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

Recipe: Sweet Basil Cocktail

By Christopher Null | July 10, 2009 |

This recipe comes to us from Virginia mixologist Todd Thrasher, as published in Food & Wine Cocktails ’09. Fun little cocktail… as long as you like basil! The photo in the book is a whole lot greener, I have to say. Sweet Basil 10 basil leaves, plus one for garnish 3 oz. Lillet Blanc 1/2…

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4th of July Cocktail Recipes, 2009

By Christopher Null | June 27, 2009 |

Every time a holiday rolls around, the spirits makers commission all manner of cocktails from their in-house mixologists and professionals in the field. Independence Day is no exception, and this post full of selected recipes is drawn from what is arguably the biggest bumper crop of cocktail ideas I’ve seen since starting this blog. Hope…

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Review: Beefeater 24 Gin

By Christopher Null | June 25, 2009 |

Tanqueray has its 10. Beefeater kicks that up to 24. Premium gins — and expansions of big-name brands — are becoming quite the rage, and “24” from England’s Beefeater is the latest in this trend. 24 is an extension of the venerable Beefeater brand, drawing its name from the 24-hour period its botanicals steep in…

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What Web Users Want to Drink…

By Christopher Null | June 25, 2009 |

Today I did a fun comparison, checking out historical Google search trends for the terms gin, vodka, whiskey, tequila, and rum. While vodka‘s win (based on average search volume since 2004) is no surprise, the fact that tequila was right behind — and has led search volume since late 2007 — was quite a shock.…

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Recipe: The P.B.L.T.

By Christopher Null | June 18, 2009 |

This is an insane amount of work for a drink (and it’s barely a drink), but I absolutely love the presentation. This recipe for a reinvented (and alcoholic) BLT sandwich comes from Gina Chersevani. P.B.L.T. 1 oz Plymouth gin 1 cube of lettuce water 1 cube of tomato water Spray vinegar on one side of…

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Review: Cadenhead’s Old Raj Gin 110 Proof and 92 Proof

By Christopher Null | May 30, 2009 |

Check the top shelf of any respectable bar and Old Raj Dry Gin is probably represented there. And rightly so: This is top-shelf gin in both its incarnations and merits serious praise from any gin aficionado. Old Raj comes from the UK’s Cadenhead’s, a company best known for its independent Scotch whisky bottlings (it’s Scotland’s…

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Review: Rehorst Vodka, Citrus & Honey Vodka, and Gin

By Christopher Null | May 15, 2009 |

Rehorst? Funny name for a vodka, but it’s the name of the man behind Great Lakes Distillery in Wisconsin, which puts out this “Milwaukee Vodka” in a standard and unusual flavored version as well as a gin. We tried all three. Here’s how they stack up. Rehorst Vodka is distilled from red wheat and malted…

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“Breathe Responsibly”

By Christopher Null | May 5, 2009 |

It’s, to say the least, “a very unusual way to imbibe alcohol,” as one man puts it: A sort of steam room that is filled with a gin-and-tonic mist. You don’t drink it. You just breathe it in. And it gets you a little drunk along the way. Per the Times Online: The mist tastes…

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Review: Organic Spirits Lineup – Highland Harvest Scotch, Papagayo Rum, UK5 Vodka, and Juniper Green Gin

By Christopher Null | April 13, 2009 |

Organic everything — that’s the sell of Organic Spirits (aka Maison Jomere), which imports five different products, bottles them disconcertingly in the exact same cylindrical decanter, and puts on each a label emblazoned with the Royal Warrant of HRH Prince Charles. The Warrant is offered for placement on products which have been used for five…

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Review: Citadelle Gin (2009) and Citadelle Reserve Gin 2008 Vintage

By Christopher Null | February 27, 2009 |

One occasionally gets in the mood for gin, and when one does, said mood hits hard. Citadelle is a relative newcomer to the scene… with not one but two gins for your drinking pleasure. These gins hail, unusually, from France, and both are 88 proof, distilled from wheat. Up first is standard Citadelle Gin (2009),…

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