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ALL ABOUT GIN

Gin’s story starts centuries ago in the monasteries and households of monk-alchemists scattered across Europe. Initially produced for medicinal purposes, the beverage soon gained popularity and spread throughout England, southern Italy, Flanders, and the Netherlands. With its medicinal properties and effervescent flavors, gin quickly became sought after by many communities, eventually becoming one of the most popular spirits consumed worldwide today.

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History

Gin’s long and varied history dates back to the 11th Century and is believed to have originated in Holland as a juniper-based spirit before making its way throughout Europe. English soldiers returning from the Thirty Years War loved the spirit that they’d used as “liquid courage” and brought it back with them. London became flush with gin, but the real tradition of London Gin also came from the Dutch through King William the III who took the throne of England and Ireland in the 17th century and introduced the drink to his subjects. Since then, distillers made various changes to gin, distilling all around the world in various styles. Traditionally, distillers made gin using juniper berries as its main flavoring element, which gave it a distinct piney taste. Modern gins incorporate other flavors such as lavender or citrus. Alongside its production, unique serving styles became popular like gìn fizz served over ice with soda or a gìn and tonic made with tonic water and lime juice. Gin continues its legacy as one of the most popular liquors today, enjoying resurgence in popularity for both young and old aficionados.

How Gin is Made

Gin is made by infusing a neutral spirit with a variety of botanicals, especially juniper berries. The process of making gin begins with the distillation of a neutral spirit, which is usually made from grains like wheat or barley. Once the neutral spirit is produced, it is then infused with botanicals such as juniper berries, coriander, angelica root, and other herbs and spices. These botanicals are added to the neutral spirit in a pot still, and the mixture is distilled again. The resulting gin is then diluted with water to achieve the desired alcohol content, typically around 40% ABV. The exact recipe of botanicals used in gin production can vary greatly, resulting in different styles of gin with distinct flavor profiles.

Types of

  • London Dry Gin - Characterized by its high alcohol content and naturally dry flavor from herbal and juniper notes, London Dry Gin has been produced for centuries. Distillers make it with a base of 100 percent pure grain alcohol and redistilled it with aromatic botanicals like coriander, citrus peel and angelica root.
  • Genever/Dutch Gin - The Dutch people originally created gin and have enjoyed it for centuries. Made from a mixture of malt wine and grain spirits, Genever and Dutch Gins incorporate notes of herbaceous juniper as well as various other herbs, spices, and botanicals.
  • Modern Gin - Modern gins change up the classic London dry style by incorporating more citrus notes that take emphasis away from the traditional juniper aromas and flavors.

WHAT DOES GIN TASTE LIKE?

Those who don't like gin may say that it tastes like eating a Christmas candle. It is a divisive spirit, but don't listen to the gin haters without giving it a try. Especially as some of the smoothest and most refined cocktails include gin that makes the drink all the more delicious. The taste of gin can vary depending on the botanicals used and the specific distillation process used to create it. However, most gins do have a distinctive piney, citrusy, and herbal flavor profile due to the presence of juniper berries, which are the dominant botanical in gin. Other botanicals like coriander, citrus peel, and angelica root can also add spicy, floral, or earthy notes to the flavor of gin. In general, gin has a dry and somewhat bitter taste, which makes it a popular base for cocktails like the classic gin and tonic, martini, and negroni. However, the taste of gin can be quite complex and nuanced, and there are many different styles of gin that offer unique flavor profiles.

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How to Drink Gin

For centuries people have enjoyed gin, and there are many ways to enhance that experience. Some people insist on drinking straight from the bottle, while others like chilling down their favorite drink with ice before blending in some fresh fruit for that perfect flavor. You can also shake up gin into cocktails with ice or mix some water in before straining it into an old-fashioned glass for an extra special flavor.

Popular Gin Brands

From classic London dry gin to modern craft gins, there is a gin out there to suit every taste and preference. In this list, we'll explore some of the most popular gin brands available, each with its unique flavor profile and history.
  • Tanqueray London Dry Gin - Tanqueray London Dry Gin contains four botanicals: juniper, coriander, angelica root and liquorice. The strong juniper smell makes this a very characteristic drink which also carries into the flavor before revealing hints of baking spices thanks to the angelica root and coriander. The dry concoction makes an excellent gin and tonic.
  • Beefeater Pink Gin - Beefeater Pink Gin gets marketed as a “Strawberry Flavored Gin” in America. The amazing taste of syrupy strawberries comes through on the nose and in the glass followed by a hint of juniper berries and warm spice at the end. Distilled with real fruit for color and flavor, this gin fits well in many different cocktails, but is pretty sweet to begin with so try to avoid adding too many sweeteners to your concoctions.
  • Bombay Sapphire Gin - Made with a combination of ten different botanicals, including juniper berries, almond, lemon peel, licorice, coriander, orris root, angelica, cubeb berries, grains of paradise and cassia bark, this gin comes across very citrusy. While none of the ingredients surprise gin aficionados, Bombay Sapphire blends these unique ingredients together to create an incredibly smooth and complex flavor that truly stands out in any cocktail and really opens up as it covers your mouth.
  • Hendrick's Gin - A premium Scottish gin distilled in small batches using a unique blend of botanicals, including cucumber and rose petals. Known for its distinct and refreshing taste, with a delicate balance of floral and herbal notes. The iconic apothecary style bottle and whimsical branding also add to its appeal.

LIQUORSPLIT’S FAVORITE GIN

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GREAT GIN RECIPES

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Ramos Gin Fizz

Combine 2 oz gin, 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice, 1/2 oz fresh lime juice, 3/4 oz simple syrup, 1 oz heavy cream, and 1 egg white in a cocktail shaker without ice. Shake vigorously to emulsify and create a frothy mixture. Add ice to the shaker and shake again until well chilled. Strain into a tall Collins glass and top with a splash of club soda and a few dashes of orange flower water. Stir gently and garnish with a citrus twist. Enjoy the creamy, citrusy goodness of this classic New Orleans cocktail!

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Gin and Tonic

Start by filling a tall glass with ice, preferably large cubes. Then, pour 2 oz of gin over the ice. Top the gin with tonic water, pouring it slowly down the side of the glass to minimize fizzing and maximize the drink's carbonation. Stir gently with a bar spoon to combine the ingredients. Finally, garnish the drink with a wedge of lime, squeezing it gently over the surface of the drink to release its citrusy aroma and flavor. Serve and enjoy the refreshing taste of a well-made Gin and Tonic!

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Pink Gin 75

To make a Pink Gin 75, combine 1 1/2 oz of gin, 3/4 oz of fresh lemon juice, 1/2 oz of simple syrup, and a splash of fruity liqueur (we love raspberry or strawberry) in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until well chilled, then strain into a chilled champagne flute. Top with chilled sparkling wine and garnish with a lemon twist or fresh strawberry. Enjoy the delightful blend of sweet, tart, and floral flavors in this pink-hued cocktail.

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Watermelon Gin Punch

Start by blending fresh watermelon chunks until smooth. Strain watermelon juice into a large punch bowl or pitcher. Add 2 cups of gin, 1/2 cup of fresh lime juice, and 1/2 cup of simple syrup to the watermelon juice. Stir well to combine. Fill punch bowl or pitcher with ice, add sliced limes, fresh mint leaves, and watermelon cubes for garnish. Top with club soda or sparkling water for a bit of fizz. Stir gently and serve the Watermelon Gin Punch over ice, garnished with more fresh mint and watermelon cubes, if desired.

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