Gin is thought to be a British adaptation of the Dutch spirit genever, though the origins of both gin and genever are subject to debate. Gin is, in essence, a flavored vodka as it is in fact a neutral spirit with certain flavorings added to it, though gin distillers won’t thank you for saying that. The key, characteristic flavor of gin must be of juniper, and historically juniper has been an overwhelming component of the spirit. In recent years, distillers have moved to tempering the impact of juniper and pumping up other flavors in the bottle, sometimes resulting in a spirit that’s closer to a flavored vodka. In the European Union and some other places gin must be at least 75 proof, while in the U.S. it must be at least 80 proof. “Navy Strength” gins are often bottled at 114 proof. Today, numerous sub-styles of gin have emerged out of the classic London Dry, including a resurgence of the archaic Old Tom gin style, Plymouth gin (which is also a famous brand), and New Western (or New American) gin, which tends to push the flavor boundaries of the spirit. Aside from Plymouth gin, which must be produced in a specific town in England, these gins have no formal, legal definitions or requirements.

Top Gin Posts:

The Botanist Gin
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Review: Malfy Limone Gin

By Robert Lublin | November 25, 2022 |

We have previously reviewed Malfy Gin Originale as well as their Gin Rosa and Gin Con Arancia expressions, but Malfy’s first gin, Malfy Limone Gin, is the one we are finally trying today. Botanicals for this Italian gin include juniper berries, coriander seeds, Mediterranean lemon peel, Mediterranean orange peel, angelica root, cassia bark, liquorice root,…

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Drinkhacker’s 2022 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

By Christopher Null | November 24, 2022 |

When they said Covid was over, we didn’t think we’d be summarily dropped into a new financial crisis to replace the one we just got out of. The good news is that the holidays have arrived just in time to provide a welcome (if brief) break from yet another year of chaos. At Drinkhacker, we…

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Review: High Goal Luxury Gin

By Drew Beard | November 22, 2022 |

You’ve certainly had gin before, but have you ever had a luxury gin? Neither have I, but it looks like that changes today. High Goal Luxury Gin is produced by Grain & Barrel Spirits (of Chicken Cock Whiskey fame) in beautiful and old-monied Charleston, South Carolina, where one might imagine a certain tier of drinkers…

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Review: Himbrimi Winterbird London Dry Gin

By Drew Beard | November 21, 2022 |

Iceland doesn’t make just vodka anymore. The global craft distilling craze of the past decade has brought us all types of Icelandic spirits, most recently Himbrimi Gin. Distilled at Brunnur Distillery in the tiny island nation’s capital city, Reykjavik, this gin, named for Iceland’s loon bird, comes in two styles, Old Tom (which remains something of…

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Review: Chemist American Gin and Navy Strength Gin

By Robert Lublin | October 31, 2022 |

Chemist Spirits was founded by Debbie Word in 2018 in Asheville, North Carolina and recently garnered attention by being featured in the 2022 Daytime Emmy Awards gift bag. I wasn’t invited to the event, but I am always excited to try a new gin even if I can’t rub elbows with Susan Lucci. To make…

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Review: Castle & Key Harvest Seasonal Gin

By Robert Lublin | October 18, 2022 |

In previous years, Castle and Key’s Harvest Seasonal Gin has changed recipes with each autumn release, but starting this year, the recipe will remain consistent annually. But not to worry. They have no plans to stop experimenting with other gin releases. Harvest Seasonal gin begins with their signature, high-rye mash bill: 17% yellow corn, 63%…

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Review: Citadelle Gin Juniper Decadence

By Christopher Null | October 17, 2022 |

Citadelle’s seasonal releases — like those from Hendrick’s and others — are now arriving at a regular clip. For 2022, Citadelle offers Citadelle Gin Juniper Décadence, which is an overt homage to, of course, the juniper tree. Not only is it made with “a large portion” of its juniper sourced from Coganc, where the distillery…

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Review: St. George Terroir Gin

By Christopher Null | October 5, 2022 |

California’s St. George markets four different gins as part of its permanent lineup, including Dry Rye and Terroir, reviewed here, which is inspired by the flora of Marin County — where Drinkhacker previously made its home before moving to Austin, Texas. The botanical list includes 12 products, including local Douglas fir, California bay laurel, fennel,…

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Review: Caorunn Gin Highland Strength

By Christopher Null | October 2, 2022 |

11 years ago we reviewed a fresh new release from Caorunn Gun, infused with such exotic  botanicals as rowan berry, bog myrtle, and Coul blush apple. (See the link above for the full list.) Now Caorunn is out with a “Highland strength” edition, nearly 25 proof higher in strength than the original. (Botanicals here are…

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Review: Opihr Spices of the Orient Gin

By Christopher Null | September 20, 2022 |

Opihr “Spices of the Orient” is a London dry gin that’s inspired by the old Spice Route that stretched from Europe to Persia, India, and China. Its ingredient list includes cardamom, black pepper, and ginger from India; juniper from Italy; cubeb berries from Malaysia; coriander from Morocco; orange peel from Spain; cumin and grapefruit peel…

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