COPYRIGHT © 2013 - 2021 BESPOKE UNIT, LLC. In fact, it was even only sold through pharmacies for many years. Although often associated with the United Kingdom, gin is actually Dutch in origin and a derivative of jenever. Master blenders will carefully balance the use of juniper in order to achieve the desired flavour. Here is everything you need to know about what is fast becoming Britain’s favourite tipple again. As such, its oils can help alleviate coughs and soothe sour throats when blended with other botanical ingredients such as ginger. Of course due to the many unique gins being manufactured, you can buy regular gin with all manner of flavours and colourings. Gin is traditional alcohol that has been around in some variation since medieval times. Indeed, juniper is a natural antioxidant with anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties. Today, it is one of the most popular alcoholic spirits and a particularly popular component of cocktails. Otherwise, we might instead suggest Scandinavian Akvavit instead. There are a number of reasons why you may seek alternatives to gin. Gin is created by distilling fermented grain and a number of different botanicals – including juniper. Gin can be made in three different ways. Firstly, we’ve already mentioned that vodka is chemically similar to gin. However, it undergoes a second distillation process where it is passed through a variety of herbs and spices. As a result, it will lend its distinctive flavours to your cocktail of choice. Crucially, the base alcohol needs to be neutral in taste so that the flavour of the botanicals can come through. Though gin may be grounded in the juniper berry, it can be made using a whole range of botanicals, opening the spirit up to a wide range of flavors. To be a London dry gin, the alcohol must be low on ethanol with no sugar added. While we cover it in greater detail in our full jenever guide, it was originally introduced to Great Britain as a medicine. Often the base alcohol is made from wheat, others are made from barley, grape, sugar and others. Once an overlooked and almost forgotten alcoholic spirit, gin has experienced an unprecedented renaissance with the recent “gin boom”. It is illegal to distill your own alcohol in the UK. Porthilly Spirit Cornish coastal gin, 42%, 70cl Sadly, like many events, this year’s Porthilly Spirit festival has been cancelled. These notably include juniper berries, which produces its distinctive flavour. Gin is a surprisingly complex spirit – both historically and in its make-up. There isn’t a prescribed ratio of how much juniper berries must go into the manufacturing of gin, all it says is that the flavour of juniper has to be present. The last area is those whom are not claiming grain to glass status but who look at spirit as a possible botanical addition, and who add a spirit (such as sake, brandy, or young whisky) after distillation and who deliberately focus their attention on it. Aviation is produced in Portland, Oregon by House Spirits Distillery. Learn how your comment data is processed. A product made from grain is "grain neutral spirit", while a spirit made from grapes is called "grape neutral spirit" or "vinous alcohol". It also has to be predominantly flavoured with juniper berries and be 140 proof after distillation. Distilled, redistilled and compound. However, it must be said that vodka will unlikely feature a flavour profile that contributes to the cocktail’s characteristics. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Neutral spirits are used in the production of blended whisky, cut brandy, some liqueurs, and some bitters. This liquid is then blended with juniper, and other botanicals. Old Tom Gin became rare over the years, but the recent cocktail renaissance has seen its revival. Nevertheless, it briefly picked up again in the late 1980s with the introduction of premium brands like Bombay Sapphire. The staple and titular component of the G&T, gin is a grain-based spirit usually known for its predominant juniper flavour. In fact, many contemporary gins will incorporate a unique selection of herbs and spices in order to engineer a variety of flavours. However, gin didn’t really become popular until the late 17th Century when the government imposed heavy taxes on all imported spirits. . This led to a gin craze, which caused numerous social problems and alcohol-related deaths and wasn’t corrected until the 1751 Gin Act. • Gin – Flavours are added to the neutral sprit when bottling (so all non-distilled gin is cold compounded, as above). While gin can sometimes be made using vapour infusion, most brands will undertake the same process. Gin is a type of spirit characterized by the flavor of juniper berries. MORE : 7 posh tonic waters that’ll change the way you drink gin & tonic forever, MORE : Now you can drink sloe gin and help save Africa’s wild elephants from extinction. The daily lifestyle email from Metro.co.uk. It’s helpful to think about the base spirit as a vodka-like spirit that the distiller used as a starting point— a blank canvas upon which the gin was designed.But choice of base alone doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to taste it. Firstly, it’s important that we clearly state that no alcoholic beverage is healthy when consumed in excess! Distilled gin starts out the same way as London Dry Gin, but flavours can be added afterwards, while cold-compounded gins infuse a neutral spirit with botanicals with no further distilling. Gin, on the other hand, is a spirit that is 40 percent ABV or higher, with its main characteristic flavor derived from juniper berries. The name ‘gin’ in fact is the English translation of the Dutch word ‘jenever’ and the phrase ‘Dutch Courage’ comes from gin drinking too. The base spirit of a gin refers to the distillate to which botanicals were added. Interestingly, gin’s name is a modern shortening of the Old English “genever”, which is derived from the latin “juniperus”. First up. These natural ingredients steep, or macerate, in the alcohol, releasing their flavors before being distilled again, resulting in a fusion that ends with a smooth yet intricate spirit. Gin is a neutral grain spirit that is re-distilled along with a mixture of botanicals (juniper berries being a crucial ingredient). Finally, the resulting spirit is blended with malt wine and sugar before being diluted with water and bottled. For liquor to be classified as gin in the United States, it must contain no less than 40 percent alcohol by volume (ABV). Gin, the popular distilled alcoholic drink which obtains its distinct flavour from the juniper berry, originated as a medicinal drink dating back to the 11th century. Although gin is made from gluten grains, the distillation process should make it safe for those with a sensitivity to proteins. Indeed, it can act as an appropriate substitute base to a gin cocktail. Typically, Akvavit consists of a dominant aroma note derived from herbs such as caraway, cardamon, cumin, and fennel. As for the aforementioned gin and tonic, it was originally used to counteract the bitter flavour of quinine, the only known treatment malaria. The dictionary definition of gin is that of a neutral grain spirit re-distilled with botanicals, with a predominant juniper flavor. Depending on the variety, which are detailed in another guide, gin can actually vary somewhat in flavour. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Indeed, some gins can be remarkably complex and go far beyond a simple pine cone flavour profile. These are then redistilled with juniper and other botancials to give the spirit its flavour. There are a variety of styles, from the famous London dry gins to modern gins that are less piney and more approachable. Finally, gin is also an anti-inflammatory and can help conditions like arthritis. What it tastes like: While Old Toms must include some sort of sweetener, many distillers use the additive to round out the profile of the gin rather than make a sweet spirit like a liqueur. A third and final distillate may be desired with more botanicals to produce a particular flavour. However, there are almost as many different ways of including these botanicals as there are different … Blueberry gin is a flavored variety of the spirit. Nevertheless, most modern tonic water today only contains traces of quinine compared to the original concoction as it wasn’t particularly pleasant. What separates gin from vodka is the inclusion of juniper and other botanicals in the distillation. In many ways, gin is very similar to vodka as it is essentially distilled grains that produce ethanol. That’s because making gin is all about extracting essential oils from the botancials to create the spirit. This tends to be a sweet, juniper flavoured drink. Considering that gin is a well known spirit, try asking a friend “what does gin taste like”? During the Prohibition era of the early 20th Century, there was a renewed interest in gin as it was relatively easy to produce. Distilled Gin is primarily made by adding the flavoring agents during a continuous process. Gin used to be a sweet drink (sugar and other flavourings were used to … Traditionally, common London Dry style gins will feature a pronounced juniper note that is often compared to a Christmas tree. The name is actually to do with how it is made. An old home remedy involves taking gin-soaked raisins to soothe discomfort. That depends on the gin. Gin, flavored, distilled, colorless to pale yellow liquor made from purified spirits usually obtained from a grain mash and having the juniper berry as its principal flavoring ingredient. Some will argue that the juniper’s antioxidants will actually boost your metabolism. Rather than being re-distilled, Akvavit is simply flavoured with similar herbs and spices like gin without the use of juniper. What a comprehensive guide! Genever is also called Dutch Gin or Holland Gin, and is most like the original style of gin. This was to stop drunks going in into the bars to get their tipple. However, we’re somewhat doubtful that a shot of gin provides a sufficient dose to have any effect. However, some traces may still be present. Cuckoo Gin and Boatyard Gin are both examples of two fantastic gins that fall into this area. Nevertheless, we already explained how gin was a medicine before it was enjoyed in your Negroni. In many ways, gin is very similar to vodka as it is essentially distilled grains that produce ethanol. This gin revolution has brought the spirit's appeal to a wider audience of drinkers. Gin is a surprisingly complex spirit – both historically and in its make-up. You may be surprised to hear that they have never tried gin. With a surge of new fruit and spice infused gin-based liqueurs, the boundaries of gin’s identity are continuously being tested. Gin is a distilled spirit made with grain and botanicals. That said, there are some excellent infused Polish vodkas that can offer an alternative aroma to the overall experience. The staple and titular component of the G&T, gin is a grain-based spirit usually known for its predominant juniper flavour. Thanks to the variety of cocktails that feature gin, it’s associated with both Christmas and summer. As a result, many renowned whisky distilleries have turned to simultaneously producing gin. There’s a common misconception that gin is simply flavoured vodka, but unlike its potato-based friend, gin is in a spirit category all of its own . Nevertheless, it is a very light spirit and a single shot only contains 97 calories and no carbohydrates. As well as juniper, you can add lemon peel, almonds, cucumber, chamomile, angelica root, apple, coriander, cassia, licorice, orris, spices, leaves, fruits, flowers and dozens more. Also no two types of gin are the same as they differ in botanicals and the way they are made. • London Gin – Flavours (natural only) are distilled with the neutral spirit and a touch of sweetener may be added after, like Tanqueray London Dry and Hope on Hopkins London Dry. The invention of gin is usually attributed to a Dutch physician in the 17th century, though there is some contention in this area, with many claiming that the Italians had been drinking a nearly identical liquor for some time before this. Old Tom: This historically came after genever and was made sweeter and spicier than Genever to cover up the taste of poor quality alcohol. The typical way to make gin is by distilling fermented grains. If the spirit was distilled more times than the average gin, it may have removed sufficient impurities to make it safe. Similarly, the juniper berry is a diuretic. Still, its botanical properties have helped it become a staple for many cocktail bases. Find out the newest bottles, distillation trends and cocktail recipes to introduce you to a whole new world of the clear spirit. The standard method for producing gin is to use neutral grain alcohol and combine it with a range of botanicals like juniper, coriander, citrus peel, cinnamon, almond or liquorice. We strive to provide informative content and are always glad to hear when folks find it valuable. ‘Without juniper, you have flavoured vodka,’ Anthony Pullen, from Bulldog Gin said. Furthermore, it greatly depends on the variety of gin and its ingredients. This guide is will provide you with an introduction to gin and you will learn how it tastes, its history, and its benefits: Simply use the links above to jump ahead or scroll down to read out entire detailed guide. Gin is a Dutch creation and the English made it popular worldwide. Gin usually begins as a grain-based spirit (which is pure ethanol) and is then redistilled with other botanicals (and, of course, juniper) to gain its delicious depth of flavour. Now that you have read our introductory guide to gin, let’s dig deeper and learn more! Ableforth’s Bathtub Gin, which infuses a base spirit of gin with botanicals, is a good example of when this works. The English have been making gin for centuries – ever since the Dutch-made jenever appeared here in the 17th Century. However, gin’s popularity waned after the Prohibition in favour of more refined and now-legal spirits. Cam MacKenzie from Four Pillars Gin says the juniper is important because it creates an ‘aromatic canvas’ for other botanicals. It is most noted for its pine flavor due to its main ingredient, juniper berries. Genever: This is the original gin that was made by distilling malt wine and then redistilling with botanicals. The spirit that comes off is reduced to bottling strength anywhere from 80° to 97°. If you begin mixing it, it may begin to lose its benefits! Gin is most commonly distilled from a grain spirit or grape spirit and is clear in colour, while sloe gin has deep ruby red tones. distilled) gin requires a two stage process – first a base ‘neutral spirit’ is made and then this is flavoured by through re-distillation with seeds, berries, roots, fruits and herbs and spices – collectively known as ‘botanicals’. London dry gin – this doesn’t necessarily mean the gin was made in London! While many might believe it has its origins in Britain – perhaps due to the classic London Dry Gin moniker – the spirit originally came to Europe via Holland. Thanks for your feedback and for being a loyal reader! Among the many popular cocktails that include gin are martinis, gimlets, and Tom Collins. Yes really. Gin is made from the same base ingredient as vodka: neutral spirit. As a result, it reduces water retention, which helps flushing out bacteria and toxins if you have something like liver disease or a urinary tract infection. In other words, the Difference between Vodka and Gin is the addition of juniper berries to gin. American Gin is produced using one of two standard methods: distilling and compounding. Bathtub gin: This is made by infusing the base alcohol with spices. There’s a lot more that differentiates one spirit from another, but this generally—plus centuries of distilling history—is what differentiate spirits in the alcohol world. We’ll explore how gin is made in more detail later. Nevertheless, its real renaissance has been in the last 10 years. A third way is by hanging the botanicals in a basket inside the alambique (copper distilling pot) while distilling the grain so the alcohol vapours collect the flavour as they go through it before condensing back into a liquid again. The resulting taste is imparted from the botanical herbs and spices used during the distillation process. When re-distilled with herbs and spices, it helped treated various ailments like gout and gallstones. Gin is a distilled spirit flavoured with the juniper berry and other natural herbs and spices. Similarly, it was often used by sailors to prevent scurvy! Meanwhile, it tends to have a somewhat oily texture. To produce a decent (i.e. Yet, the definition of gin is becoming somewhat blurry due to its revived popularity. Well done Bespoke Unit and like so many of your articles, the best and most informative in print anywhere! 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