Several bars and distilleries in Grand Rapids have elevated the standard gin and tonic (G&T) by using local or house-made spirits and adding a variety of botanicals and other spices to create a unique flavor profile. While some remain juniper-forward (very piney), others are crafted to be significantly more subtle, which means there are G&Ts around town to satisfy a variety of taste preferences.

To celebrate National Gin & Tonic Day (April 9), we asked our social media followers to recommend their favorite local G&T destinations. 

Crafted cocktails at Eastern Kille Distillery

Eastern Kille's Uptown cocktail bar, EK Wealthy, is the perfect spot to enjoy their Gin & Tonic.

Photo by Leigh Ann Cobb for Experience GR

Eastern Kille Distillery

A self-described “grain-to-glass” distillery, Eastern Kille handcrafts two award-winning gins. Both are juniper-forward spirits paired with citrus and rounded out with different premium ingredients.

Barrel Finished Gin highlights citra hops in the botanical recipe to further augment the gin’s citrus elements with a subtle note of grapefruit. It’s rounded off with a surprising oak note. American Dry Gin uses makrut lime leaves to complement citrus peel, juniper and coriander, creating a vibrant citrus fragrance and intriguing flavor. Black pepper and other spices deliver a dry, peppery finish.

You can choose either gin for a G&T and enjoy it at both Eastern Kille locations: the dazzling new restaurant, cocktail bar and production facility in Rockford (opened December 2023 and well worth the 15-minute drive from Grand Rapids), or EK Wealthy, the Uptown neighborhood cocktail bar.

Bier Distillery & Brewery

“You’ll be ruined for any other gin,” warns Bier Distillery about its Mum’s Ruin Gin, cheekily named after the notion that gin was “Mother’s Ruin” in 1700s London, when gin joints first allowed women to drink alongside men.

Bier makes Mum’s Ruin by vapor-infusing its own Heart Cut vodka with a simple combination of juniper, coriander, cinnamon and sweet orange peel. This method brings out the nuance in every ingredient, and when mixed with Bier’s house-made tonic water, it adds delicious new dimensions to a G&T. 

Bier also makes a version of Mum’s Ruin that’s aged in oak barrels, and it’s been known to take some creative liberties with the classic G&T recipe – like adding the sweet-tart taste of rhubarb. Bier Distillery is located in Comstock Park, about 10 minutes from downtown Grand Rapids (and three minutes from LMCU Ballpark, making it a perfect pre- or post-game stop).

Wise Men Distillery Gin & Tonic and gin bottle in Grand Rapids, MI.

Wise Men Distillery hand-crafts its own spirits, and the gin is made in small, 10-gallon batches.

Photo by Brian Craig for Experience GR

Wise Men Distillery

At Wise Men Distillery, quality over quantity is the mantra, and the care they put into making their spirits is obvious. They're committed to using local farmers, businesses and suppliers, as well as Michigan-made products whenever possible.

This attentiveness to their products has paid off, as their hand-crafted gin has received awards and honorable mentions in multiple national competitions - and it's not hard to see why. Wise Men uses only the finest Eastern European juniper berries, combined with a craft-made tonic, the latter of which has the perfect amount of sweetness and bitterness.

The aromas of juniper, citrus and subtle florals are immediately noticeable in Wise Men's craft gin. The flavor is similar, with hints of juniper that are not overpowering or overly piney, followed by a sweet citrus finish and earthy undertones that slowly fade into one another and leave you wanting more.

Visit both their Downtown and Kentwood locations for an exceptional gin-drinking experience.

Long Road Distillers

All the spirits and mixers at Long Road Distillers are made in-house and from scratch. They also make a point to source ingredients from local farmers or purveyors whenever possible.

The Long Road G&T is made with the distiller’s 90-proof American Dry Gin (most gins are 80-proof). The gin recipe uses six botanicals: juniper, cardamom, coriander, grains of paradise, pink peppercorn (which is a little floral, a little sweet and a little spicy), and fresh lemon peel.

Long Road's gin exudes a citrus-forward juniper flavor, with a nice balance of other botanicals, so it’s not bitter like some other gins. It tastes more like a sweet berry than a heavy pine or bitter flavor.

Long Road uses a house-made tonic and carbonates it in a keg with the gin, so the G&T is served on draft. You can enjoy it at the original Long Road Distillers on the northwest side of the city and at Long Road’s Less Traveled cocktail bar in Uptown.

Mammoth Distilling

A relative newcomer to the Grand Rapids cocktail scene, Mammoth Distilling opened a cocktail lounge in Uptown in late 2023 and quickly gained a fervent following – in part due to the many locals who had been visiting the company’s northern Michigan locations.

Mammoth’s 90-proof Contemporary Northern Gin captures the unique terroir of northern Michigan, as it’s a blend of six individually distilled botanicals – juniper, white pine, lavender, sage, lemon and orange – several of which are grown on Mammoth’s own farm. Boasting a distinct floral nose and subtle mouth feel, the gin leads with a coniferous note, follows up with hints of sage and citrus, and ends with a long lavender finish.

The Mammoth G&T pairs gin with Northwoods Perfect tonic in a Collins glass garnished with juniper berries and dehydrated citrus. Enjoy it in the rustic Mammoth Distilling Cocktail Lounge and you really will feel like you’ve been transported “Up North.”

Pouring tonic water into a cocktail glass at the AC Hotel in Grand Rapids, MI

AC Lounge's ACGT features a gin with two unique botanicals, Thai Lemongrass and Vietnamese Peppercorn.

Photo by Brian Craig for Experience GR

More Gin-spirations

The five distilleries above earned the lion’s share of votes in our poll, but each of the locations below had fans as well. Try all 13 to see which most gin-spires you.

AC Lounge

The lounge at Grand Rapids’  AC Hotel by Marriott makes its “ACGT” with Bombay Sapphire East Gin, which is distinguished by the addition of two unusual gin botanicals: Thai Lemongrass and Vietnamese Peppercorn.

Atwater Brewing Company

The downtown GR location of the Detroit-based brewery pairs its house-made gin with grapefruit juice, simple syrup and tonic for a refreshingly straightforward G&T.

Birch Lodge

This welcoming neighborhood bar just north of downtown GR serves a G&T as unpretentious (and reasonably priced) as the rest of its food and drink menu.


The award-winning Spanish restaurant on the 27th floor of the Amway Grand Plaza hotel elevates its G&T with raspberry granita and rosemary.


Ada restaurant and bar conceived by James Beard award-wining chef Paul Berglund offers a Myrth G&T made with gin, house-made tonic and botanicals.

New Holland - The Knickerbocker

The G&T at this west-side fave features New Holland Brewing’s Knickerbocker Gin, which has a very citrus-forward flavor and is infused with more than a dozen herbs and spices. It can be paired with several different tonics.

One Bourbon

Just two blocks from New Holland, One Bourbon is known for its vast collection of bourbons and whiskeys, but it also mixes up a killer G&T.

Rose’s Restaurant

Gin is often thought of as a summer beverage – and the warm-weather deck of this historic restaurant on picturesque Reeds Lake is a perfect place to enjoy Rose’s refreshing G&T.