Gin is one of the most popular types of alcoholic beverages in the world, but it can be hard to know where to start when choosing a type. There are so many types and brands that it’s easy to get overwhelmed! So what should you do? Read this blog post!
We’ll talk about types of gin, what goes into making them and some common botanicals. Hopefully, by the time you finish reading this post, you will have an idea as to which kind suits your taste buds best.
What is gin and what are some common types of gin?
Gin is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage made from grain alcohol, water and juniper berries. It’s been noted as one of the oldest types of such drinks in history and it was originally created early on to be used for medical purposes.
There are many different types of gin – some have citrus flavours while others taste more like pine or herbs. The types of gin are often determined by the botanical ingredients that are used in its creation and what flavours it’s trying to capture, such as juniper berries or coriander seeds.
Some types of gin include:
– London Dry Gin is a type of gin that has a more herbal flavour and is made from juniper berries, angelica root, marjoram, orris root
– Plymouth Gin is essentially the same as London Dry Gin but it’s traditionally made using barley instead of other types of grains.
– Old Tom Gin tends to have sweeter flavours (due to the types of sugars that are used in its creation) and was created during a time when it wasn’t as easy for people to access citrus fruits, so they were using oranges or lemons
– Genever is an older type of gin from the Netherlands. It’s typically malt wine-based rather than grain alcohol other types of botanicals.
– Navy Strength Gin is notable because it is stronger than other types of gin. It was originally created for British sailors because it had a higher ABV content so that they could consume less water while out at sea
– Dutch Genever (Jenever) is a type of gin that’s traditionally types using malt wine.
– Sloe Gin features sloe berries as one of its botanical ingredients.
– Genepy is a type of gin that’s typically made in the Rhone Valley region of France.
When looking at types, there are five main types that you will typically find in stores: London dry gin (the most common), Genever and Old Tom gins, Plymouth Gin and Dutch-style genever. There’s also a type called New Western Dry which is relatively new to the market but appears to be quite popular with consumers.
How is gin made?
One way to make gin is by using a grain base (usually wheat) and soaking it in water. This mixture then ferments, turning the liquid into alcohol-rich grape juice which can be distilled with juniper berries, coriander seeds and other types of botanicals for flavour. Gin typically contains 40% ABV (alcohol by volume) or more, with exceptions being lower-alcohol types such as Plymouth.
The distillation process for gin usually involves a pot still, which separates the alcohol from water. Then, the alcohol is passed through a small copper or steel tube packed with juniper berries, coriander seeds and other types of botanicals.
The flavour of gin can be influenced by different types of ingredients in that process: like vodka, gin starts from distilling grain mash to produce water-free ethanol. But unlike vodka’s distillation method where the distillate is only boiled once, gin goes through a second distillation process.
This influences the types of flavours that are present in both types of spirits: while vodka’s flavour comes from cereal grains, gin starts with such ingredients as juniper berries and other types of herbs like coriander seeds.
What types of botanicals are used to create gin?
There is a wide variety when it comes to the types of herbs and spices that you will find in most types of gin. Common ones include juniper berries, coriander seeds, cardamom pods, angelica root (or dill seed), liquorice root, citrus peels and (less commonly) orris root.
To be classed as gin, juniper berries have to feature in the list of botanicals but they can be used in a variety of different ways to produce new flavours – for example, some like it more peppery while others prefer more citrusy types.
The types of gin that use more spices and herbs than just juniper berries are often referred to as London Dry Gin or Old Tom Gin – these types have a much bolder flavour profile, which people either love or hate!
Other examples of more unusual botanicals include peppermint, nutmeg and liquorice root.
What types of gin are available?
There’s a wide range to choose from when it comes to styles of gin. Some popular types on the market at present include Junipero Gin, The Plymouth Gin brand, Beefeater Gin, Monkey 47 Naga Gin, Hendrick’s Gin and Tanqueray Sterling. Bombay Sapphire is another popular brand which is releasing more variations to their type of gin.
There are hundreds of micro-distilleries around the world also producing their own unique gins. From Australia to Hong Kong to many variations in the UK, there’s always a new brand to discover.
What are flavoured gins and gin liqueurs?
Flavoured gin is a type of gin made with botanicals that have been infused into a neutral grain spirit, such as vodka or grain alcohol. The infusion process can be given to the tonic water and other ingredients to create what is known as a “gin and tonic”.
Gin liqueurs are types of spirits that are made by infusing botanicals into the spirit itself. These types of spirits can be added to desserts or other types of drinks for an extra flavour
How can you serve gin?
The simplest way to serve gin is in a gin and tonic. Tonic or tonic water is added to the gin and then it can be garnished with a slice of lime, lemon or orange. The types of tonic water you use will make all the difference in how your drink tastes – so experiment!
A gin gimlet is made by adding freshly squeezed lime juice to cold gin and stirring well over ice. It’s delicious served either with a lime slice or as an extra twist of lime on the rim.
A gin and ginger ale is made by adding ice, pouring over your favourite gin, then topping up with ginger beer (or any other type you prefer). This drink can be served either in a tall glass filled to the brim – great for those hot summer days – or over ice for a colder drink.
Other famous gin cocktails include:
- Martini (made with dry vermouth)
- Negroni (a classic, made with gin, Campari and sweet vermouth)
- Singapore Sling (a sweet drink, made with gin, cherry brandy and lemon juice)
- Tom Collins a (made with gin, sugar syrup or grenadine/barrel-aged bitters and soda water).
You can drink gin neat with ice but the flavour of it sometimes means this isn’t the most pleasant experience. Gin tasting will often get you to test the gin this way to understand the botanicals but otherwise, served as a mixed drink with at least tonic or another mixer is always best.
Types of gin for all
Gin is a spirit that has been made for centuries. There are many variations and flavours available to suit any taste preference, but it also takes time to understand how the different types of gin might affect your palate or what you like in general.
In this article, we’ve provided some insight into the different types of gin on the market as well as giving our recommendations for which gins should be at top of your shopping list if you’re looking for something new to try.
What’s your favourite style of gin?