Why Distilled by House Spirits in Portland, Oregon, Aviation is a pioneer of small-batch, American-style gin. A hyper-aromatic and complex showcase of juniper, orange, cardamom and lavender, it's great in its namesake classic cocktail: 1½ oz Aviation, ½ oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur, ¾ oz fresh lemon juice and a dash of crème de violette if you have it. Shaken, strained and served up.
Availability LCBO 757468
Boomsma Fine Young Genever
Why The Dutch precursor to English gins, genever is distilled from malted grain rather than neutral spirits, which accounts for its weightiness and funky, oily nose. Flavoured with juniper and other botanicals ("genever" is "juniper" in Dutch), jonge or un-aged varieties like this one are usually served cold from the freezer. Treat it like a more herbal vodka and sip it on the rocks or in a Martini.
Availability LCBO 358549
Bombay Sapphire East
Why I'm a much bigger fan of Bombay's exotically spiced kin than its London Dry. Emboldened with black peppercorns, lemongrass and grains of paradise, Bombay East is great in a Spanish-style G&T, sprinkled with lightly crushed peppercorns, citrus peel and a stalk of fresh lemongrass.
Availability LCBO 319673