Skip to Content

10 Best Gin Substitutes – #1 Best List

What are the best gin substitutes? Maybe you don’t like gin. Perhaps you love gin, but you’ve gone of juniper berries as employed in making gin. It could be that you’re simply bored with gin, and you’d like to try something else.

Maybe it’s that time of the month, and the thought of another gin tipple wigs you out and totally fries your bananas. Whatever the reason, you’re looking for good gin substitutes.

Well, you’ve come to the right place. As long as you’re still into alcohol, still expect something a little more sophisticated than straightforward liquor, and as long as you still have an adventurous bone in your body, I’m sure that you’ll find something on this list that will tickle your fancy and return you to your former state of joie de vivre.

Or at least get you tanked enough to not care too much.

Here are ten gin substitutes that best capture the spirit and meaning of good gin. Each entry is a clever blend of herbs and spices mixed with an alcohol variety that supplements and infuses the mixture with an exciting and original twist on standard gin:

10 Best Gin Substitutes

  • Amaro Montenegro
  • Belsazar Vermouth
  • Graham’s Blend No.5
  • Kamm & Sons
  • Lillet Blanc
  • Mr. Black
  • Patron XO Café
  • Vecchia Romagna Tre Botti
  • Villa Lobos Reposado
  • Stryyk Not Gin
10 Best Substitutes for Gin
10 Best Substitutes for Gin

Amaro Montenegro

Why? Because of the heady mix of herbs and spices delicately blended together with the same care and attention that is put into many gins.

Amaro Montenegro is a classic Italian drink made with an extensive (and well-kept secret) assortment of spices and herbs. Amaro Montenegro is sweet and is an excellent drink for after dinner. Named for the second-ever Italian consort, Queen Elena of Montenegro, it was first created in 1885 in Bologna, often called the “Belly of Italy.”

Belsazar Vermouth

Why? Although basically a brandy, Belsazar Vermouth is fruity and herbal enough to suit the palate of regular gin drinkers, with the brandy providing an extra something that would be missing in a pure vermouth.

Belsazar Vermouth is made in Germany with wines made from the South Baden region, a variety of herbs (wormwood is an essential ingredient in the group that created Belsazar), and a fruit brandy made by Schladerer.

The Red Vermouth is exceptionally fruity with lots of red berry aromas floating through it, with a healthy dose of spice and a classic bitter end.

Juniper berries are a signature botanical used to flavor gin.
Juniper berries are a signature botanical used to flavor gin. Other spirits use different herbs and spices.

Graham’s Blend No.5

Why? It’s like rising up a notch in the sophistication stakes and moving seamlessly from a gin and tonic to a port and tonic. Think of it as an evolution in your drinking habit.

White Port soared in popularity recently, and with products like Graham’s Blend No5 White Port hitting store shelves, it’s not surprising! It’s made with hand-picked grapes, which are then carefully fermented into the base liquid made in small lots. While white Port is a classic drink, tradition ends with a fresh and modern bottle design.

Kamm & Sons

Why? Redolent with juniper berries, British Aperitif bears a strong resemblance to gin while maintaining a distinct personality and expression. It’s actually a pretty clever drink that manages to stand out even among all the great drinks on this list.

Kamm & Sons’ excellent Ginseng Spirit is now available under the name Kamm & Sons British Aperitif, containing 45 diverse floral influences (such as goji berries, hibiscus, herbal echinacea, fennel seeds, juniper berries, elderflower, grapefruit peel, and naturally, ginseng).

Different herbs and spices are used to flavor different types of alcoholic beverages.
Different herbs and spices are used to flavor different types of alcoholic beverages.

Lillet Blanc

Why? An alternative for those individuals who are strongly drawn to aromatic gins. Lillet Blanc is heavily influenced by an aromatic bent centered around summer floral mixtures.

An excellent vermouth made in the French Bordeaux region, Lillet Blanc is produced from fruit brandy and white Bordeaux wines. The drink’s experience revolves around quinine, rather handily and neatly making this drink pitch-perfect for combining with tonic water. Lillet Blanc matures in oak for six months to a year to deliver the smoothest possible expression for your tongue.

Mr. Black

Why? If you’ve ever had a gin followed by a coffee, you wouldn’t ask why? These two drinks may not go together in the same cup or glass, but someone saw an opportunity to deliver a similar experience, and this is the result. Try it. I don’t think you’d be sorry.

Australia puts in a strong showing on this list with its robust, no-nonsense Mr. Black Cold Brew Liqueur. As befitting our Aussie friends, this isn’t a drink to languish at the lower end of the ABV scale, although I don’t mean to imply that it is boisterous to being a nuisance. Mr. Black is created from Australian grain spirits and carefully selected coffee beans from Brazil, Papua New Guinea, and Ethiopia.

Patron XO Café

Why? Another coffee-flavored entry that takes a different tack from Mr. Black by using tequila as a base. Now speaking for myself, I can only stand golden tequila–white tequila leaves me unimpressed. That said, this drink corrals tequila’s distinctive taste and makes it all its own.

Patron XO Café is a superb tequila-based coffee liqueur. XO Café is produced and blended in Jalisco, Mexico, the best tequila area in the nation (and, therefore, frankly, in the entire world). It is made using the natural essence of coffee and is more akin to tequila with a coffee flavor rather than a liqueur because it lacks that overt classic liqueur sweetness.

Coffee is a popular flavor profile used nowadays in a lot of liqueurs.
Coffee is a popular flavor profile used nowadays in a lot of liqueurs.

Vecchia Romagna Tre Botti

Why?

Riserva Tre Botti is a mix of special brandies from Vecchia Romagna. The liquid ages in three different types of casks which is crucial to the production process: Slavonian oak casks, French oak barrels, and barrels that previously contained Italian red wines, making this quite a specialist drink with a price tag to match.

Riserva Tre Botti comes in at a heady 40.8% ABV, so it is a smooth, lovely, velvet-gloved sucker punch delivered in a classy bottle.

Villa Lobos Reposado

Why? Because gins mostly show up in long drinks, seldom as shots, this tequila-based gin substitute is specifically designed to be imbibed as a long drink.

Villa Lobos Reposado tequila from Carlos Camarena, the gentleman who is the brain behind other tequilas such as Ocho Tequila and Tapatio. Camarena ages Reposado for a minimum of six months in resting vats then transfers it to oak for further aging. This process produces the essential silky taste that marks Villa Lobos Reposado after it has spent about 11 months in oak.

Stryyk Not Gin

Why? Because, sometimes, you simply don’t need another plug of alcohol, but the thought of a soda frankly gives you the heejie beejies. This is my one nod to our teetotaller friends. Besides, someone might ask you for a non-alcoholic drink one day, and you don’t want to be stuck with “Would you like a coke?”

The Stryyk isn’t kidding when it says it isn’t a gin. However… what it is is a non-alcoholic juniper berries-based alternative to its well-known juniper-based cousin. It’s made using rosemary, juniper berries, and basil, with no sugar added or artificial flavors. Incredibly, it goes as easy as the sauce on spaghetti when served with tonic water.

If you want to have something other than gin, there are a variety of substitutes with different flavor possibilities that you can choose from.
If you want to have something other than gin, there are a variety of substitutes with different flavor possibilities that you can choose from.

Afterword: 10 Best Gin Substitutes

Finding a good gin substitute is a matter of trying out offerings with a plethora of subtle influences from different fruits, herbs, and spices. After all, these infusions give gin its distinctive taste, and no substitute could be worth its salt without providing a similar flavourful experience for the avid gin drinker.

Frequently Asked Questions on 10 Best Gin Substitutes

If I Am Allergic to Gin, Is There a Good Substitute that I Can Use?

Depending on what you are using it for, there are plenty of alternative things you can use aside from gin. They will of course not be exactly the same and will have different flavor profiles, but it may open you up to lots of different flavor possibilities.

Can I Use Vodka as a Substitute For Gin and Vice Versa?

In general, they can be used in place of each other in many cocktails and recipes. Of course, the flavor profile might be different, but they work as good substitutes in many different cocktail recipes.