What is gin made out of?

Gin is made from a grain, starch or fermentable fruit, juniper berries and other botanical ingredients. To be classified as gin, brandy must contain juniper and have at least 40% alcohol by volume. Gin differs from other liquors by the use of botanical ingredients in the distillation process. Gin is generally made from a grain base, such as wheat or barley, which is first fermented and then distilled.

The only ingredient that all gins have in common is juniper, a characteristic botanical that is used to flavor this liquor. Since it is a main ingredient that defines gin, distillers use juniper berries in their puree, helping to highlight the traditional pine notes often found inside. While many distillers like to combine juniper with a variety of other spices to help achieve more complex and sophisticated flavors, juniper is the star of the show that unites everything. Gin is generally made with grains such as wheat, barley, corn, or rye.

However, Sing Gin is not your typical gin. Believe it or not, you can make a custom-made batch of aromatic gin at home, without any high-tech equipment or a degree in chemistry. Gin is made by distilling a neutral-grain alcohol with juniper berries and other botanical ingredients to create the fragrant liquor we all know and love. Botanical ingredients are infused into raw liquor to release their flavors.

You can also vary the recipe by adding different spices, fruits and floral elements. Gin is produced in different ways from herbal cocktail ingredients, representing a wide range of different styles and brands. The only ingredient that all gins have in common is juniper berries. With a neutral alcohol and more subtle botanicals, London Dry Gin allows spicy juniper to take the initiative and provide the dry flavor that gin is known for.

This process is a reliable method for lighter gins with more floral flavors, such as Bombay Sapphire, which was one of the first brands to adopt this innovative process. Regardless of the alcohol the distiller prefers, the fermentation of gin creates a heavier, milkier gin than London Dry. If you're new to the world of gin or prefer a fresher experience, look for brands of gin with lemon, such as Malfy's Gin Con Limone. Derived from the iris flower, orris root adds a clean, spring sweetness to gin, something similar to angelica root, but is much rarer because the roots must first be dried for five years.

Gin has existed for centuries, but it's impossible to say with absolute certainty where and when gin began. Gin emerged in England in various forms in the early 17th century and, at the time of the Stuart Restoration, enjoyed a brief revival. Sometimes known as Chinese parsley, coriander is the second most common botanical gin, after juniper. Gin and rum were stored in wooden barrels under deck, along with the ship's powder tank.

In the early stages of making any gin, there's a lot of trial and error, but once it comes down to a recipe they like, the exact ingredients and proportions are often under lock and key. Some legal classifications (protected designation of origin) define gin as originating only from specific geographical areas without any additional restrictions (for example, either way, try some of the types and styles of gin and choose one or two bottles to include in your home bar the essentials). Therefore, lily root is often found in high-end brands, such as Hendrick's Midsummer Solstice Gin. Dutch or Belgian gin, also known as jenever or genever, evolved from malt wine liqueurs and is a distinctly different drink from later gin styles.


Terrance Wilson
Terrance Wilson

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