Being asked a liquor brand preference after ordering a cocktail is standard. Not knowing what to answer doesn't have to be.

Being asked a liquor brand preference after ordering a cocktail is standard. Not knowing what to answer doesn't have to be.

Gin is definitely the new darling of the booze scene - "I think we're over the whole froufrou vodka thing," said cocktail connoisseur Eddie Shepherd. He's general manager of the newly revamped Jury Room, which boasts an Intoxicants menu filled with gin drinks.

But imbibers may get lost among the various types of the liquor, which range from brands with a furious juniper-flavored bite to smooth operators to those infused with other flavors.

Shepherd, who prefers his gin "up with olives," shared his knowledge of which brands go best with which gin-based classic. You'll find all these cocktails on the menu at the Jury Room.

And you'll fear no more when it's time to pick your piney poison.


Cocktail: French 75

Main ingredients: Gin, champagne

Best served with: "Plymouth is my favorite with this. It's made in the same copper stills as the original," Shepherd said. The venerable dry gin has a subtle juniper flavor with a citrusy beginning and an earthy end that mixes well with this cocktail's sweetness.


Cocktail: Negroni

Main ingredients: Gin, vermouth, bitters (traditionally Campari, which you may remember as oceanographer Steve Zissou's drink of choice)

Best served with: "You want something sharp and in your face, like Tanqueray or Beefeater," Shepherd said.


Cocktail: Pink Gin

Main ingredients: Gin and a swirl of Angostura bitters, an extract of different herbs and spices responsible for the drink's pink tint

Best served with: "This is a drink from early England where bitters were used to cut the gin," Shepherd explained. "I'd suggest a smooth gin. Watershed is a good choice because it's not as piney."


Cocktail: Aviation

Main ingredients: Gin, maraschino liqueur, lemon juice. Creme de violette is optional.

Best served with: "This has a lot of composition," Shepherd said. "It's best with something approachable with a smooth body, like Watershed Gin."


Cocktail: Gin Martini

Main ingredients: Gin, vermouth, olive

Best served with: Hendrick's, flavored with rose and cucumber, is especially yummy in a martini (so much so that this spring the Jury Room will introduce a drink that balances Hendrick's with dill, Shepherd said.).

Cocktail: Gin and Tonic

Main ingredients: Gin, tonic water, lime

Best served with: Many gins work well in this standard. Beefeater is the tastiest well option. Tanqueray is a top choice for top-shelf, as is the dry Bombay Sapphire.