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: Oxley Gin (2023)

By Drew Beard | March 7, 2023 |

We took our first look at Oxley Gin back in 2011 when it was subtitled Classic English Dry Gin. More than a decade later, the overall packaging has been tweaked quite a bit with the most obvious label change being a new focus on Cold Distilled, this gin’s unique method of production, instead of the…

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Review: Citadelle Gin Vive le Cornichon

By Christopher Null | February 25, 2023 |

How’s your French? Citadelle‘s new special edition is clearly inspired by just one of its 21 ingredients: cornichon pickles, which stretches the definition of a “botanical” considerably. There are 20 other ingredients in this oddball creation, but let’s focus on the namesake here: “The cornichons infused in Citadelle Original’s aromatic base come from Maison Marc,…

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Review: Tulchan Gin

By Drew Beard | January 28, 2023 |

Now here’s an eye-catching gin. Stoli Group’s Tulchan Gin hit shelves last summer and while the gin may be London dry, the bottle is all Scotland. Made from a royal blue glass, a la Bombay Saphire, it’s stamped along the side with the official Tulchan tartan in tribute to the Speyside estate for which it’s…

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Review: Sweet Gwendoline Gin

By Christopher Null | January 15, 2023 |

What do you get when you cross a creator of Sailor Jerry rum with “Queen of Burlesque” Dita Von Teese? Why, a new gin, made in the south of France! Sweet Gwendoline is the brainchild of Larry McGearty, featuing a dominatrix-like character, complete with whip, on the front label. She’ll have you sipping this gin…

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Review: Company Distilling Straight Bourbon Finished with Maple Wood and Ghost Rail Tennessee Dry Gin

By Drew Beard | January 9, 2023 |

Last year, former Jack Daniel’s master distiller Jeff Arnett became one of the founders of Company Distilling and joined a growing list of “retired” distillery captains who have used their decades of whiskey knowhow to start their own smaller distilleries. Clearly, the man was passionate about his trade. Answering to the C-suite at Brown-Forman and…

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Review: Kiss Cold Gin

By Christopher Null | January 3, 2023 |

It’s our second round with the spirits of rock band Kiss, whose lineup comprises three rums and this, a “New York Style” gin (which is also available in Navy strength now) named after the Kiss song of the same name. What is New York Style gin? I’m unclear, but the brand does say that it…

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Tasting the Sherry-Aged Spirits of Gonzalez Byass (2022)

By Christopher Null | December 19, 2022 |

Gonzalez Byass is one of the largest producers of sherry in Spain, and as any modern drinker knows, the demand for sherry barrels far outweighs the demand for sherry itself. Sherry barrel aging gives all manner of spirits a distinct character, and at some point, Gonzalez Byass figured out it should be making spirits of…

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Review: Gracias a Dios Agave Gin Oaxaca Recipe

By Robert Lublin | December 13, 2022 |

We previously tried the mezcal from Gracias a Dios as well as a mezcal distilled with pineapple and its unusual gin, which is made using its mezcal as the base spirit. Today we try Gracias a Dios’s Oaxaca Recipe gin, which is also made by infusing mezcal with botanicals, but in this case, only eight. The…

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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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