What makes a gin a gin?

Gin is made from a grain, starch or fermentable fruit, juniper berries and other botanical ingredients. To be classified as a gin, the liquor must contain juniper and have at least 40% alcohol by volume. Gin differs from other liquors by using botanical ingredients in the distillation process. Gin is an alcoholic beverage that is obtained by distillation from a grain base (wheat or barley).

In an additional procedure, botanical ingredients are added along with water until the desired flavors are met. To be called gin, the spirit drink must have a predominant juniper berry flavor. Juniper is a type of aromatic “fruit” that grows along the branches of junipers. While all gins include juniper, several brands and types of gin contain a diverse potpourri of botanical ingredients, herbs and fruits.

Here are some of the most common gin ingredients. We must first point out, just for clarity's sake, that juniper berries are not really berries. Technically they are fleshy cones, more related to a pine cone than to a blueberry. These “berries” are picked and then crushed or chopped before mixing them with the base alcohol, releasing their fresh and citrus essences.

Sometimes known as Chinese parsley, coriander is the second most common botanical gin, after juniper. Sometimes known as Chinese parsley, coriander became an essential for gin because of its spicy nut essence that gives the spirit more body. Another outstanding botanical gin, the sweet Angelica Root, adds a little sweetness and an earthy texture to gins, creating a more accessible flavor profile that adapts to everyday beverages and special occasions. 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 dry for five years.

Therefore, lily root is often found in high-end brands, such as Hendrick's Midsummer Solstice Gin. As with lemons, oranges temper gin's penetrating juniper, so many gin brands, such as Perfume Trees, use dried orange peels when distilling their gins. You might not think that an autumnal, ginger-infused spice like coriander would go well with resinous juniper, but the two botanical ingredients have been used hand in hand for centuries. Somehow, these two spicy flavors soften when brought together, creating a smoother, sweeter gin.

Licorice is probably as divisive as juniper itself. It's sweet and bitter, sour and salty, all at once. That said, while not everyone will appreciate a licorice-infused gin, those who do will revel in the ways licorice and juniper interact, somehow becoming more than the sum of their parts. They are lush, sharp and resolute without being overwhelming.

Once again, black pepper, a simple ingredient that gives gin a deceptively crafted nuance, can transform a dull gin into a more vivid version of itself. Often, black pepper is also mixed with citronella to create a more nuanced flavor profile. Some people may wonder, “Can you make your own gin? The answer is “Yes, more or less. For example, you can add juniper berries to a vodka bottle to create a very rudimentary gin.

Or you can buy a basic gin and infuse it with your own botanical ingredients. We do it ourselves for special events at home, such as a brunch or a documentary party. Add any botanical ingredients you want to the bottle: we prefer citrus peels in summer, cinnamon or cardamom in the colder months, and experiment with chamomile and lavender in spring. Believe it or not, you can make a custom-made batch of aromatic gin at home, without any high-tech equipment or a chemistry degree.

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. The botanical ingredients are infused into the raw liquor to release their flavors. You can also vary the recipe by adding different spices, fruits and floral elements. The only ingredient that all gins have in common is juniper, a characteristic botanical 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 brings it all together. Gin originated as a medicinal liquor made by monks and alchemists from all over Europe, particularly in southern Italy (Salerno), Flanders and the Netherlands, to provide vital water from grape and grain distillates. It then became an object of trade in the spirits industry.

Gin became popular in England after the introduction of jenever, a Dutch and Belgian liqueur that was originally a medicine. Although this development had occurred since the beginning of the 17th century, gin became widespread after the Glorious Revolution of 1688 led by William of Orange and subsequent restrictions on the import of French brandy. Gin later emerged as England's national alcoholic beverage. The name gin is a shortened form of the oldest English word genever, related to the French word genièvre and the Dutch word jenever.

Ultimately, they all derive from juniperus, which in Latin means juniper. The physician Franciscus Sylvius is falsely attributed to the invention of gin in the mid-17th century, although the existence of jenever is confirmed in Philip Massinger's work The Duke of Milan (162), when Silvio was about nine years old. It is also stated that the English soldiers who supported Antwerp against the Spanish in 1585, during the Eighty Years' War, were already drinking jenever because of its calming effects before the battle, where the term Dutch courage is believed to have originated. According to some unconfirmed accounts, gin originated in Italy.

In London, in the early 18th century, much of the gin was legally distilled in residential houses (it was estimated that there were 1,500 residential stills in 1972) and was often flavored with turpentine to generate resinous woody notes, in addition to juniper. As early as 1913, the Webster Dictionary states, without further comment, that “common gin” is usually flavored with turpentine. 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. Schiedam, a city in the province of South Holland, is famous for its jever-producing history.

The same goes for Hasselt, in the Belgian province of Limburg. The oude (old) style of jenever continued to be very popular throughout the 19th century, where it was known as gin from Holland or Geneva in popular pre-prohibition American waiter guides. Although many different styles of gin have evolved, it legally differentiates into four categories in the European Union, namely:. In the United States of America, gin is defined as an alcoholic beverage of no less than 40% alcohol (80 degrees) that has the characteristic flavor of juniper berries.

Gin produced only by redistilling botanical products can be further distinguished and marketed as distilled gin. Whatever the ingredients, contemporary gins are determined to take the spirit to new realms, often with delicious results. We've seen dozens of videos that explain how gin is made, but this one, created by Bombay Sapphire, is one of the most complete and attractive on the market. Dry and perfectly balanced, Portland Dry Gin 33 is a representation of a London Dry gin, made right here in Portland.

Easy recipes for gin cocktails from EndrinaThe best cocktails, recipes and tips with ginevaHow to prepare flavored liquorsA guide to classic cocktails. Gin is found all over the world, but many people, even those who love gin, don't understand what makes gin such an exceptional, versatile and internationally renowned liquor. Once you've mixed the magic formula, learn how to prepare the perfect gin %26 tonic to enjoy in your spare time. Chemical research has begun to identify the various chemicals that are extracted in the distillation process and contribute to the flavor of gin.

The original method for making gin, soaking, is still a common process, especially for distillers who create unique brands and products. Gin is also often used as a base liquor to produce gin-based flavored liquors, for example, blackthorn gin, traditionally produced with the addition of fruit, flavors and sugar. 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. However, the Gin Act of 1751 was more successful; it forced distillers to sell only to authorized retailers and placed gin stores under the jurisdiction of local magistrates.

By then, gin had exploded all over England, thanks in large part to the government allowing the artisanal manufacture of gin. Quinine was dissolved in carbonated water to form tonic water; the resulting cocktail is gin and tonic, although modern tonic water contains only a trace of quinine as a flavoring agent. . .

Terrance Wilson
Terrance Wilson

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