co. Bottled a 49.3% ABV.
  • 4
    4 St. George Dry Rye Gin
    91
    Spicy & Rich
    As the name indicates, the base for this gin is unaged rye. In opposition to their Botanivore Gin which boasts 19 different botanicals, this gin utilizes just six--juniper, black peppercorn, caraway, coriander, grapefruit & lime peels. Distilled in pot-stills, the Dry Rye Gin is bottled at 45% ABV. Keep an eye out for this gin in aged form with their Dry Rye Reposado Gin.
  • 3
    3 Botanica Spiritus Barrel Aged Gin
    92
    Woody & Sweet
    The inquiring minds at Falcon Spirits wanted to know what a botanical-infused brandy would taste like, thus this barrel-aged gin is made from unaged brandy that was distilled from Northern California grape wines. This is not unprecedented, and the distillery imagines a long history of juniper-infused wines and grape-distilled spirits before Britain’s 1618 embargo on French brandy. For their current endeavor, the spirit is re-distilled with the complete botanical blend before resting in new toasted French Oak barrels for 8 months to a year. After blending, it is bottled at 45% ABV.
  • 2
    2 Genevieve Genever-Style Gin
    92
    Rich
    Anchor's Genevieve is distilled with the same botanicals as their Junipero dry gin, but the base is a grain mash of wheat, barley, and rye malts which are distilled in a copper pot-still. This is their interpretation of a Genever which is more akin to an unaged whiskey with botanicals.
  • 1
    1 St. George Botanivore Gin
    97
    Floral
    Botanivore is aptly named as this gin most certainly is a "botanical eater", 19 different ones to be exact. Sixteen of them are steeped overnight in a neutral spirit to soak and steep. The remaining three--juniper berries, bay laurel, and fresh cilantro--are placed in a basket within the still to have the vapor pass through them. After pot-distillation, this gin is brought down to 45% ABV. It is sold in a 750ml size and in a 200ml sized bottle, the latter of which is sold in a trio pack with their other two gins.