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.

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Review: Procera Gin

By Robert Lublin | January 25, 2022 |

Distilled in Nairobi, Kenya, Procera harvests botanicals from countries across Africa. Additionally, the base spirit comes from Kenyan sugar cane which grows around Lake Victoria, the source of the Nile River. Altogether, this makes for a distinctively African gin. The most notable ingredient in the gin is the one from which it draws its name,…

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Review: Glendalough Double Barrel Irish Whiskey and Rose Gin

By Robert Lublin | January 16, 2022 |

Glendalough is a fascinating Irish distillery that offers a range of products developed with creativity and artistic abandon. Some are fantastic and some miss the mark, but we are always eager to see what they produce next. Today we are trying a new whiskey and gin from the distillery. Glendalough Double Barrel Irish Whiskey –…

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Review: Amazzoni Gin

By Christopher Null | January 15, 2022 |

Amazzoni hails from Brazil and lays claim to being Latin America’s “most awarded gin.” That may be tough to fact-check, so let’s focus on what we do know: The gin is made in the first distillery in Brazil that’s exclusive to gin, and Latin America’s largest craft gin distillery. While Amazzoni’s base spirit is (presumably…

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Review: Citadelle Gin Jardin d’ete

By Christopher Null | December 28, 2021 |

Citadelle continues to crank out new gin variations, its most recent being the new Jardin d’ete, a permanent addition to the French company’s lineup. Per the company, “Inspired by a French garden cultivated by Debbie Gabriel, wife of Citadelle Founder Alexandre Gabriel, Jardin d’été is made with melon flesh, whole lemon, yuzu zest and more…

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Review: Bluecoat American Dry Gin, Elderflower Gin, and Barrel Finished Gin (2021)

By Robert Lublin | December 8, 2021 |

We first reviewed Bluecoat Gin in 2008, two years after it was first released, when American distilled gins were far less common. Today we return to the brand to see how it stands up thirteen years later and also to try two newer gin expressions produced by the Philadelphia based distillery. The distillers of Bluecoat…

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Drinkhacker’s 2021 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

By Christopher Null | November 25, 2021 |

Ready for Christmas? Ready for Christmas 2023, maybe? Our long day’s journey into night may have continued unabated this year, but we’re hopeful you’ve at least found some ability to get out of the house, maybe take a trip, and reconnect with friends and family this season. Naturally, you’re still not going to be able…

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Review: Damrak Virgin Non-Alcoholic Gin

By Robert Lublin | November 11, 2021 |

When is a gin not a gin? Try this one, a non-alcoholic offering from Damrak. We tried Damrak’s standard, Amsterdam-based gin in 2018 and enjoyed its citrus-heavy palate. Damrak Virgin is distilled from 10 (different) botanicals, including Valencia and Curacao orange peels, juniper, ginger, lavender, cinnamon, and lemon peel — before the alcohol is stripped…

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Review: Future Gin

By Robert Lublin | November 8, 2021 |

Future Gin hails from Southern California, where four women distilled a spirit that combines typical gin botanicals with a few particular to California, some of which are grown in their own backyards. In total, 14 botanicals flavor this gin: juniper, coriander, angelica, black pepper, cassia, fennel, orris, avocado leaves, elderflower, honeysuckle flowers, Meyer lemon peel,…

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Review: Still Austin American Gin

By Christopher Null | October 31, 2021 |

Still Austin is best known for its whiskey production — it’s officially called Still Austin Whiskey Co. — but the (obviously) Austin, Texas-based operation also produces a gin: American gin, as they call it. It’s infused with 12 botanicals, including juniper, coriander, orris root, elderflower, Jamaican allspice, two types of cinnamon, and three types of…

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Review: Poli Marconi 42 Gin

By Rob Theakston | September 27, 2021 |

Most folks’ first pass with Italian genius Guglielmo Marconi came courtesy of a rather inane (but singable) lyric by Starship, located in the pre-chorus of the band’s hit “We Built This City.” The scientist is largely considered to be the founding father of the radio telegraph, winning him the Nobel prize for Physics. Marconi street…

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