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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The Botanist Gin
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Review: Bombay Sapphire Gin

By Robert Lublin | March 1, 2024 |

We’re not sure how it happened, but here at Drinkhacker, we’ve somehow managed to review Bombay Sapphire East Gin and Bombay Sapphire Murcian Lemon Gin and even the Bombay Sapphire Gin and Tonic RTD canned cocktail, but we’ve never formally reviewed the original, classic Bombay Sapphire Gin. Today, we remedy this error and officially pour the…

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The Top 10 Gins of 2023

By Christopher Null | February 22, 2024 |

As the weather warms up, a young man’s fancy turns of course to lighter fare, with gin one of the most essential pieces of the springtime cocktail puzzle. We sampled plenty of outstanding gins over the last year, and with this feature we profile the greatest hits of 2023. Need more picks? Check our top…

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Review: Monkey 47 Distiller’s Cut Gin 2023

By Christopher Null | February 16, 2024 |

Every year Germany’s Monkey 47 releases a special edition of its winning gin. Monkey 47 is famously made with 47 botanicals, and these Distiller’s Cut releases add a 48th ingredient. For 2023 (the 13th year of the series), the extra ingredient is Acer Saccharum — better known as maple syrup. Maple syrup is an odd…

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Review: MXXN Cannabis-Infused Alcohol Alternatives

By Christopher Null | January 5, 2024 |

Hear me out on this: What if you don’t want to drink alcohol… but you don’t mind replacing it with cannabis… and yet you still want to drink cocktails? That’s the promise of MXXN — pronounced “moon” — which is a hemp-infused non-alcoholic spirit designed for cocktailing. The idea? You won’t be consuming alcohol, but…

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Review: Abstinence Non-Alcoholic Cape Floral Gin and Spritzes

By Christopher Null | January 4, 2024 |

Based in South Africa, Abstinence Spirits makes a variety of non-alcoholic spirits and ready-to-drink products, with a heavy focus on various NA gins. The company’s process is described as follows: “We extract flavours through small batch distillations without the use of alcohol, by using maceration, vapour infusion and hydrosols. Each batch is individually blended, tasted…

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Review: ISH Non-Alcoholic Wine, Gin, and Cocktails

By Christopher Null | January 1, 2024 |

Dry January is upon us, and if you’re one of the brave souls who’s forgoing alcohol this month, know that it doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to drinking tap water for 31 days. NA options are increasingly impressive, including a few of the products from ISH, a Danish/German/Austrian operation with the tagline “the…

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Review: Lighthouse Gin

By Christopher Null | December 24, 2023 |

Foley Family Wines is best known — as the name would suggest — for its wine operations, a vast empire which includes Chalk Hill, Sebastiani, Chateau St. Jean, and many more brands. Recently Foley got into the spirits game, and while we’ll review its first bourbon in short order, today we’re examining its inaugural gin,…

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Review: Mr. Pickles Gin

By Robert Lublin | December 12, 2023 |

Named after the pit bull rescued by Wolf Distillery Master Distiller Ben Green, Mr. Pickles Gin carries the adorable face of the eponymous pup on the front of the bottle, and I’ll admit it, I’m smitten. The fetching blue bottle bearing a sweet-faced dog surrounded by flowers speaks directly to my heart. But let’s check…

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Review: Dyfi Gin Pollination Edition

By Christopher Null | November 26, 2023 |

First surprise: “Dyfi,” which hails from Wales, is pronounced “Dovey.” And let me be the first to say, good luck calling for it in your martini at the bar! Made in a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, the gin incorporates classic gin botanicals along with hand-foraged Welsh botanicals, including “wild flowers, aromatic leaves, fruits, and conifer…

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Drinkhacker’s 2023 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

By Christopher Null | November 23, 2023 |

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some festivities in the form of holiday revelry. Naturally, the holidays mean gift-giving time is nigh, and you’re going to want recommendations for what to wrap up and stash under the tree. As always, this year we want your gift-giving to make a statement, but we…

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