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

Drinkhacker’s 2021 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

By Christopher Null | November 25, 2021 |

Ready for Christmas? Ready for Christmas 2023, maybe? Our long day’s journey into night may have continued unabated this year, but we’re hopeful you’ve at least found some ability to get out of the house, maybe take a trip, and reconnect with friends and family this season. Naturally, you’re still not going to be able…

Read More

Review: Damrak Virgin Non-Alcoholic Gin

By Robert Lublin | November 11, 2021 |

When is a gin not a gin? Try this one, a non-alcoholic offering from Damrak. We tried Damrak’s standard, Amsterdam-based gin in 2018 and enjoyed its citrus-heavy palate. Damrak Virgin is distilled from 10 (different) botanicals, including Valencia and Curacao orange peels, juniper, ginger, lavender, cinnamon, and lemon peel — before the alcohol is stripped…

Read More

Review: Future Gin

By Robert Lublin | November 8, 2021 |

Future Gin hails from Southern California, where four women distilled a spirit that combines typical gin botanicals with a few particular to California, some of which are grown in their own backyards. In total, 14 botanicals flavor this gin: juniper, coriander, angelica, black pepper, cassia, fennel, orris, avocado leaves, elderflower, honeysuckle flowers, Meyer lemon peel,…

Read More

Review: Still Austin American Gin

By Christopher Null | October 31, 2021 |

Still Austin is best known for its whiskey production — it’s officially called Still Austin Whiskey Co. — but the (obviously) Austin, Texas-based operation also produces a gin: American gin, as they call it. It’s infused with 12 botanicals, including juniper, coriander, orris root, elderflower, Jamaican allspice, two types of cinnamon, and three types of…

Read More

Review: Poli Marconi 42 Gin

By Rob Theakston | September 27, 2021 |

Most folks’ first pass with Italian genius Guglielmo Marconi came courtesy of a rather inane (but singable) lyric by Starship, located in the pre-chorus of the band’s hit “We Built This City.” The scientist is largely considered to be the founding father of the radio telegraph, winning him the Nobel prize for Physics. Marconi street…

Read More

Review: Vara High Desert Gin

By Christopher Null | September 14, 2021 |

Recently we brought you reviews of Taylor Garrett whiskeys, an accelerated-aging spirit line produced in New Mexico. Vara is a gin made at a sister distillery, and since it’s unaged, there are no tricks up any sleeves with this one. The double-distilled gin includes a bill of botanicals that are fairly straightforward but heavy on…

Read More

Review: Harahorn Gin

By Christopher Null | September 6, 2021 |

Norway’s Harahorn makes four different gins, but this is the flagship, made in small batches and including some usual botanical suspects — juniper berries, angelica root — and some unusual additions — wild blueberries, rhubarb, seaweed, wild marjoram, and over dozen additional Norse herbs. Let’s give this unique Scandinavian gin a try. The nose is…

Read More

Review: ReBru Vodka, Gin, and Sweetcane

By Christopher Null | August 25, 2021 |

What does one do with leftover beer that’s otherwise destined for the drain? Why, distill it of course. San Diego-based ReBru isn’t the first company to turn beer into hard liquor, but it’s one of the few that only makes it out of “high-quality, out-of-code, and overstock craft beer.” At present, the company is producing…

Read More

Review: Tamworth Garden White Mountain Gin and Apiary Gin

By Robert Lublin | August 23, 2021 |

New Hampshire’s Tamworth Distilling produces some unusual products, including Graverobber Unholy Maple Syrup Flavored Rye and The Deerslayer Venison flavored whiskey. They also make gin and, true to spirit, their gins include uncommon ingredients and have their own distinctive character. Today we are sampling two gins, both of which draw botanicals from Tamworth Distilling’s own…

Read More

Review: Dry Gin XII

By Rob Theakston | August 15, 2021 |

Distilled in Provence, France, Dry Gin XII is the latest addition to the portfolio of Distilleries et Domaines de Provence, reputable for its absinthes, liqueurs, and a pretty tasty peach wine (Rinquinquin). Twelve (hence the Roman numeration) plants and spices are used: juniper, coriander, sweet almond, thyme, angelica, grains of paradise, iris, cardamom, basil, rosemary,…

Read More