Most of you may have tried to drink a glass of gin before. And while drinking your glass, perhaps you were wondering how this type of alcohol got made in the first place (or not)? As there is a lot to discover about gin, here is the most complete gin guide you’ll ever need.
What you should know about gin
Distilled gin is produced exclusively by redistilling ethanol of agricultural origin. With an initial strength of 96% ABV (Alcohol By Volume) and predominantly flavored by juniper berries and other botanicals, gin has become a staple drink that everybody knows and loves. Pouring gin over a few ice cubes and dropping in a lime wedge is always a winner. Moreover, gin is the main element in various cocktails. Most people consider gin as a derivative of vodka, it is indeed a common misunderstanding that gin is flavored vodka.
Even though both spirits are similar, the ingredients and distilling processes are entirely different. For once, vodka is made by distillation of potatoes, rye, or wheat but gin is made with the help of distillation of malt or grain that is infused with the flavor of juniper berries and other botanicals. Thus, gin tastes bitterer than vodka. Furthermore, the main element of vodka is water and ethanol, whereas gin’s main flavor element comes from juniper berries.
Is gin healthier than other liquors?
Now some of you may want to know if gin is healthier than other alcohols? In fact, all spirits are generally carb, sugar, and fat-free. However, some are still more caloric than others. Luckily, gin has fewer calories than most. For example, a small shot of an 86-proof whiskey contains about 105 calories, whereas an 80-proof vodka or gin contains only 97 calories. It is a small difference but gin is a slightly healthier option.
What are the different types of gin?
To make you become the best gin guru, here is a summary of the 6 most popular brands of gins:
1. London Dry Gin
Many gin lovers consider London Dry Gin as the only existing gin. It is well-known all around the globe due to its bitter taste. That said, you should know that the latter is not actually made in London. It is named London Dry Gin as it is very dry and light-bodied. Most distillers making this type of gin were located in London, so they decided to name the famous drink that way. Finally, dry gin can be used to make a large number of cocktails, or you can just drink it on the rock, nobody would blame you!
2. Old Tom Gin
Old Tom Gin has become amazingly popular since the 1700s. This gin can be made from multigrain or any agricultural product. It is a sweetened version of the London Dry and contains a lot of junipers to make it drinkable. However, as there are more and more new modern gins on the market, the Old Tom Gin has been neglected like a poor middle child in the past few years. However, we recommend trying it out with soda water and tonic, you won’t regret it.
3. Jenever Gin
Jenever is the name for juniper in Dutch. It is an ancient-style mix of malt wine and neutral spirits and the base ingredients are maize and rye. This gin is specifically made in Holland and Belgium. It is unique from other gins because it has a dark color and aromatic flavor. There are different styles of jenever alcohols that contain different botanicals and mulled wine percentages. Jenever is famous for being served ice-chilled.
4. Plymouth Gin
Plymouth belongs to the family of London Dry gins since it is a slightly dry spirit. Made in Plymouth, England, just like its name, it has a slightly crisp flavor which is supported by the flavor of its root ingredients. It is a classical gin that is liked by many and is especially delicious when served chill.
5. Bombay Sapphire Gin
This gin was launched by a wine merchant, IDV. The main ingredients are juniper berries, lemon peel, almond, and lime. It can be used to make excellent martinis. Furthermore, it is extra smooth and has a perfectly balanced taste, making it undeniably one of the most popular gins out there.
6. Aviation Gin
This one is an American gin that has gathered attention after the recent #adsolation campaign. In this particular ad, we can see a couple trying to escape police with the last bottle of Aviation Gin on the planet. The ad attracted lots of views and clicks and helped the company financially. Otherwise, in terms of taste, this gin is also called the ‘American Dry Gin’ due to the fact it uses fewer junipers than other brands.
Our top 3 Essential Gin Bottles that you should try
If you are looking for a new bottle to sip on, here are our top 3 gin brands that you should try:
1. Hendrick’s Gin
This Scottish bottle will give you a classic juniper and citrus taste. Its version with a refreshing hint of cucumber and roses makes this gin an outstanding flavor that you can buy at the price of $41.00.
2. Highclere Castle Gin
This official gin of Highclere Castle, the real-life Downton Abbey. It contains botanicals from the estate’s ground including wild juniper, lavender planted by the 9th century Bishops of Winchester, and citrus from the Victorian-era orange grove. The price of this bottle is $42.99.
3. The Botanist Islay Dry Gin
This gin brand contains 31 botanicals: 22 hand-foraged botanicals from the Isle of Islay and 9 core gin botanicals. It also includes thistle, gorse, and water mint for a flavor that perfectly mixes both sweet and savory cocktails. The price of this one is $39.99.
For those who do not like gin, it just means you didn’t find the right gin for you yet. With our complete guide, we hope you’ll discover something new and exciting.