Different Types Of Gin
There are two types of gin that are most common in the U.S. market. Distilled gin is made by distilling a mash, or fermented alcohol base, similar to production of brandy or whiskey. Redistilled gin is made from the second distillation of a neutral spirit. Both types receive their flavor via an infusion of fresh or dried juniper berries and other botanical ingredients . A third, less common , type is compound gin, which mixes neutral spirit with juniper berry extract or essences to gain flavor.
In addition to the three classifications, there are several popular styles of gin. London Dry gin is the most traditional and the benchmark for quality gin. Its usually light-bodied, highly aromatic, and very dry, with a very pronounced juniper note. No artificial flavorings or botanicals can be added after the distillation process. Plymouth gin is a lighter, more citrus-forward style that originated in the port of Plymouth on the English Channel. Today, only one distiller has the right to produce it, Plymouth, Coates & Co. Old Tom gin, which is most famously included in the Tom Collins cocktail, is a sweeter version that includes simple syrup, or sometimes licorice, before distillation and is occasionally before release. New Western Dry gin is modern style with less dominant flavors of juniper. Instead, supporting botanicals and flavors take center stage.
What Are The Methods Of Gin Distillation
There are many different methods of distillation, each of which can be used to create different flavors of Gin. The two most common forms for extracting flavors from botanicals are:
Steep Method of Gin Distillation Vapor Infusion Method of Gin Distillation Combination of the two above Vacuum Distillation Method
The Key Ingredients Of Gin
The natural botanicals are what make gin special. A good mixture of botanicals can give gin the most amazing aroma and taste. In the hands of a master distiller, gin becomes a magical drink.
Hundreds of natural botanicals could be used to make gin, and thus it is not practical to pinpoint particular ingredients. The following are considered to be some of the most traditionally popular botanicals used in making gin.
- : Juniper is considered the most vital ingredient to achieving the original taste of gin. It is the most commonly used botanicals in gin. Juniper Berries are traditionally one of the fundamental ingredients required to produce gin. Juniper Berries could be given responsibility for giving gin its identity of the distinct taste.
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You May Experience Some Unpleasant Side Effects If Drink Gin Every Night With Tonic Water
It’s common to mix alcohol with seltzer water, club soda, and tonic water but they’re all very different things. According to Healthline, tonic contains quinine, which is a compound taken from cinchona bark. This is what gives the beverage a bitter taste. It’s safe to consume the compound, but only in small doses. In fact, due to side effects that can result from quinine, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates just how much can be added to tonic water.
One gin and tonic isn’t likely to lead to any adverse reactions, but it is possible. Healthline explained that stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting can occur. You may even experience nervousness, confusion, or “ringing in the ears.”
More severe reactions, including kidney damage, from quinine have also been noted when the compound is used in medication but it’s even more unlikely you’ll experience anything so severe from your nightly G and T. “You would have to drink about two liters of tonic water a day to consume a day’s dose of quinine in pill form,” the publication noted. Still, if you drink gin every night, you might want to lay off the tonic.
What Does Gin Taste Of
The variety of botanicals used to create unique flavour profiles are what makes gin such a versatile spirit
The reason many bartenders and master distillers love gin is its versatility as a spirit, and the reason for that is that it doesnt have a singular flavour every single brand and edition has a completely different taste profile.
The only consistent flavour threading through all gins, regardless of brand or type, is juniper, a subtle piney scent.
However, beyond that, there are hundreds of different botanicals that can be combined in different ways to produce a completely unique flavour for each gin.
Common gin botanicals include coriander, orange, lemon, angelica root, cinnamon, cassia, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg and ground almonds.
However, these flavours are very subtle and your gin is not flavoured in the modern sense of artificial added flavours its more like the different notes of citrus or spice you might detect in your wine.
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Top 4 Differences You Must Know Between Vodka And Gin
Vodka and gin are the two most popular spirits used frequently for preparing various cocktails. Known for their clarity, mixability, and flavor or no flavor, they both come with some striking differences that you must know to be better able to appreciate the finer nuances of the spirits.
Vodka as a neutral, odorless, and colorless spirit, is one of the most consumed spirits in the United States by volume since 1970. Also known as Americas official spirit, vodka is characterized by being one of the heaviest drinks with 40% alcohol-by-volume . Vodka can be made from various things like potatoes, grapes, wheat, rye, sorghum, and can be prepared anywhere.
1. Base Constituent or Raw Materials Used
Vodka derived its name from Voda- the Russian word that means water. Being as clear as water, and flavorless, vodka can be made from many different things with water and ethanol as the main constituents. Vodka can be infused with flavors from whatever is mixed into it like orange soda, cranberry, or other things. Gin is primarily distilled from malt and grain and then mixed with Juniper berries. This gives gin the distinctive flavor of Juniper. Originally it was named Genièvre the French word for Juniper berries, later shortened by English to be said as Gin.
2. Great Difference in Taste
3. Different Process of Serving Both
4. Range of Mixability Preparing a Variety of Cocktails
You May Experience Fewer Hangovers If You Drink Gin Every Night Instead Of Other Drinks
How would you like to never have a hangover ever again? That may not be entirely possible unless you avoid alcohol, of course but you can lessen your chances. However, you will have to trade in certain drinks. As Healthline highlighted, studies have found an association between congeners and hangovers. As it happens, dark drinks like brandy and whiskey are high in congeners whereas clear drinks, such as vodka and gin, have much lower levels.
“While lighter colored drinks may slightly help to prevent a hangover, drinking too many alcoholic beverages of any color will still make you feel bad the morning after,” Daniel Hall-Flavin, a board-certified psychiatrist who specializes in addiction, explained to the Mayo Clinic. “Drinking large amounts of alcohol can cause dehydration, low blood sugar, digestive irritation and disturbed sleep all factors that lead to hangover symptoms.”
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What Is The History Of Gin
Gin has been around for centuries, but its impossible to say with absolute certainty where and when gin began. We do know that Greek physician Pedanius Dioscorides lauded a mixture of juniper and wine to cure a common cold remedy in 70 AD.
This suggests blending juniper with alcohol was already a well-established tradition by then, though at this point the spirit was more about utility than enjoyment.
This tradition of blending juniper and wine remained over the centuries: a 1055 AD reference notes that monks Solerno, Italy, drank juniper-infused wine. Whether that was for fitness or fun, however, remains unknown. But a method and usage similar to the Greek was found in the Netherlands circa the 16th century.
It was then and there that the Dutch mixed juniper and wine to create a medicinal spirit called Jenever. Later, during the Eighty Years War, the English sipped what they called genever before battle an apocryphal story that allegedly led to the term Dutch courage.
Genever became increasingly popular in the United Kingdom in the years after that conflict, though by this point it was sometimes referred to as Geneva, and later, gen and, finally, gin. In fact, the first usage of gin dates to the 1714 book The Fable of the Bees, or Private Vices, Publick Benefits, in which gin is described as liqueur of juniper berry.
Later, once alcohol was again legal in the U.S., gin became most Americans go-to drink until the 1960s, when vodka took over.
What Is Navy Strength Gin
Sailors line up for their daily ration of gin or rum. Image: Forces.net
You may also have read about, seen or tasted Navy Strength Gin. There is some debate around the authenticity of the term Navy Strength Gin as a traditional category of gin, with some claiming it was actually only coined in the 1990s by a marketing team for a high-strength new gin! Regardless, the tradition it refers to is interesting, and certainly appears to have a basis in truth, according to Forces.net.
So whats the story behind Navy Strength gin? Well, from the 18th Century on – for about 200 years, in fact – the British Royal Navy were issued with rations of gin and rum to drink during their long journeys. The gin and rum were stored in wooden barrels below deck – along with the ships store of gunpowder.
To ensure that gunpowder would still burn when lit even if the gin leaked into the barrel by accident, the Navy demanded that the alcohol content of these rations had to be 100% proof – thats 57.1% ABV in modern terms!
Hence these days, the term Navy Strength is used for any high-strength gin with an alcohol level of 57% or more.
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Come To A Virtual Flavoured G& t Tasting
If you love flavoured gins then you need to come to our virtual flavoured G& T tasting event on Friday 8th October at 7pm. Well be trying four fabulous flavoured gins from across the UK neat and in specially curated G& Ts while chatting to the distillers behind each one. Its going to be so much fun!
What Are The Types Of Gin
As you may have gathered, theres no one type of gin. There are many types of gin a fact that makes it even harder to answer questions like How is gin made?, What is in gin?, and of course, What is the best gin?
That latter inquiry is up to you to discover on your own, hopefully with a bit of guidance from what weve learned. To start you off, here we explain the difference between the major types of gin, the differences in flavor, process, and ingredients.
Its a reliable reference for planning events, dinners, or other occasions, and we highly recommend bookmarking or copying and pasting for easy access.
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Best London Dry: Beefeater London Dry
Region: UK | ABV: 44% | Tasting Notes: Juniper, Lemon, Almond
There are many well-known brands that make the classic London dry-style of gin, but Beefeater is one of the best and most ubiquitous. While London dry gin does not have to actually be made in London , it does need to meet other requirements that govern the distillation process. In short, these gins need to be made from pure grain spirit, with no flavor or artificial additives added after distillation.
Beefeaters nine-botanical recipe includes juniper, Seville orange, orris, and lemon peel, creating an easy-sipping gin that works well in any cocktail.
How To Make Gin
Learn how to make our easy compound gin, using just a few simple ingredients. Create your own bespoke blend, then try our creative cocktail ideas
Is your signature serve a classic G& T? Are you a juniper connoisseur with a growing collection of artisan spirits?
Believe it or not, you can make a batch of bespoke, aromatic gin at home, without any high-tech equipment or a chemistry degree. Gin is made by distilling a neutral grain alcohol with juniper berries and other botanicals to make the fragrant spirit we all know and love. The botanicals are infused into the raw spirit to release their flavours. You can also vary the recipe by adding different spices, fruits and floral elements.
Try our easy compound gin recipe and add a bottle to your drinks cabinet. Good quality vodka makes the perfect base for personalising gin with fun flavours. Once youve mixed up the magic formula, learn how to make the perfect gin & tonic to enjoy at leisure.
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How Gin Contrasts With Vodka
For some reason, these two spirits always get put in the same category with each other. Yes, both drinks are clear and colorless, but theyre nothing alike when it comes to flavor.
For one, the ingredients theyre made from are different. Vodka can be made with practically anything. It can be made from wheat, rice, corn, barley, rye, grapes, and many other ingredients, and there are pretty much no limits on what kinds of flavorings can be added.
On the other hand, Gin has some more specific requirements for its base, and it must be flavored with juniper. Other botanicals may also be added, but they usually arent as wide a range of flavors as with vodka.
Furthermore, the base for vodka is mashed and fermented before its distilled, while the base for gin is distilled right away.
In terms of taste, the differences are even starker. Vodka is traditionally neutral and tasteless without flavorings. Gin, on the other hand, carries a distinctive herbal taste.
Best Top Shelf: Hendricks
Region: Scotland | ABV: 44% | Tasting Notes: Cucumber, Rose, Juniper
Hendricks really revived the gin category by thinking outside the box, said Smith. This Scottish distillery helped to modernize and innovate the gin category with a floral recipe that includes prominent notes of cucumber and rose in the mix of botanicals used. They injected a real spirit of creativity and inspiration into a category that was hanging on by a thread in terms of market sales and general popularity with the average drinker. They deserve top-shelf status for sure for their quality and their impact.
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Is It True You Can Make Gin From Vodka
Its easy to make your own compound gin from vodka
Yes! While most proper, commercial gin makers – like the distillers behind our artisan Gins of the Month – extract the flavours from botanicals through distillation, it is possible to make gin simply by steeping the plants, herbs or spices you want to use in the base spirit. Which means it is very possible to make your own gin at home, using vodka!
The Distiller Plays A Key Role
Its the job of a distiller to ensure that the botanicals used in a Gin are treated in a way which results in the same flavored end product, despite, for example, using different crops of berries, seeds and herbs over the course of a brands lifetime.Variances in a single batch of juniper berries will occur naturally, so its up to the distiller to taste a number of samples from each botanical crop in order to ensure consistency in flavor.So the next time youre drinking a Gin , think about all the individual botanicals which have made it into your glass, think about the method used to create it, and think about – and thank – the distiller who undoubtedly spent months trying batch after batch, to get that recipe spot on.Heres to you, Gin Distillers the world over. Cheers!
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How Gin Is Made: Step By Step
Understanding how gin is made can help you understand more about the product and what youre consuming.
REMEMBER: Keep in mind that distilling gin at home is illegal without a license.
Therefore, you should take the following information as hypothetical or as simple learning material, not as a call-to-action guide.
The process of making gin is time-honored and pretty standard, even if the ingredients that make up individual gin recipes vary by distiller.
Lets take a look at the gin distillation process from the first step to the last:
The Art Of Distillation
But choosing the right botanicals, with the right flavour molecules, in the right ratios isnt the whole story, how the ethanol extracts their oils is also important for determining the final flavour of a gin.
The Baltimore Whiskey Company macerates all the botanicals in ethanol in the still at room temperature for around 12 hours before distillation. Whittakers Gin leave two botanicals out of their 24 hour long room-temperature macerating process, adding the lemon peel at the very end just before the distillation. This means the citrus flavour doesnt get swallowed and overcome by the other flavours and the garden thyme we put in a gin basket, says Whittaker. A gin, or infuser, basket is placed in the arm of the still so that ethanol vapour passes through it during the distillation. This provides a softer flavour, explains Whittaker. A lot of distillers use both macerating and the gin basket.
Bombay Sapphire produce their gins on the thousand-litre scale, using an infuser basket a long way from the heat source
Bombay Sapphire uses a fractionating column for its premium product, Star of Bombay. This isnt for the reason discussed above though, as no botanicals have yet touched the ethanol at that point in their process instead the reflux column is used to slow down the rate at which the alcohol vapour passes through the gin basket.
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