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: 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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Review: Skeptic GinQuila Reposado

By Christopher Null | December 8, 2020 |

What’s ginquila? It’s gin finished in tequila barrels. Yes, that’s a crazy idea. Or is it? With GinQuila, Chicago’s Skeptic Distillery was inspired by a cocktail called the Cantarito, a Paloma style cocktail served in a clay pot. “Fusing this concept with the vibrant flavors of South America, we infused a gin base with fresh tropical…

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Drinkhacker’s 2020 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

By Christopher Null | November 26, 2020 |

At this point it feels safe to say that the 2020 holiday season will be unlike any other in our lifetimes. And while in-person gatherings may not be possible, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to stop exchanging gifts. In fact, in the world of booze, it’s easier than ever to ship a bottle of…

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Review: 135 East Hyogo Dry Gin

By Christopher Null | November 22, 2020 |

Kaikyo Distillery has become best known in the U.S. as the producer of the two Hatozaki whiskies which are available on our shores. Now America is being introduced to a white spirit from Kaikyo, which was originally launched in the country in 2017. 135 East Hyogo Dry Gin is named for the longitude line which…

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Review: Coppercraft Bourbons, Rye, and Gin

By Christopher Null | November 3, 2020 |

Holland, Michigan-based Coppercraft has had its sights set on being a “grain to glass” distillery since 2012, and today the operation makes at least 8 products. Coppercraft is still working to get there, though, as there’s still plenty of sourced products in the mix, including some that are blends of house-distilled and sourced spirits. Today we…

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Review: Scottish Kings Gin

By Christopher Null | October 16, 2020 |

Scottish Kings Highland Dry Gin is a new product from a father-daughter team looking to make inroads into the increasingly crowded world of gin. Envisioned by American Randy Miller, a gin enthusiast and lover of Scotland, Miller and co. spent three years working on the formula to create what he envisioned as the world’s best…

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Review: M&H Classic Single Malt, Elements Sherry, and Levantine Gin

By Christopher Null | October 5, 2020 |

Earlier this year we brought you a first look at two whiskies from Tel Aviv-based M&H (Milk & Honey) Distillery, Israel’s first whisky distillery, both bottled under the “Whisky in Bloom” brand. Now the brand — which has actually been around since 2012 — is expanding its U.S. presence with three additional releases, M&H Classic…

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