Gin is basically a spirit made by distilling or re-distilling grain spirits and adding juniper berries and other botanicals. If you want to really understand gin, it’s very important to know that “Juniper Berry” is the main and dominant ingredient in all the gins. I would compare it to influence of casks for all whisky fans, grapes for all winos or dilution of ice for all bartenders :)
Juniper is obviously such an essential part of gin, it is the essential botanical utilized as a part of gin as well as by law, it should be the predominant flavor in anything looking to be classified as gin.The word “Gin” itself is derived from either the French genièvre or the Dutch jenever, which both mean “juniper”.
Different Styles Of Gins
London Dry Gin: London Dry Gin is the Gin that many people think of as “Gin.” It’s undoubtedly world’s most popular style of gin. They are extremely dry in character, vigorously juniper enhanced, light in body, and fragrant. The flavor is achieved exclusively through the re-distillation of the spirit in the presence of the botanicals. London dry gin doesn’t have to be only from London but can be made anywhere in the world. Gin must be distilled to at-least 70% ABV, it must not contain any artificial ingredient or flavor. Very importantly “cannot have any flavoring added after the distillation process is over. Dry usually means it lacks sugar to make it sweet.
Plymouth Gin: it is geographically protected going as Plymouth gin can only be produced in Plymouth city, England. Flavor-wise, it’s quite similar to London dry gins though slightly sweeter and it contains a different blend of botanicals.
Old-Tom Gin: it is bar far the sweetest styles of those mentioned above. UK’s Hayman Distillers today produces an Old-Tom gin, which is still very popular.
Bathtub Gin: The cheapest method of making a gin I would say. Bathtub gin was usually created in actual bathtubs or other large containers hidden away in a bootlegger’s (a person who smuggled) home basically during prohibition. The alcohol was either purchased from other bootleggers or from legitimate medical suppliers who used to be involved in all illegal activities. In Bath-Tub Gin, Juniper berries were allowed to soak in a tub for a few hours or even days. A big number of party-goers died during the 1920s after drinking this kind of contaminated liquor resulting in super high controversies about bathtub gins.
Few Important Facts About Gin:
- Gin was arguably the first ever flavored vodka. Conclusion: Gin is a flavored Vodka :)
- As now you know that Gin usually starts with neutral spirit, Usually most gin distillers buy neutral spirits in bulk from other distillers to make their Gin though there are still some distillers who likes to produce their own neutral spirit to make their Gin.
- Usually Gin is for cocktails and not on its own. Gin is meant to be mixed. That’s why many classic cocktails call for Gin.
- There are certainly more classic cocktails with gin than any other spirit.
- “London Dry” Gin doesn’t has to be only from London. Unlike “Plymouth Gin” which was made in Plymouth, England since 1793.
- The Philippines has the maximum consumption of Gin. I know the Philippines comes out of nowhere to take the crown for Gin but it’s a Fact :)
Interesting video which explains “What makes Hendrick’s unique from all other Gins.