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

Marsh Mokhtari

America’s Gin Renaissance: Chatting with Gray Whale Founder Marsh Mokhtari

By David Tao | September 8, 2023 |

Aspiring distillers have been known to take big risks to get into the industry. For husband and wife team Marsh & Jan Mokhtari, that moment came in 2016, when they sold their house to finance Golden State Distillery and start a new gin brand. After hundreds of batches, they launched Gray Whale Gin with a…

Read More

Review: St. George Botanivore Gin

By Drew Beard | September 3, 2023 |

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to interview St. George Master Distiller, Lance Winters. I learned that whiskey got him into distilling back in the 1990s, but gin has since become a real passion, as much as any other spirit in his distillery’s wide-ranging portfolio. St. George offers not one, not two, but a…

Read More

Tasting Report: Virginia Spirits Expo 2023

By Drew Beard | August 8, 2023 |

Now in its second year, the Virginia Spirits Expo is expanding to include four different events across the state. I attended the first of these in Charlottesville over the summer where more than two dozen Virginia distillers were on hand to share their labors of love. It was unseasonably warm at Ix Art Park that…

Read More

Review: Isle of Raasay Hebridean Gin

By Drew Beard | August 1, 2023 |

They asked, and we waited. And now there appears to be a lot of whisky for us to check out from the Isle of Raasay Distillery. But before we get to all that, there’s a clear spirit — a gin, unsurprisingly — that the folks at Raasay have submitted for our consideration. This Scottish island…

Read More

Review: Citadelle Extremes No. 4 “Sergent Pepper” Gin

By Christopher Null | June 9, 2023 |

Alexandre Ferrand sent me home from France with the fourth installment in Citadelle’s “Extremes” limited edition gin lineup, which was developed in 2021, with only 1000 bottles produced. Miraculously you can still find it for sale if you try. Citadelle Extrême N°4 Sergent Pepper is a spin on Citadelle which is built around two varieties…

Read More

Review: Farmer’s Organic Gin

By Drew Beard | June 6, 2023 |

You may have come across Farmer’s Organic Gin in its former life when it was produced in Minnesota and packaged in a no-frills square bottle. Safe to say, a lot has changed for the brand. Under the stewardship of Chatham Imports (of Michter’s whiskey fame), Farmer’s Gin production has traveled several states west to Idaho…

Read More

Review: Drumshanbo with California Orange Citrus Gunpowder Irish Gin

By Drew Beard | May 30, 2023 |

We’re back with another new Drumshanbo gin from Ireland’s The Shed Distillery. Like the 2021 addition to the portfolio, Drumshanbo With Sardinian Citrus, the name is self-explanatory if a bit awkward. The focus for this new gin, once again, is on the citrus component in the ginbill. The distillery’s founder, PJ Rigney, apparently fell in…

Read More

Review: Tamworth Garden Damson Plum Flavored Gin

By Christopher Null | May 15, 2023 |

What’s a damson plum? Well, if you’ve ever had sloe gin, you’re on the right track. Damsons and sloes are cousins, both found in the hedgerows of Britain, and both have been used to make booze for centuries, because the fruits are too tart and astringent to eat on their own. In this spin on…

Read More

Review: Bombay Sapphire Murcian Lemon Gin

By Christopher Null | May 13, 2023 |

Bombay Sapphire‘s special edition releases continue with Premier Cru Murcian Lemon, which is infused with Fino lemons from Murcia, Spain alongside additional mandarin and navel oranges to brighten up the citrus quality of the spirit. Unlike some of Bombay’s other special releases, such as East, the impact of the additional citrus here is notable and…

Read More

Review: Song Cai Viet Nam Floral Gin

By Christopher Null | May 9, 2023 |

Vietnam makes some interesting spirits, and now it can add gin to the repertoire. Sông Cái was founded in 2018 and launched in the U.S. in 2021. It exclusively makes gin for now — in fact, it makes three of them — all designed to “bottle the taste of Vietnam’s biodiverse terroir.” Its botanicals are…

Read More