Citadelle Is Perfect For First-Time Gin Drinkers. Here's Why

When we set out to create a guide to the liquors you should and shouldn't be drinking, there's a reason we put Citadelle gin on our "do drink" list. Well, there's actually a number of reasons, but, for the moment, know that Citadelle is eminently drinkable. It made that list because, in our humble opinion, not nearly enough people are privy to gin's wonderfully aromatic, herbaceous gifts, and Citadelle happens to be the perfect introduction. 

What we mean by that is that Citadelle gin delivers the ideal flavor profile with which to start exploring the effortlessly sophisticated liquor whose name is a variation on the Dutch word for "juniper" (in Dutch, it's genever). Yes, that's as in juniper berries, which, more than anything else, help to distinguish gin from all those other (dare we say, boring?) liquors. In fact, to be called "gin," a spirit must be distilled with juniper berries, and notes of the berry must be present in the final distilled product. Sure, gin can and often does contain hints of other botanicals, including herbs, spices, flower petals, and seeds. But it must convey juniper berries above all else. Furthermore, it must be bottled at no less than 80 proof. Here's what else you'll want to know about gin once you become as obsessed with it as we are.

Citadelle's price makes it perfect for first-time gin drinkers

When you sip gin, it might be good to know that you're in good company. Fans of the botanically-steeped grain-based spirit include Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Ryan Reynolds, who actually co-owned a small-batch gin distillery in Portland, Oregon (via Food & Wine). There's also J.K. Rowling, who enjoys a gin and tonic now and then, and George Takei, who favors the classic gin martini (via American Bartender's School). Of course, even dedicated gin drinkers had to have experienced their first time with this liquor. 

Among the many reasons Citadelle would be a great first foray into this hallowed spirit is that you can pick up a bottle for around 25 dollars, making it not the cheapest gin you can buy, but the least expensive phenomenal gin. And the fact that it's imported from France makes the price even more impressive.  But on the off-chance gin turns out not to do it for you, you won't have to feel all that guilty for the splurge, and it's virtually guaranteed that someone else will be more than happy to finish off that bottle of French gin for you. 

Citadelle also has a fruity flavor profile

By the time anyone becomes a serious gin drinker — i.e., someone who's willing to pay more than 50 dollars for a bottle – they tend to seek woodsy, botanical flavors and aromas such as pine needles, lavender, wildflowers, verbena, and saffron. But for the previously uninitiated, 50 dollars is a lot to ask, and all those flavors a lot to process. Citadelle makes no such demands.

Although crafted using no less than 19 aromatics, including juniper, citrus, pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon, Citadelle is easy to love even if you're still acquiring a taste for gin. "Citadelle Gin exudes delicate aromas of fresh flowers highlighted by more assertive citric scents," its website states. The citrus scents will feel vaguely familiar to anyone accustomed to fruity cocktails, while gently transitioning to "more intense, herbaceous notes of juniper and anise," and finally a "voluptuous" cinnamon spiciness. But have no fear — if you're still craving a fruity drink, try this one without giving up even the slightest hint of sophistication.

Also, in case it matters, Citadelle has won more than 60 medals, including "Spirit of the Year" at the 2017 World Spirit Awards. And here's one surprising bonus: thanks to all those botanicals, there are some surprisingly lovely things that can happen to your body when you enjoy a daily nip of gin.