What Is Gin?
From being a base spirit in cocktails to drinking it neat, gin has proven to be an indispensable world-class liquor enjoyed by many. As one of the most popular liquors in the world, gin continues to trigger the curiosity of many people. It is owing to its very unique characteristics.
This article contains the basic things you would like to know and answers a lot of questions regarding gin. Some of the areas we will be exploring about gin include the history of gin, gin ingredients, and of course, some of the best types of gin worldwide.
What Is Gin Made From?
Gin is a spirit made from distilled neutral grain, juniper berries, and other botanicals. Of the gin ingredients, the juniper berry is the most important. In fact, for a spirit to be classified as gin, it has to be infused with juniper berries.
Ingredients used in Making Gin
- Juniper berries: They are aromatic fruits that grow in different parts of the world. This ingredient is one of the botanicals in gin, constant in the gin-making process regardless of the gin flavor. Juniper berries are added to gin because they give the spirit its traditional piney flavor.
- A fermentable base: gin makers can use grains, grapes, carrots, potatoes, honey, or apples to make the alcohol used in producing the gin. The grains that can be used to make gin are wheat, corn, barley, and rye.
- Water: Water is added after the fermentation stage by the gin makers to achieve the gin abv in the product.
- Herbs, spices, and botanicals: These additions are responsible for the various gin flavors, and gin tastes. Some of the common botanicals used in gin are juniper berries, coriander, rosemary, Angelica, lemon, and licorice.
How Is Gin Made?
The following are the basic steps in gin making:
- Selection and combination of base ingredients: Selected base ingredients like maize and rye are mixed with water and yeast to make them fermentable. The mixture is then heated and stirred to form the gin mash which is the base that would be fermented in the next process.
- Fermentation of the base: For the fermentation to take place, the “gin mash” is stored for some time between 7 to 14 days. What happens during that period is the breakdown of the gin mash to form natural alcohol or ethanol.
- Extraction of the liquid: After the fermentation stage, the liquid products from the mash are separated from the solid mash.
- Distillation process: To distill the ethanol, the mixture is heated and vaporized. The vaporized result, being more alcoholic, is used to make the gin. The distilling may be done more than once to achieve the desired result.
- Addition of botanicals: The botanicals can be added at various stages of the gin-making process. While some people add them before distilling the ethanol, some add theirs during the distilling process.
- Sorting of the distilled ethanol: During the distillation process, the results are carefully sorted to produce the best product. The first 35 percent of the gin alcohol collected during vaporization can be toxic and dangerous for consumption. The next 30 percent collected is the best and ideal for consumption. The last 35 percent is low quality and not good enough for consumption but can be distilled again to add to the useable 30 percent.
- Dilution of the product and flavoring: To achieve the desired gin alcohol content, water is added. At this point, additives may be added to create different flavors of gin.
- Packaging: This is the last step of the whole gin-making process. The gin is bottled and labeled in the case of a commercial gin maker.
What Are The Types Of Gin?
There are a lot of types of gins available worldwide. Some of the best types of gin have been researched and listed out below for you:
- London dry gin: This England-origin liquor represents natural gin because of the exemption of artificial flavor in its components. The strong piney flavor concentration from juniper berries makes the London dry gin stand out.
- Plymouth Gin: It has a taste similar to the London dry gin, only that the Plymouth gin is drier and tastes sweeter due to the higher citrus flavor. Plymouth dry gin can only be made in Plymouth, England.
- Old Tom gin: Truly, old Tom gin has a sweet, rich, malty, and a hint of citrus taste. The gin is mostly stored in barrels and ages over time. The taste of the gin slightly changes from the original product depending on the gin storage time.
- Navy Strength Gin: This gin style dates as far back as the 18th century. The gin is so powerful that when the British navy stored it next to the gun powder, a splash would burn the powder. It always has a high ABV of at least 57 percent because the diluting agents are lesser in the gin.
As always, many questions have arisen as to whether gin has adverse effects on the drinkers or not. First, Gin was invented for medicinal purposes before it became a drink we took whenever and wherever we wanted it. So, surely, taking it in overly large quantities can be detrimental.
However, gin has a lot of health benefits, and we advise that it be consumed responsibly.
We hope this article has equipped you with the knowledge you were looking for. Always stop by to check out our best reviews, and improve your Alco drinks rating.
Where does gin come from?
Gin comes from various makers worldwide. Although, some gin types are licensed to be produced by a chosen few. One of such is Plymouth gin which is only produced in Plymouth, England.
Who invented gin?
Franciscus Sylvius, a Dutch physician, has been recorded to be the inventor of gin. Gin was introduced as a medicine to help the Holland soldiers calm their nerves before entering into battle.
Is gin stronger than vodka?
The major difference between gin and vodka is the juniper berry flavor that can only be found in gin. Other than that, both spirit drinks use water and ethanol with flavors (botanical or artificial). The stronger of the two drinks can only be determined by the level at which they are diluted. That is, by the ABV percentage.