Gin is one of the world’s oldest and most popular spirits. It has captured the imagination of drinkers throughout history, with its unique flavour profile that seamlessly blends tart juniper berries, zesty citrus peel, aromatic herbs and spices.
If you’re ready to explore the vastly fascinating world of gin, we have all the information you need in our comprehensive guide to buying gin!
Different Types of Gin
Let’s first explore the various kinds of gin and what sets them apart from one another:
- London Dry Gin: This type of gin is typically made from grain spirits redistilled with juniper berries and other botanicals. The flavour is dry and slightly bracing, with aromas of citrus, spice, and herbal notes. London dry gin is best when mixed with lighter ingredients like tonic or soda water.
- Old Tom Gin: A sweeter style of gin that was popular in the 1700s and 1800s. It’s made similarly to London dry gin but is slightly sweeter due to the addition of sugar. This type of gin pairs well with citrus-based ingredients and syrups for sweet cocktails.
- Plymouth Gin: A protected style of gin from Plymouth, England. This type of gin is usually made from malted barley and has a strong juniper flavour. It’s best used in classic gin cocktails like the Martini or Negroni.
- New Western Gin: A contemporary style of gin that uses unconventional ingredients such as herbs, spices, fruits, and even vegetables to create interesting new flavours. New Western gin often pairs well with more adventurous mixers like ginger ale or flavoured sodas.
- Navy Strength Gin: A higher-proof version of London dry gin, this type has been a favourite among sailors since the 19th century. Navy strength gin is bottled at 57 percent alcohol by volume and makes for an intense martini or another classic cocktail.
- Genever: A malty, juniper-forward style of gin that originated in the Netherlands. Genever is usually made from a base of malted barley and has a full-bodied flavour profile, making it perfect for mixing with heavier ingredients like cream or egg whites.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Gin
When selecting a gin, price should certainly be taken into consideration. While some excellent budget-friendly options are available on the market, it is important to remember that you usually get what you pay for when it comes to spirits.
The higher quality gins will typically cost more due to their use of more expensive and specialised ingredients. In addition, premium gins often use more complex distillation methods to create a higher-quality product.
However, this doesn’t mean there aren’t great budget-friendly gins with excellent flavour profiles out there; it just means you have to be willing to research and read customer reviews before selecting the right gin for you.
Consider the flavour profile you’re looking for when choosing gin. Different gins have different levels of botanicals and juniper which can affect their respective tastes.
If you are looking for something light, a London Dry Gin might be best for you as these gins generally have only four main ingredients: juniper berries, coriander seeds, angelica root, and orris root.
If you are looking for something more robust with a spicier flavour then a Genever Gin might be best for you as this style of gin has more botanicals including grains like barley, malt, and rye as additional botanicals such as orange peel, cinnamon, and cardamom.
Country of origin
When selecting a gin, it’s important to consider the country of origin. Different countries have different preferences regarding what ingredients may be used and how they are combined; thus, each style of gin will differ from country to country.
For example, England is known for gins that use botanicals like juniper berries, coriander, and cassia bark. These gins have a bold flavour profile that is not overly sweet or spicy. On the other hand, Spanish gins tend to be slightly sweeter than their English counterparts and feature ingredients like orange peels, lemon peels, and licorice root.
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