Three measures of Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?--James Bond, Casino Royale
Of course, the Gordon's of Bond's time and the Gordon's you buy at your local liquor store are not quite the same. As pointed out in Esquire, English Gordon's gin used to be 94 proof; now it's under 80. For those of us who enjoy cocktails but also like sobriety, this isn't necessarily a bad thing.
I still think Gordon's is a very good choice in bargain booze. Apparently, I'm not alone:
You can get a liter of it for about $15 and it's surprisingly good.—TheKitchn.com
This is my go-to value gin and my personal favorite of the list.—About.com Cocktails
This one is bright and piney, with a nose-crinkling shot of black pepper — a lot like Tanqueray, its imported stablemate.—Esquire
My favorite review comes from GinReviews.com:
In the world of premium luxury gins, it’s often easy to take a sideline seat to the bigger boys. Let’s not forget that Gordon’s Gin is a Diageo product the same as Tanqueray. So although they are different products, they are indeed on the same team.
Huge aromatics going on here, and Gordon’s Gin can be labeled as being overpowered by some. Not by me, keep them coming. Perfect as a mixer, or all on its own, by my standards. But be warned, Gordon’s Gin is for the seasoned gin drinker, if you are not ready for it, Gordon’s Gin will devour you.
I couldn't help but a connection to lemon head, as I sipped Gordon's Gin writing this review. Traditional indeed is what I like. Although I have an affinity toward the classic English bottle design displayed below. Lemon presence but not to the point of sweetness with enough bitterness to let you know you are drinking gin. A true English gentleman, Gordon’s Gin, through and through.
Sweet like candy soothes my soul, sweet you rock and sweet you roll.
This is the gin James Bond drinks, and if you want to be a 007 spy, this is where it’s at. If you want a traditional London Dry Gin, this is the Gordon’s Gin for you.
While Gordon's is certainly not as good as some higher priced gins--I still prefer Beefeater--it's a tasty spirit at an appealing price. Gordon's is a perfect choice for a bunch of Gin & Tonics, and contrary to many reviewers, it makes a very serviceable Martini.