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: Grace O’Malley Irish Gin

By Christopher Null | May 14, 2022 |

Previously we brought you coverage of the (solid) Irish whiskey of Grace O’Malley. Now we turn to another category of booze named after Ireland’s pirate queen: gin. Botanicals (14 in total) are not entirely disclosed, but include “the defining flavors from the west coast of Ireland including wild thyme, red clover, blackthorn, wild bilberries, and…

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Review: Hendrick’s Neptunia Gin

By Christopher Null | May 13, 2022 |

The latest special edition from Hendrick’s is called Neptunia, “unmistakably Hendrick’s at its core and inspired by the magic of the sea,” with a “blend of coastal botanicals” used in its creation. There’s not a lot of information about the identity of said botanicals — the only stuff I ever see growing at the beach…

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Review: Monkey 47 Distiller’s Cut Gin 2021

By Christopher Null | May 11, 2022 |

Our second look at Monkey 47’s limited release “Distiller’s Cut” gin reminds us of how it’s made: 47 ingredients go into the standard Monkey 47. The Distiller’s Cut adds a 48th, in this case Scarlet Monarda, an aromatic flower that’s largely grown for decorative purposes. The aroma is said to be similar to a bergamot…

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Review: Drumshanbo with Sardinian Citrus Gunpowder Irish Gin

By Christopher Null | May 2, 2022 |

The formal product name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but this new expression of Drumshanbo‘s top-shelf “Gunpowder” Irish gin takes the original formula and spins it just so. Again it’s a grain neutral gin that starts with the same eight botanicals as Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin: juniper, angelica root, orris root, caraway seed, coriander…

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Review: Bently Heritage Juniper Grove Atrium Gin

By Christopher Null | April 26, 2022 |

Do you like flowers? Have I got a gin for you! Atrium Gin — one of three gins from Nevada’s Bently Heritage — is made with 10 botanicals. At first blush, everything seems fairly straightforward and traditional, the botanicals including juniper, lavender, orris root, chamomile, cardamom, grapefruit zest, angelica, gentian, lemon balm, and orange peel.…

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Review: Sipsmith Strawberry Smash Gin

By Christopher Null | March 21, 2022 |

London-based Sipsmith is one of the most underrated, under-the-radar gins on the market. Recently it took things in a surprising direction by releasing this limited-edition expression, a strawberry-and-mint infused version of its classic gin. Part of the limited-edition Sipping Series, the first release was flavored chili & lime gin, while a coffee-infused gin is already…

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The Top 10 Gins of 2021

By Christopher Null | March 7, 2022 |

For the third year, we enter spring with gin on our mind, excited to break out the tonic and cool down with the season’s most essential cocktail. That said, if you can’t shake those wintry Negronis yet, we won’t judge you. Either way, we’ve got you covered, with a look at our ten favorite gin…

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Review: One Eight Distilling District Made Ivy City Gin (2022) and District Made Vodka

By Drew Beard | February 11, 2022 |

We’ve covered plenty of whiskeys from Washington, D.C.’s One Eight Distillery over the years, but their earliest spirits, like most craft operations, were of the clear variety. We never got around to their vodka, and although we explored Ivy City Gin in its early days, it has apparently seen some tweaking recently. Let’s tie up…

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Review: Red Door Highland Gin

By Christopher Null | January 31, 2022 |

Red Door Gin is produced by our friends at Benromach, best known for their upstart Scotch whisky distillery on the northern edge of Speyside. (Great place to visit, by the way.) It’s a classic London Dry style, made in Benromach’s pot stills, and flavored with just eight botanicals, a core of five classic ingredients —…

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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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