Best Midwestern gins

We sampled 22 Midwestern gins made from Ohio to Iowa to pick the best gin in a variety of categories.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    50. Try some of the Midwest's best gin, one of the best things to do in Chicago this winter.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    We sampled more than a dozen gin martinis to determine which Midwest gin is best in the classic cocktail.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    We tried 22 gins to pick the best Midwest gins for gin and tonics. Here are our four favorites.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    We tasted 22 gins and picked our favorite weird ones: Scofflaw Old Tom Gin, Letherbee Autumnal Gin and Journeyman Distillery Bilberry Black Hearts Barrel-Aged Gin.

Photograph: Martha Williams

50. Try some of the Midwest's best gin, one of the best things to do in Chicago this winter.

Chicago may be a beer and whiskey town, but here’s a secret—the gins being made around the Midwest are the local spirits you should really be drinking. Not only are there dozens to choose from, a lot of them are fantastic. There's never been a better time to drink Midwestern gin. We turned up traditional gins plus some odd variations (think barrel aged gin and smoked gin) that you’ll definitely want in your home bar.

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So which gins should you get? We did the dirty work over two long boozy nights, sampling 22 Midwestern gins to determine which worked best in gin and tonics, martinis and dirty martinis. We chose some more unusual gins that you’ll want to sip or use in specialty cocktails. And if there’s only room for one gin in your bar, don’t worry—we also picked the three best gin bottles overall. 

The three best and three worst Midwestern gins

What to buy and what to avoid.

Best Midwestern gins for martinis

We blind tasted 22 martinis to pick the four best Midwestern martini gins.

Best Midwestern gins for gin and tonics

Our four favorite Midwestern gins for gin and tonics.

Best weird Midwestern gins

Sometimes gins don't work in martinis. Here are some to sip.

Best Midwestern gins for dirty martinis

Bartenders malign them, but we love a good dirty martini.

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