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
Tanqueray No. Ten Gin
Recipes for National Gin and Tonic Day

Review: Hendrick’s Flora Adora Gin

By Christopher Null | May 7, 2023 |

Hendrick’s is cranking out special editions like gin is going out of style, the latest being the Harry Potter-esque Flora Adora, the fourth installment in the Hendrick’s Cabinet of Curiosity lineup. Designed by master distiller Lesley Gracie, Flora Adora is built around flowers, though details beyond that are sketchy. The base spirit includes all the…

Read More

Review: Edinburgh Rhubarb & Ginger Liqueur and Gin (2023)

By Drew Beard | May 2, 2023 |

Since we last encountered Edinburgh Gin over a decade ago, the brand’s portfolio has exploded with a bevy of gin expressions as well as flavored gins and liqueurs. There’s a lot to get to, but today we’ll take a small bite out of the lineup with a review of Edinburgh’s Rhubarb & Ginger Gin and…

Read More

Review: Halftone Wavelength Noir Gin

By Christopher Null | April 30, 2023 |

Halftone Spirits can be found in Brooklyn, New York, where it focuses heavily on gin and gin-adjacent spirits such as aquavit. Its latest seasonal is known as Wavelength: Noir, a unique, reddish-orange gin that’s designed with wintertime in mind. It’s distilled with 14 botanicals, including juniper, elderberry, smoked lapsang souchong tea, black cherry bark, cinnamon…

Read More

Review: Canaima Gin

By Christopher Null | April 23, 2023 |

Canaïma gin is produced in Venezuela by a surprising maker: the distillers of Ron Diplomático. Made with 19 handpicked botanicals, six of which are native to the Amazonian rain forest (cashew (merey), acai, uva de palma, tupiro, seje, and copoazu), each is said to be individually distilled to make this unique gin. Traditional gin botanicals…

Read More

Review: Middle West Spirits Lux & Umbra Gin

By Christopher Null | April 17, 2023 |

Ohio’s Middle West Spirits makes multiple whiskeys and vodkas but has long had only one gin, Vim & Petal. Now it adds a second gin to the mix: Lux & Umbra, which is made in the London dry style from a corn distillate, with just 6 botanicals: juniper, lemon, coriander, orris root, grains of paradise,…

Read More

Review: Silent Pool Gin

By Robert Lublin | April 1, 2023 |

Silent Pool Distillers is located on the Albury Estate at the foot of the Surrey Hills in the UK and was founded in 2015 by former ITV Commercial Director Ian McCulloch and James Shelbourne. Their Silent Pool Gin is made with 24 botanicals which are infused using a rather complex process. Prepare yourself, this is…

Read More

Review: Engine Gin

By Christopher Null | March 25, 2023 |

It takes guts to bottle your spirit in a motor oil can. When Stillhouse puts moonshine in a can, it makes some level of sense. But a fancy Italian gin? Like I said, guts. Cleverly named Engine — Engine, per the label — this is a 100% organic gin made in the Langhe region of…

Read More

Review: Himbrimi Old Tom Gin

By Drew Beard | March 18, 2023 |

Earlier this year, we reviewed Brunnur Distillery’s Himbrimi Winterbird Gin, a delicate but enjoyable expression of classic London Dry distilled with a unique mix of Icelandic botanicals. According to the folks at Himbrimi, their founder Oscar Ericsson was inspired to get into gin-making so that he could have something to take with him on his…

Read More

Review: Sheringham Seaside Gin

By Drew Beard | March 17, 2023 |

Gin hasn’t been spared from the growing terroir trend, which is fine by me since I have an easier time grasping a “sense of place” in a spirit that can essentially be flavored with local botanicals. A few coastal distilleries have even gone so far as to incorporate unique aquatic elements – things like kelp…

Read More

Review: Linden Leaf Organic Molecular Vodka and Gin

By Christopher Null | March 12, 2023 |

“Molecular” always scares me when I see it on a spirits product, as it usually implies “chemicals” instead of actual craftsmanship. With Linden Leaf, “molecular” appears to mean something a bit different, as the company was founded by three Cambridge, UK-based scientists who are creating “spirits on a molecular level, actually using their science background…

Read More