Where it began
During the 17th century, English soldiers fought side by side with Dutch soldiers, sampling Genever for the first time. Genever is Gin’s long lost relative that was being made before London Dry Gin was invented. It was golden colored and, to take the edge off the distinctive smell and taste, the soldiers added herbs to the drink.
By the mid-18th century, “Old Tom” Gin, a sweetened corn spirit, was being created in large, unsolicited volumes across Britain. Laws were passed granting only a small group of large Gin producers the legal right to distill the spirit and, by 1803, only nine producers of Gin attributed to 90% of London’s distilling capacity.
As time passed and production methods began to progress, the introduction of the Coffey stills and higher quality base spirit, changed the face of Gin drastically. At its height, it was declared as England’s national drink and export to the U.S. began to thrive. Bartenders saw this as a light, clear spirit perfect for use in a new social drinking craze called—the cocktail!
Until the 1960’s, Gin was king of the clear liquid, but in spectacular fashion it was knocked off its throne by Vodka, which was sweeping across Europe and the U.S. due to its almost odorless smell and delicate taste.
In the late 20th Century, with its sense of heritage and taste complexity, Gin started its comeback.
Today, the Gin category has exploded with a huge rise in Gin bars opening around the world that serve exceptional drinks with this inspiring liquid.
How it is made
Gin is made from a neutral grain spirit, juniper berries and other botanicals, such as fruits, seeds and spices.
The neutral grain spirit (commonly made from grain) is produced using a continuous still, with the botanicals – predominantly juniper berries - added to flavor the liquid.
With low quality Gins, flavoring can be achieved through the addition of juniper and other essences in a process known as “cold compounding”.
More premium Gin’s flavor is created through the spirit being re-distilled with juniper berries and other natural botanicals that are added directly into the pot still with the spirit, to impart their character. When the pot still is heated, the spirit is vaporized and when condensed the liquid has taken on the flavors.
The central flavor in all Gins is juniper. It has a fresh, balsamic, woody-sweet and pine needle-like scent and creates a dry, almost bitter taste.
The different recipe of botanicals used to complement the flavor of the juniper berries and create a Gin brands’ unique taste is one element that makes one Gin brand taste different from another.
There are many botanicals used to flavor Gin, but the most common can be broken down into 4 different groups - floral, spicy, woody and citrus.
- Floral botanicals: Chamomile, bay leaf and orris root.
- Spice botanicals: Ginger, coriander seeds, cardamom, cinnamon, lemongrass and angelica seeds.
- Woody botanicals: Angelica root, licorice and nutmeg.
- Citrus botanicals: Bergamot, bitter orange and pink grapefruit.
Types of gin
Cold Compounded –Made from a suitable alcohol, usually a molasses spirit, and flavorings. It does not have to be re-distilled and the flavorings can be mixed with the spirit to form the Gin in a process known as cold compounding.
London Dry Gin – Does not have to be made in London, but the Gin must be made in a traditional still by re-distilling the neutral grain spirit in the presence of the botanicals. The resultant distillate must have a minimum strength of 70% and no flavorings can be added after distillation. The only addition that is allowed is a small amount of sweetener to reduce bottling strength and the gin cannot be colored.
Distilled Gin – Made in a traditional still by redistilling neutral grain spirit with botanicals. The resultant distillate does not have to have a minimum strength and after distillation further flavorings can be added. Distilled Gin can be colored.
TANQUERAY & Tonic
1.75 oz. TANQUERAY London Dry Gin
5 oz. premium tonic water
1 lime wedge
Fill a Copa glass to the top with quality cubed ice.
Add TANQUERAY London Dry Gin.
Follow with fresh, premium tonic water.
Add a wedge of fresh lime to garnish.
GORDON’S & Tonic
1.75 oz. GORDON’S London Dry Gin
5 oz. premium tonic water
1 lime wedge
Fill a highball glass to the top with fresh ice cubes.
Pour GORDON'S gin over the ice.
Top with tonic water.
Squeeze in a wedge of lime before dropping it in.
Give your G&T a final stir.
1.75 oz. TANQUERAY No. TEN
.25 oz. Dry Vermouth
Twist of pink grapefruit
Stir the ingredients together and strain into a frozen martini glass.
Garnish with a twist of pink grapefruit.
Did you know?
The name Gin comes from the French genièvre or the Dutch jenever, both of which mean juniper.
Join in the conversation and Tweet us at @diageobarac, share your photos on Instagram @diageobarac or post on our Facebook page. We’d love to hear from you.
Sign up and become a member of Diageo Bar Academy today and unlock the latest industry news, trends and tips to keep your bar knowledge up to speed!
(*One standard drink contains 0.6 fluid ounces of alcohol)
CHECK OUT THESE GIN BRANDS FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THEIR STYLE AND RANGE:
Famed the world over as the ginniest of Gins, a Gordon's, effortlessly mixed with fresh tonic over ice, has always heralded the start of something good...
Tanqueray is a classic. A smooth, delicious premium London Dry Gin with an array of botanicals and a grapefruit peel edge.
TANQUERAY NO. TEN
Ultra-Premium Gin from the House of Tanqueray, distilled with whole fruits for a refined, smooth delivery of delicious botanicals and flavor.
Tanqueray adds exotic Rangpur limes, ginger and bay leaves to its base of four botanicals during distillation, resulting in an easy-drinking Gin with a citrus twist.