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: Tanqueray Gin & Tonic (Canned)

By Robert Lublin | May 24, 2021 |

With all of the ready-to-drink cocktails that have been coming out lately, it is surprising that it took so long for the classic gin and tonic to appear (though perhaps that’s because this is literally the easiest cocktail in the world to make). Now they are starting to arrive, and today we will finally try…

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Review: 6 O’Clock Brunel Gin

By Christopher Null | May 20, 2021 |

Robert recently reviewed 6 O’Clock Gin’s London Dry expression — and its canned G&T — but today we’re looking at the Bristol-based operation’s “export strength” expression, dubbed Brunel. The gin isn’t just a higher-strength version of the London Dry, it’s also got six added botanicals on top of those in the London Dry: green cardamom,…

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Review: Salcombe Gins – Rose Sainte Marie and Start Point

By Christopher Null | May 17, 2021 |

The UK’s Salcombe Distilling Co. has recently brought its two flagship products — both gin — to the U.S. for the first time. In addition to its product quality claims, the distillery notes that it is one of the world’s only distilleries directly accessible by boat. Let’s dig in and see how these acquit themselves.…

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Review: 6 O’Clock London Dry Gin and Gin & Tonic

By Robert Lublin | May 11, 2021 |

6 O’Clock Gin is produced in Bristol, UK, drawing its name from the family tradition of the founders of the company to enjoy a gin and tonic every day at, you guessed it, 6 pm. Although new to the United States, it has been building momentum in the UK for over a decade. Today we…

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Review: Hendrick’s Lunar Gin

By Christopher Null | March 10, 2021 |

The latest special edition gin from Hendrick’s is Lunar, launched in January to celebrate the lunar new year — the Year of the Ox — as well as the night, seeing as it is “infused with natural oils of the night.” Instilled with botanicals that flourish below the light of the moon, Hendrick’s Lunar Gin…

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Review: Castle & Key Sacred Spring Vodka and Roots of Ruin Gin

By Christopher Null | March 2, 2021 |

Castle & Key’s long road to revival has been years in the making, culminating in the recent arrival of its Restoration Rye and a variety of other special edition gins. Its recent releases also include a pair of white spirits that will be part of C&K’s permanent lineup — one vodka and one gin. Both…

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Review: Green Hat Gin Original Batch

By Drew Beard | March 1, 2021 |

Washington, D.C. is a notoriously boozy town, and it’s been that way even when booze was extremely hard to come by. Green Hat Gin takes its name from George Cassiday, dubbed the “Man in the Green Hat,” who was one of many bootleggers to roam the halls of Congress during Prohibition, delivering illegal hooch by…

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The Top 10 Gins of 2020

By Christopher Null | February 26, 2021 |

Spring is just around the corner, and that means it will soon be time to break out the limes and crack open the tonic for a classic G&T or two. Or, should you live somewhere where the groundhog has not smiled on you, perhaps it’s still martini season. Either way, you’ll want a solid gin…

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Review: Castle & Key London Dry Gin (Autumn 2020 Recipe)

By Christopher Null | January 23, 2021 |

Alas, here’s another seasonal product that slipped through the cracks, but we’re finally getting to it. The good news is this limited edition gin from Castle & Key should still be available for purchase should our tasting notes move you to make a buy. Here’s the backstory: In 2019, Castle & Key launched the first…

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Review: Baltimore Spirits Shot Tower Gin and Barreled Shot Tower Gin

By Drew Beard | January 5, 2021 |

We’ve already explored several offerings from East Coast craft producer Baltimore Spirits, from their Epoch Rye to several unique American amari. Also included in their extensive and varied portfolio is a line of gins under the Shot Tower label, named for the famous downtown Baltimore landmark used to make musket balls which was, until 1846,…

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