You might have had gin neat, in a cocktail or with tonic. But, there is much more to this drink than meets the eye. Gin is a spirit with the flavour of juniper berries. Makers infuse botanical components into a neutral spirit while distilling this beverage. Did you know that about 4 to 5 types of gin are present on the market?
If you visit a gin distillery and talk to the guide, he can tell you about the various types of gin available. He can also clarify that gin and vodka are not the same as many believe them to be. Each variety has a well-defined characteristic feature, making it ideal for specific cocktails.
Here is an account for each type of gin to see what differentiates them or makes them similar.
- London Dry
It is a dry gin originating in England. Producers bottle it at a high proof, ensuring its versatility for both stirred and shaken cocktails. It consists of juniper, angelica root, citrus, and coriander, with juniper as the most prominent botanical ingredient.
Just one distillery produces Plymouth, and that distillery is amongst the oldest of its kind in the United Kingdom. The drink gets its name after the port city, 190 miles from London. It also found its name in the Savoy Cocktail Book, one of the most popular cocktail books in the world to date. This reference made Plymouth a common name amongst gin lovers in the early phase of the 20th century. It was also a favourite of the British Royal Navy. So much so that the bombing of Plymouth in World War II ensured that the Germans lost the war. It is more akin to London Dry Gin, but it has earthier elements, is drier and sweeter.
The gin comprises seven ingredients, namely, coriander seeds, cardamom, dried orange peels, orris root, Angelica root and last but not least, juniper. It makes terrific Negroni and Martini.
The guide at the gin distillery can inform you that this gin is the forerunner to modern-day gin. It originated in the Netherlands in the 16th century and featured a malty, earthy and savoury flavour.
It is perfect for any cocktail containing vermouth. The gin base is malted grains, juniper and other botanicals (present less compared to other types of gin). It is, however, pretty different from dry gin as juniper is not the primary flavour. Some producers add caraway, cloves, nutmeg and ginger.
- Old Tom
It is an older style of gin, having a malty mouthfeel and a sharp citrus flavour. As some makers mature it in barrels, the beverage makes great shaken cocktails, such as Tom Collins.
- International Style
New versions of gin are coming up almost daily worldwide, from Japan, Spain, the US to Brazil. Most of these regional types of gin free themselves from the conventional botanical trappings of the London Dry style. The makers craft their spirits with local botanicals and roots.
Too many varieties of gins to gulp down? Ask the guide at the gin distillery to help you decide which gin would be best for a cocktail you are craving to drink.