A genuine burst of new gins has just entered the market, and each year, more and more people are learning about the delights of this delectable, multifaceted spirit. (Something we at Craft Gin Club are delighted to have contributed to starting!)
In 2022, it’s safe to say that the UK is in the midst of a deep love affair with gin. However, it can all get a little confused because to the enormous range of gins that are available. Gin is exactly what? How is it produced? Can gin be manufactured from vodka, or is it the same as vodka? Is flavor-added gin equivalent to “genuine” gin?
We’ve thus put up a brief overview of all the responses to the most often asked questions. Armed with this knowledge, you may enjoy your next gin and tonic to the fullest!
What exactly is gin?
You might be shocked to learn that gin is subject to some strict legal restrictions on its composition, production process, and even flavor.
The current legal definition of gin in the EU is as follows; similarly, definitions around the world:
Gin must be a neutral spirit made from a naturally occurring substance, such as wheat, barley, potatoes, or grapes.
A gin’s flavors derive from its botanicals, which are the herbs, seeds, flowers, plants, or spices added during preparation. Importantly, all gins must contain juniper; in fact, juniper must be the drink’s primary flavor in order for it to be legally classified as gin.
The amount of pure alcohol in the entire volume of the liquid (the “A.B.V.” you can see on the label) must be at least 37.5%.
London Dry, Plymouth Gin, and Old Tom Gin are the three traditional varieties of gin that fall under the general category; the distinctions between each are detailed below. Some cutting-edge, contemporary gins, however, no longer fit within any of these categories!
See below for further information on how flavored gin, gin liqueurs, and sloe gin differ from regular gin in some key ways.
The legal definition of gin and whether it is overly lenient or restrictive are hot topics right now in the beverage business. Strong opinions are prevalent on both sides of the debate on how or whether novel new products should be permitted to use the term “gin.” Later, more on this subject!
How is gin made?
Gin is often produced using a base grain like wheat or barley that is fermented before being distilled.
Water is added to the fermented grain mixture together with juniper berries and other aromatics, also referred to as botanicals, until the alcohol content and flavor balance are at the desired (or required) proportions.
Distillers create gin using a variety of distinct technical production techniques…
Compound gin is created using a less complicated process: fruits, herbs, vegetables, or spices (including juniper) are added to a neutral base spirit and allowed to infuse with the flavors. This process is also sometimes referred to as “bathtub gin,” in reference to the batches that were illegally made at home during American Prohibition in the 1920s.
Is it true you can make gin from vodka?
Yes! It is possible to manufacture gin by merely “steeping” the plants, herbs, or spices you want to use in the base spirit. While the majority of “real” commercial gin makers, like the distillers behind our handmade Gins of the Month, extract the flavors from botanicals by distillation. Thus, using vodka, it is entirely feasible to create your own gin at home!
What does gin taste of?
Gin is a versatile spirit that many bartenders and master distillers adore. This is due to the fact that each brand and edition has a distinctive flavor profile and that gin doesn’t have a single flavor.
Regardless of brand or kind, the sole flavor that unites all gins is juniper, which has a subdued piney aroma.
Beyond that, each gin can have an entirely different flavor thanks to the hundreds of botanicals that can be mixed in various ways.
What purpose do juniper berries serve?
Most cultures have used plants as medicine for thousands of years to cure a wide range of illnesses and ailments. An aromatic evergreen plant called Juniperus communis L. has a significant medicinal promise for treating both human and animal ailments. The plant is abundant in tannins, gums, lignins, wax, invert sugars, catechin, organic acids, terpenic acids, leucoanthocyanidin, alkaloids, flavonoids, and wax. Traditional uses for juniper berries or the plant’s extract include diuretic, anti-arthritis, anti-diabetic, and antiseptic properties, as well as the treatment of gastrointestinal and autoimmune problems. Experimental studies have shown that juniper essential oil and extracts have antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Additionally, recent research has discovered that berries have anti-inflammatory, cytotoxic, hypoglycemic, and hypolipidemic properties in animal settings. Due to the high antioxidant action of essential oils, the integration further delayed lipid peroxidation in preserved meat, enhancing both the product’s quality and shelf life. To preserve and extend the shelf life of meat products, natural antioxidants like juniper can be utilized instead of synthetic antioxidants. It is necessary to conduct fresh, carefully planned clinical trials on people and animals using well-characterized J. communis extract or oil in order to gather more evidence in favor of the use of this natural supplement as a nutraceutical.
Which gin contains the most juniper?
The Gins with the Most Juniper Flavor for Gin Addicts
- ($50) Sipsmith V.J.O.P.
- ($20) Beefeater London Dry Gin Beefeater is a reasonably priced London Dry that competes favorably in mixed drinks.
- (20 dollars) Broker’s London Dry Gin
- ($22) Tanqueray London Dry
- $30 Junipero
- ($32) Portland Dry Gin
Which gin has the most amount of juniper berries?
According to Sipsmith, these gins are the most juniper-forward you’ll find anywhere. ($50) . Affordable Beefeater London Dry Gin ($20) competes favorably in mixed drinks. It is a traditional, vintage London Dry gin. In London, England, Broker’s produces Broker’s London Dry Gin, which costs $20. Scotch whiskey from Tanqueray London Dry ($22). The cost of Junipero is 34 dollars. ($32) Brut Gin 33
What negative impacts does juniper berry have?
According to the following scale, the effectiveness of natural medicines is rated by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
When taken in typical food proportions, juniper, juniper berry, and juniper extract are LIKELY SAFE.
For the majority of adults, consuming juniper in tiny doses for therapeutic purposes, inhaling it properly as a vapor, or applying it sparingly to the skin may be safe. A few adverse reactions from applying juniper to the skin include stinging, burning, swelling, and redness. On significant skin wounds, avoid using it.
Long-term or high-dose oral juniper use is LIKELY UNSAFE due to the herb’s potential for kidney damage, seizures, and other severe side effects.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
It is NOT SAFE to use juniper if you are pregnant or attempting to get pregnant, or if you are nursing a baby. The uterine effects of juniper may affect fertility or result in a miscarriage. Additionally, if you are nursing a baby, it is advisable to avoid using juniper. How juniper might impact a nursing newborn is not well understood.
Diabetes: Juniper berries could reduce blood sugar levels. There are some worries that it can cause diabetics’ blood sugar levels to drop too low.
Intestinal and stomach diseases: Juniper berries may irritate the intestines and stomach, making these disorders worse.
Blood pressure fluctuations, whether high or low, may be impacted by juniper berries, making blood pressure management more challenging.
Surgery: Juniper may have an impact on blood sugar levels, making it harder to maintain blood sugar control both during and after surgery. At least two weeks before to the scheduled surgery, stop using juniper.
Is juniper a painkiller?
Foods high in antioxidants are crucial for good health since they aid in preventing cell damage that could otherwise result in disease.
Flavonoids, which serve as strong antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties, are abundant in juniper berries’ essential oils.
One test-tube investigation found over 70 different components in juniper berry essential oil, the bulk of which were the monoterpenes alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, myrcene, limonene, and sabinene. They all contribute to the oil’s potent antioxidant properties.
According to the study, the oil increased the activity of the enzymes catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and superoxide dismutase, reducing cellular damage in yeast cells. These enzymes’ primary function is to shield cells from the harm caused by free radicals (7).
Another experiment using test tubes shown that juniper berry essential oil dramatically decreased inflammation in human skin cells. This result was attributed to the oil’s high monoterpene content (8).
The flavonoids rutin, luteolin, and apigenin, which have been demonstrated in test tubes, animal studies, and human research to have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, are also abundant in juniper berries (9, 10, 11).
Flavonoids and essential oils found in juniper berries have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Toxic juniper berries for humans?
It is crucial to think about a few things before beginning your backyard juniper berry gathering expedition. First off, are juniper berries healthy to consume? The juniper plant comes in over 45 different varieties. The potent oil Thujone is present in all juniper berries. When consumed in significant doses, this oil can lead to gastrointestinal distress, diarrhoea, and kidney issues.
While some juniper berry varieties contain low levels of Thujone that are benign, others contain high levels that can be quite poisonous. Due to its reputation of being safe for human consumption, the common juniper, Juniperus communis, is the kind that is most frequently used to produce gin, medications, and culinary items.
Other juniper berries that can be eaten are:
- Prunus drupacea
- Javanus phoenicea
- Tree of California Juniper
- Deppean Juniper
Please take note that Juniperus sabina and Juniperus oxycedrus berries should not be consumed by humans. Make sure you only eat berries from a variety you are confident is secure.
When foraging for juniper berries, location is another thing to take into account. You shouldn’t eat anything that may have been exposed to dangerous chemicals, as with any edible plant. Avoid cutting down junipers that are located near parking lots, driveways, parking lots, pesticide-treated landscapes, or areas where chemicals may be carried by wind or runoff.
Additionally, juniper berries are typically not thought to be safe for women who are expecting or nursing. Gloves can be helpful because handling juniper plants can cause skin irritations.
That which contains the most juniper berries as an ingredient?
Gin (/dn/) is a distilled alcoholic beverage with juniper berries as its primary flavoring (Juniperus communis).
Which gins are made using genuine juniper berries during distillation?
Tyson Bird wrote the article, while Erich Schlegel took the pictures. It was last updated on October 29, 2020. It was filed under: Breweries/Distilleries.
In the Davis Mountains of West Texas, it’s late October, and Molly Cummings is perched on a scaffold, gathering alligator juniper berries from a stray tree. She delicately grabs the branches while slinging her feed bag over her shoulder in order to remove the aromatic, dark green fruit off them. Her daily harvest of two to ten pounds ought to be sufficient to make one batch of her WildBark West Texas Dry Gin.
In 2019, Cummings, a biology professor at the University of Texas, established the Austin-based WildGins Co. Two gins that are made by the spirits company, WildBark and WildJune, are distilled from rye and malted barley and combined with juniper berries that are indigenous to the Davis Mountains. “I was aware that Texas has eight different juniper species, and I was determined to develop a product using local berries, she adds. “Gin is the spirit I enjoy drinking the best since it lets me go on a mountain foraging expedition. When I’m out there harvesting, I kind of feel like a pioneer.
Common juniper, which has one of the broadest geographic distributions of any woody plant, is used by the majority of gin distilleries. Gin’s distinctive piney, herbaceous flavor comes from juniper, though there are other types of gin. The most well-known spirit is London Dry, which is distinguished by its juniper-forward character (think Tanqueray or Bombay Sapphire). Other conventional versions could be sweeter or have a stronger citrus flavor. Utilizing local ingredients, modern styles like Japanese and Western provide particular regional flavors.
When conducting research and development for WildBark, Cummings travelled throughout Texas in search of several juniper species. She learned where to look for checkerbark, also known as alligator juniper, which grows in the Davis Mountains over 6,000 feet from a fellow researcher. She discovered another variety of juniper that would serve as the foundation for WildJune while she was gathering alligator juniper berries.
Red berry juniper is an uncommon species that is mostly found in West Texas and the Panhandle, with the Davis Mountains having the highest concentration. Its fruit, which is juicy, sweet, and fragrant, together with ten other botanicals including white pepper, hops, angelica, and cinnamon, are blended to create WildJune.
Does Tanqueray gin contain juniper berries?
Tanqueray fully committed himself to enhancing the gin that was available at the time, competing against Felix Booth and Alexander Gordon (with whom he would later partner). Gin, not horse toiletries, won Tanqueray’s heart. Tanqueray discovered his favorite technique for distilling botanicals into a tiny amount of neutral grain spirit before distilling the bigger batch for the last time while creating what would become his signature formula. It was a pioneering botanical infusion and the answer to the age-old conundrum of “how is this exquisite gin not vodka?”
Tanqueray: a ‘simple’ recipe.
Gin manufacture is relatively simple because there are no banjo-serenaded bourbon casks or malted barley that needs to be consecrated by a Celtic priest. The only thing is juniper. A lot of recipes use unusual ingredients and go above and beyond. Rowan fruit from Scotland, lavender, and love However, Tanqueray clung to the ostensibly straightforward blend of just four botanicals for more than 180 years: Tuscan juniper, coriander, angelica root, and licorice. But don’t be deceived by figures. Tanqueray creates a flowering gin bouquet using only those four botanicals.
It’s (almost) Smirnoff.
Although they seem different in the bottle, vodka and gin can be (and frequently are) very similar drinks until botanicals are added. Tanqueray gin and Smirnoff vodka are identical products in this case: Before becoming their respective final products, Smirnoff and the neutral base spirit for Tanqueray are distilled at a place named Cameron Bridge in Scotland, which at the very least demonstrates the unexpected financial benefit of juniper addition to products before selling them.
It’s made with a 200-year-old still.
The still is known as “Old Tom,” although it should not be mistaken with Tanqueray’s limited-edition Old Tom gin, which has a somewhat sweeter flavor and falls somewhere between genever and London dry. This strong beast managed to survive a World War II air strike on London in 1941, and after some repairs, it evolved into a sort of ethereal symbol for Tanqueray’s continued success.
Tanqueray 10 (obviously) has eight botanicals.
The two Tanqueray items you’re most likely to encounter, consume, or see are Tanqueray and Tanqueray 10. (or are drinking right now, nice). Tanqueray has that aforementioned juniper assertiveness, whereas Tanqueray 10 was created as a kind of concession to and/or celebration of the emerging craft gin market, a market reaching out to more consumers, including those less in love with gin’s signature juniper note. Although they both measure in at a respectable 47.3 percent ABV. The end result is a blend of eight botanicals (instead of ten, because why not?) that is less juniper-forward and enhanced by both brighter, more fragrant citrus notes as well as earthy spice.
From Presidents to Rat Packs, America loves Tanqueray.
Tanqueray was the first beverage served in the White House after Prohibition was lifted in 1933, claims Diageo historian Joanne McKerchar. (Only fair considering Tanqueray allegedly also gave $1,000 to a “a movement against dry during Prohibition.) When the Rat Pack discovered they shared this fondness in the 1960s, they famously downed several Tanqueray Martinis at the Buena Vista Social Club. McKerchar claims, “Without spending any money on promotion, Tanqueray’s sales doubled in a single year.
The bottle is not a tiny fire hydrant.
Despite the Tanqueray bottle’s good visual similarity to a fire hydrant, the two objects are not visually similar. A deliberate marketing strategy was used to model the bottle after a cocktail shaker in order to harmonize the oddly robust flavors of English gin with the approachable, flexible flavors of the American cocktail culture. Tanqueray 10 used a similar shape when it first debuted in 2000, but the business also added a not uncool retro citrus reamer vibe to play off the aforementioned citrus.
It’s the only thing that could make Idris Elba look awkward.
To be clear: merely barely. It’s actually almost (almost) admirable that a Tanqueray print advertisement appears to capture Elba in an expression this unfavorable given the near-theoretical impossibility of catching someone who looks like this at a terrible angle.