Review: New Amsterdam Gin

Even old New York was once New Amsterdam. However, New Amsterdam gin is made in good old Modesto, California (not Constantinople). It’s also a surprising twist on gin as you might know it now. Why they changed it, I can’t say. Maybe they like it better that way.

OK, enough tomfoolery. New Amsterdam has the juniper nose of Tanqueray, but one sip is something entirely different. Namely, the juniper is suppressed and the citrus, namely orange, is really pumped up. If it weren’t for the juniper undertone and the strong aroma of juniper, I’d have thought I was drinking an orange-infused vodka instead of gin.

That’s bad news for a Martini (unless you like yours with a twist instead of olives) but good news for fruit-oriented cocktails like the Casino. Most of New Amsterdam’s cocktail ideas are heavy on fruit like watermelon or guava. Sounds like the right idea to me.

If you’re looking for a gin for drinking straight (or nearly so in a Martini), look elsewhere. But for mixing into more exotic cocktails, New Amsterdam is a solid (and very affordable) choice.

B / $14 / newamsterdamgin.com

new amsterdam gin Review: New Amsterdam Gin

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67 Responses to Review: New Amsterdam Gin

  1. Thank you for the only intellegent review I have read on this gin. I just purchased a bottle and while it is enjoyable, it has neither the crisp punch of bombay, or the incredible combination or flavors true jenivers deliver.

  2. Whew here in Maine it looks like we might be getting a hurricane, so I decided I’d better stock up on liquor – just bought a jug of this stuff on a whim (hey – it was on sale) and went home and mixed up a martini. Yikes – it has a sort of Zima-like quality to it! I was blindsided by the citrus – did not expect that at all, and I can’t say I am pleased with it. David might be right – could be good in some sort of fruity drink, but as a martini base, it is not appealing.

  3. Erik J – Yeah, not really for everyone. Check out some of the other gin reviews on the site and see if something else is more up your alley!

  4. Thought I’d try this stuff out… shouldn’t have. The ‘citrus’ flavor to which you refer I would file under Flinstone chewable vitamins.

  5. “If you’re looking for a different gin for drinking straight (or nearly so in a Martini), look elsewhere.”

    Actually, it is quite a good gin to drink straight up. I have Hendricks quite regularly and this one would be the second best for me. I guess its a matter of taste.

    One thing – is it just me that i find this sentence completely wrong? If you are looking for a different gin, look elsewhere? Well, ofcourse!

  6. Chandresh – good catch on my awful grammar. Fixed. Who’d have thought this $14 gin would be so contentious! Very interesting… I’ll have to try it again soon.

  7. I am not a Gin fan, but I do like They Might Be Giants:-) Doing research for a liquor tasting, very informative…Thanks!

  8. I’m drinking it right now. It basically tastes like an orange-flavored vodka, without the subtleties of a good gin. I agree with the review: it’s not a good option for a classic Martini drinker (like me).

  9. Hey Folks,

    I saw this at my local supermarket and had to buy a bottle. I figured the bottle was so cool, the gin must be pretty good. Normally, I drink Saphire, or even Gordon’s when I’m on a budget. Either way, I find that they both have a nice, crisp gin taste that you look for in a G&T. Well, one sip of a G&T with New Amsterdam and I nearly spit it out. To me, it had a very vanilla/sacharine aftertaste that was hard to shake. There is no way I’ll be mixing this with any more tonic water and lime. So, what do I do with it? I saw a couple of recipes above, but they’re a bit complicated- Maraschino liqueur, bitters, etc. Does anyone have any ideas for something simpler- say something with lime juice, orange juice, etc. The New Amsterdam website has a bunch of them (all named after Manhattan), but I’m a bit weary. They also say that it’s the perfect gin to drink straight or in a G&T, and I’m having a hard time finishing the one I just mixed. Someone give me some ideas so I don’t have to pour this out just to save the bottle. Thanks!

  10. I rather like this stuff mixed with Cranberry juice.
    I’m not a connesseiur by any stretch, but I do indeed enjoy it.

  11. Just tried it in a G&T with lime for the first time.

    It’s interesting.

    Those above are right. There isn’t that crisp bite like you would normally see. That said, I’m not so sure the citrus flavor is such a bad thing, at least in a gin and tonic. For what it costs, mostly I just don’t want it taste terrible and this taste’s good. Now, in a martini? Maybe not.

    I think I would recommend it.

  12. Am I just imagining it or is there vanilla in this stuff too? Too sweet & cloying for me but I’m a Martini drinker. I tried drinking it straight with a twist of lemon but still kind of syrupy for me. I wish I’d read the reviews before buying but I’ll save for friends that don’t like gin.

  13. My spirits dealer recommended New Amsterdam last summer and at once I was fascinated. It was a great summer gin and tonic. As winter approached I switched to my favorite martini. I like them dry and New Amsterdam continues to be my choice.

  14. luther blissett

    It’s interesting, but it’s not gin as we know it. Frank’s right about the vanilla finish, and the overall lack of crispness means that it’s a no-go with tonic, and a disappointment in a martini. The website basically uses it like they would a white rum in a daiquiri, or in highball cocktails heavy on the fruit, which makes sense. I could see it going well with elderflower liqueur or maraschino or even creme de violette, too. But it ain’t really a gin: even a renegade gin like Hendrick’s is recognisibly gin.

  15. This is good gin for the price. If you want a more traditional go with the classics. Beefeater’s and Tanq are my favorites, but this is a decent gin for the price.

    It’s probably the best of the lesser expensive gins.

  16. like…this has gotten me well drunk….i mixed it with diet cherry seven up and it has gotten me quite messed up at this moment.
    I do like it however tanqueray ten or sapphire are my usuals but this gets the job done just the same and is just as smooth….

  17. I got this today, because well – it was on sale. Normally $14.99 in AZ, on special at a local grocery for $10.99 plus an extra $2.00 off coupon. Grand total = $8.99. I made a G&T. My husband liked it – me, well it wasn’t what I was expecting. So much for cheap experiments, I’ll be going back to Bombay. Oh well!

  18. They give out coupons for gin in Arizona?! Dang…

  19. Matt Merola

    Here in RI you can purchase a liter and a half for 23 bucks! So while Bombay Sapphire is my favorite for G&T or a martini I tend to buy this more for the value. I do like the flavor as well. I prefer it over several other more expensive brands actually. I often drink it either straight with a lime or mixed with a combination of fruit juices and a dash of tonic water. Also because of the low cost I can use it for cooking without feeling guilty. You would be amazed with what you can do with gin. Goes with fish- tabbouleh- salad dressing and steamed veggies.

  20. its easy to jump on the bandwagon, but as a bartender and concrete fan of New Amsterdam the taste is smooth crisp and yes with hardly any juniper (pine needle characteristic), but the corriander (citrus) adds a refreshing taste. i indulge in the full realm of beer, wines, liquors and prefer straight on the rocks, and gin martinis. straight up i mix new amsterdam with either fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, or just buy ruby red grapefruit juice at the store.
    the reality is that i would hump hendrix’s, tan. 10, or bombay… but like merola said you purchase a 1.5 L for $23 bucks, parallel Gordon’s… or a .75 L bombay so from a bartender to a gin enthusiast quit complaining you obviously showed enough interest to take the time out of your day to post a blog critiquing my b.f.f.

  21. awful totally, trash. wanted to pour it out but thought to pout it out, but then tried to give it to the homeless man inthe hood he said “hell naw idon’t drink that you trying to kill me
    give that to someone that is dead so they can rise from the dead and spit it in your face”. give me a dollar

  22. We find it to be an interesting change of pace for or summer time G&Ts. I normal gravitate towards regular Bombay or Plymoth…but there is something about New Amsterdam that is appealing. And for the price, it can work just fine.

  23. So I watched Casino Royale when it came out in 2006, and of course in the movie is a scene where Bond rattles off a recipe for a Vesper martini. Well like any good Bond fan I had to try it and dam if I’m not hooked. Previously the only thing I would drink Gin in is a G&T, but the combo of Gin/Vodka/Lillet, and a Lemon twist was just right. So whats this all got to do with New Amsterdam Gin. Well, I have tried the Vesper with Sapphire, Gordons, and Tanqueray and by far the best combo is with New Amsterdam. Maybe its the citrus overtones that are mentioned above when paried with the Lemon twist..well the perfect combo. So if you are a die hard Gin fan this may not be the gin for you, but if your tastes run towards vodka…you may find that this is your favorite as well.

  24. I just bought some to try it because it was cheap,
    and the shop didn’t carry Broker’s and Plymouth
    has climbed to $30/750ml. It’s good. What’s not
    to like? I tried it in an Abbey and it worked out
    very well, which means it is ideal for Martini
    variants such as the Vesper. I’m with Chris on
    this and I like gin and juniper. I like Beefeater
    too, but New Amsterdam is good (and relatively)
    cheap gin: I’ll drink to that. Cheers everyone!

  25. singapore sling….perfect for it! Martini….not so much.

  26. Big Beefeater’s fan. Tanqueray too. Bought this on recommendation from a local proprietor. Really disappointed. Tastes more like a Smirnoff Orange Vodka. Cheap. Get what you pay for.

  27. I am a big Hendricks, Tanquery, and Bombay fan, so I found this gin to be surprising different. It is very smooth, but I can see where some would find it too sweet with the citrus forward flavor. Not bad for a cheaper gin, but I must admit, Gordons or Gilbeys would be fine also. In response to an earlier review – Beefeater? Really? Hardly compares to Tanquery. I am afraid you have become a victim of good marketing. Ask the British what they think of it!

  28. What r ppl talking about? This gin is the best I have try. May be is juts a cali thing lol

  29. I tried mixing this with grapefruit perrier. it was delicious! definitely good with other fruit mixers, but the carbonated perrier is a little less overpowering than very sweet fruit mixers would be. Am thinking about trying it with lime/lemon perrier.

  30. Long time Beefeaters martini fan, here. Moved to Hendricks for special occcasions after being wowed by it at my favorite Mexican Restaurant (La Serenata de Garibaldi on 4th St. in Santa Monica, CA) a few years ago. Tried Plymouth, found it very smooth but lacking anything to distinguish it. Bought New Amsterdam on a whim — it was on sale for about $11 at the local Safeway supermarket. I like it a lot. Yes, it’s different — doesn’t have the big juniper presence that Beeferaters has, nor the delicate cucumber and rose geranium of Hendricks — but I find its mild citrus flavor and extreme smoothness works very well for me in a martini. And, yes, its one of those gins I wouldn’t hesitate to drink straight up.

  31. Man this is good stuff,me and Rosco and the boys are on the corner and this takes the nip outta the night air,a very palatable,fruity,non pompous gin.Ya’ll snooty martini drinkers that can’t conjugate a verb ,You need to get over yourselves.word.
    W.T. Townskull

  32. This is not a good martini gin. Purchased it because I didn’t want to fork over the dough for Tanqueray (lesson learned). Heavy juniper notes on the nose are completely missing from the flavor. Lacks complexity. I don’t agree however with all the “you get what you pay for” comments. Gordons for $13 out the door makes a much better martini. I did find a solution to this problem however. I happen to be a huge Campari fan. Of course, Campari goes great with orange. Campari + Cinzano + orangey gin makes one hell of a Negroni. Cheers!

  33. I use this in martini’s all the time but I like to float a couple of dashes of orange bitters sometimes. I think your citrus drinks mix quite well and I have found Maraschino and NA to pair nicely too, so think about using this in a Martinez.

  34. My wife and I found this cheap at the grocery store and decided to try it. We drink G&Ts and martinis often. It is a terrible choice for those. I suppose for someone looking for something smoother to sip on straight it might be nice. But we are back to Saphire to stay.

  35. a very simple drink to make with this stuff, that I think taste very good, is simply mixing it with Fresca…. Its not too sweet and the above mentioned citrus taste of New Amsterdam mixes well with the citrus flavorings of Fresca (I also add a wedge of both lemon and lime)…. Give it a shot if you have a bottle of this stuff and can’t find a good use for it

  36. I bought it last night because it was $10.49 for a 750ml and came with two laser engraved lowball glasses.

    I’m not a huge gin fan, but I do drink Bombay at times. Straight, on the rocks, with olives and just a splash of water to tame it down a bit. When I first opened the bottle, I was immediately in love with the citrus aroma. I poured it over rocks and really, really liked the flavor of it straight.

    I do have a feeling, though, that if you’re a gin snob, you probably will consider this an epic failure. If, however, you sometimes like gin, or feel that some gins have too much of the “pine needle taste”.. definitely give this a shot.. you might really like it, because the juniper is very subtle in comparison to say, Bombay.

    Bombay still holds a special place in my heart, though.

  37. This isn’t gin. Nowhere close. But whatever it is, it’s still quite good. Citrusy, no juniper really except in the aroma, but very, very smooth. Made a G&T with it, thinking it was G, but came out with something completely different. Try a 1:2 ratio with the tonic water, with lemon. It’s a very tasty drink but I don’t know what to call it.

  38. I tried this gin twice. I’m a Bombay man, both regular and Sapphire. New Amsterdam is drinkable, but there is an aftertaste. I don’t know if I agree with the main review about it being citrus, but it’s SOMETHING. It’s like someone said “most people that hate gin, hate it because of the juniper taste. Let’s counteract that with_________”. And whatever that taste is kind of does a disservice to gin. But it IS smooooth, and I finished the bottle eventually. For now, nothing beats my Bombay.

  39. I love the taste of gin and of juniper. This is a bit different, but I like it, very much.
    Tastes quite nice with water (like gin & water & lemon).
    I don’t prefer it in gin & tonic or a martini (tanqueray for that), but it’s not awful that way if you’re dying for a martini and low on shopping cash.
    Moreover, it tastes absolutely great with Coca Cola — much better than rum, in my opinion. (full disclosure: there isn’t a spirit I haven’t at least tried to mix with Coca Cola; the only one that absolutely didn’t work for me was Scotch).
    New Amsterdam by the way has one other benefit: it’s extremely hang-over proof.
    So I’m not sure those who believe it tastes a bit artificial are correct.

  40. Actually, if you mix New Amsterdam with a good vermouth and a twist if lemon, you get a darn fine olive-free martini.

    Of course, most of you younguns won’t touch vermouth and think olive brine is a fit mixer. To eCh their own.

  41. I must admit, I bought it on a whim while shopping for gin. So cheap! I love BeefEaters first, Bombay second and Citadel third. We mostly drink martinis extrra dry or gin on the rocks. When I tried the New Amsterdam, I thought I was going to have to throw the bottle away. I tried it with a splash of vermouth and found it to be quite good. In fact, it has grown on me til it is very good. Of course it does not compare to BE, but in these economic times it will do

  42. Big Brands Stink

    New Amsterdam Gin is owned by a wine company conglomerate called Gallo. It is a mass-produced gin, and it is not that great. Why is everyone make such a fuss about it. I like Bluecoat Gin and Leopold’s Gin…these are small batch gins made in America.

  43. Based on numerous reviews and the ever present desire to explore new gin martini frontiers, I bought a bottle about a year ago. Unfortunately, I bought a big bottle. It all depends upon one’s taste I suppose but for the life of me, I can’t imagine anyone who has had a good gin martini liking this stuff. For martinis, it’s just awful in my humble opinion. It may be an OK mixer but I will never know because I never mix my gin. I admit the price is attractive but there are some very good gins available for marginally more money. All is not lost however. Diluted with a good vodka, it makes an acceptable martini. The vodka thins the overpowering flavor, whatever it is, of this gin to an acceptable level.

  44. It’s not the best, but it’s not the undrinkable swill some people seem to think it is. If I can splurge, I go for Tanqueray. If not, I usually buy Beefeater, but I have almost entirely lost my taste for it, so I bought New Amsterdam.

    I’ve tried it straight, in a G & T, and as a dirty martini. Honestly, I really liked the dirty martini. In a classic martini, it might be off, but I like the way the sweet citrus notes work with the briny olive, and it’s not an unheard of combination. I’ve had a wonderful wild rice salad from a Moosewood cookbook that had sliced olives and orange in it, for example. I might just try a little twist of orange next time I make a dirty martini. A twist and and olive? We’ll see how it goes.

    Initially, I bought NA because of a hankering for a gin and tonic, and it doesn’t really impress in that form. However, reading this thread, I saw someone mention grapefruit juice. I had a grapefruit on hand, so I put a slice of it in a glass, muddled it, and topped it with ice, New Amsterdam, and a splash of tonic and grapefruit juice. I like it quite a bit. It’s a drink that would be okay with vodka, but the slightly herbal, gin notes add a little extra something to it. I’m fond of citrus but not big on “fruity” drinks, so this is a nice, crisp, not too sweet drink that I can easily imagine sipping out on the porch come summer. The muddled grapefruit isn’t entirely necessary, but having the rind seems to add a little zip and it makes the drink look pretty (details, right?).

    It’s not a classic Gin, and if I really want a classic gin drink I’d buy something else. But the price is right, and the different flavor has inspired some fun experiments. Overall, I’d say it’s a C plus, B minus liquor, but for the price range, I give it an A. I’ve taken chances on cheap booze before and never been this pleasantly surprised.

  45. I love this gin!!! it is the only gin that does not taste like taking a bite out of a pine tree. it is smooth as silk and makes any drink delicious. i’m a fan of the “DAM” straight gin.

  46. 17$ for a 1.75 in Colorado.

  47. (Not a review:) Hmmmmm… enjoyed reading all these reviews! Great site. Sapphire is indeed my favorite, however, I just bought a large bottle (gasp) to try it out. Judging from the comments, I’ll start ‘straight’ with a twist. Stay tuned ;-) – H

  48. (Review:) OK… on the rocks WITHOUT a lemon twist: doesn’t need it! Very citricy, smooth and (gasp) enjoyable! Not at all like Bombay and other standards. I also can see why this would be a terrible G&T… doesn’t need anymore sweetness IMHO. Nice. I easily recommend to those interested in trying different things in life. Worth the price, too. -H

  49. Frank from Wisconsin

    I wish I had read these comments before I impulsively purchased Amsterdam. I asked the check-out clerk about it while she was ringing up the sale she said she doesn’t like it. I’ve learned a lesson. I dislike the orange taste and won’t buy it again.

  50. I bought a nip to try,wary of buying a whole bottle. I was mainly intrigued by the bottle; it even got me fantasizing about buying a deco era liquor cabinet. My first thought after tasting was triple sec. While it won’t replace my fav Tanq 10, I do like it. If I don’t think of it as a gin, but some other, new type of drink, it’s pretty good (but I do like sweet liquers). It is not THAT sweet, it goes down smoothly, and the bottle looks really cool, all for 1/2 the cost of the big names. I do prefer it over some of the others for it’s smoothness and uniqueness.

  51. First taste reminded me of a bottle of store branded gin (Albertson’s or Sav-mart in the West). Very vanilla and citrus infused vodka flavor. Reading the bottle and discovering that it is made in Modesto, CA leaves one to believe that, yes, indeed it may be the $7.99 store brand that I still have in my bar – the taste is identical. Maybe tonight I should just dump both down the drain, or would that be polluting?

  52. WOW…….. New Amsterdam Gin. NO Juniper Great….
    1 ice cube, 3 oz New Amsterdam Gin, 1 teaspoon olive juice. Enjoy.

    Thought I was back in Holland

  53. On a hot summer night I had a taste for a Gin & Tonic, with a squeeze of lime, I haven’t had one for years. I found New Amsterdam at my local store here in Chicago so I thought I’d give it a try. I’m not an expert on Gin but it makes a pleasant drink.

  54. Makes a GREAT Gin and Tonic- period. The price and quality is a perfect match.

  55. Definitely agree that based on the price point there are few gins that can compete with what New Amsterdam has to offer. I think the orange and citrus notes make for a great gin and tonic (with only the slightest bit of lime). Also, the pleasing orange makes it a great gin for parties because although there is enough juniper to appeal to a gin drinker at a party, it’s not to “piney” as to be off-putting to the non gin connoisseur. Really a pleasing party gin for a good price.

  56. Try New Amsterdam in an “Orange Blossom”:

    1.5 oz New Amsterdam
    1.5 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
    .05 oz simple syrup (Cointreau if you are feeling fancy)

    Shake, strain, etc.

  57. Erskine Farquharson

    Did you people NOT taste this? It is absolutely the worst gin ever inflicted on man!!!

    What planet are you all from? Do you even drink alcohol???!!!

    This is not even gin, it is rot-gut vodka that tries to hide its foulness with heavy-handed creamsicle flavoring. AGGGGH!!!

  58. Patrick Alexander

    A good gin if you don’t like gin. On the other hand, if you don’t like gin… just buy something else.

    This is a pleasant-enough light, citrus-flavored alcohol and if it were sold as just a flavored vodka I’d say, “Well, it’s pretty good if you like that sort of thing, but not my kind of liquor.” But, no, it’s sold as “gin” and it isn’t gin, so I despise it. Between that and the silly “New Amsterdam” branding of a Modesto product, what could be a decent, respectable liquor is just 80-proof mendacity.

  59. Jerry Albers

    Sorry guys. I have tried it in a martini….and actually….i like it! Most Martini fans would not, but I thiught it was a nice twist. And…G&T was pretty good as well. Mind you, i will not drink it all the time, but it is a nice change…and I like the vanilla.

  60. I was out of vodka and found this in my cabinet, probably from some party in the past. I made it with vermouth and olive juice for a dirty martini. Although I always make them with vodka I have to say I enjoyed it very much! It was a nice change.

  61. awful. it’s not gin if there is no juniper. the vanilla is artificial. stay away. you’ve been warned.

  62. I like it!! It’s a great change from other gins, great semi-sweet orange vanilla flavor…
    I think the harsh comments are from people that are not open minded enough to experience good gin in a slightly different way…just because it does not taste like your favorite brand does not make it a bad gin!!

    Enjoy!

  63. Bob in Hyannis

    Absolutely irreversibly awful. My girlfriend and I (we have not spoken in years, and yet I still have the rotten taste of this bogus creamsicle shitbomb in my mouth) tried for almost two years to get through a hole bottle. I nearly sent it back to the manufacturer.

    All with Erskine on this. Dreadful. Not to be a purist on the juniper, but there is no juniper in this whatsoever.

    It’s as though a liquor conglomerate decided to woo naive children.

    Eau d’ Trix Cereal. Repulsive.

    No more.

  64. Pingback: Review: New Amsterdam Vodka | Drinkhacker.com

  65. In a word, disgusting. It has a syrupy faux vanilla taste, and I had to check the bottle many times to make sure it wasn’t infused vodka. The only people I can see who would enjoy this are a) people who have never had gin and b) sugar fiends.

  66. HARRY THE GIN MAN

    Cheap gin is cheap gin. YUK!!

  67. I love this gin. I drink a lot of G&T’s so I found this gin to be perfect because of its price point and for its more interesting citrus flavors.

    100ml New Amsterdam
    125ml Tonic
    A couple of drops of lemon juice. Shaken and poured over ice.

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