Gin is quite potentially the most durable and controversial drink that the drinking world has to offer. Over four centuries, gin experienced an era of wild popularity and decades of vilification.
In reality, gin’s strong kick is not what suits the palates of most, especially of light -drinkers. Where whiskey and wines offered a wide variety of texture and flavor, gin experienced relegation from top shelves. Despite its relegation, there still are drinkers out there who prefer gin to any sophisticated drink. In addition, since gin underwent wild swings of reputation, we have elaborated on the things you should know about gin.
Buying a gin online or chilling at a cozy bar- whatever is your preference, this post will reveal some facts about gin. So, pour yourself a glass and read on.
GIN HAS FUZZY DEFINITION
When dealing with most spirits, the definition does not cause anyone to wonder. That is because the requisite of classifying a drink depends on its ingredients, origin, and process. Relatively simple and straightforward. Not with gin.
Unlike most spirits, the flavor characteristic defines gin. It needs to have pronounced in juniper flavoring. However, a governing body needs to determine whether the liquid tastes more like juniper than any other flavor. In other words, the definition of gin is entirely subjective. What may be gin to you may not be gin to others.
GENEVER IS NOT GIN
Most gin taste like juniper, there are other different types of gin. Historically, three styles of gin were popular: London dry, Old Tom, and Plymouth. Let us discuss each of them briefly:
It is the oldest style of gin. Old Tom was the first commercially popular gin. Old Tom is thought of as the link between the London dry and genever. Genever was a Dutch spirit that is not gin itself but inspired British gin. Old Tom has a light body and lends a floral aroma with a subtly sweet flavor. In the nineteenth century, Old Tom went out of style and was not brought back until recently.
London dry has better familiarity among people than other gins. It is a more juniper-dense style that gained popularity lately. As the law dictates, London dry must have zero additives is made anywhere, not only in London.
Plymouth and London dry have a stark similarity. Contrary to London dry, Plymouth has to be produced in Plymouth, London. Currently, Plymouth brand gin is the sole producer of Plymouth gin.
In recent years, new styles of gin are in trend. Small craft distillers produce these new styles of gin. The gins of this emerging category range from floral hooch, delicate to more juniper-heavy. Most people thought that these emerging trends are usually from London. However, these gins are famous as New American, western America, and the New Western.
GIN AND TONIC THAT YOU SAVOUR AT BAR WON’T CURE MALARIA
Unbelievably, gin and tonic used to treat malaria. Well, it traces back to the 1600s.
Spanish discovered that Peruvians made use of cinchona bark to treat fevers. These Spanish explorers brought this cinchona bark to Europe. For its preservation and palatability, Spanish explorers mixed it with sugar and water. This concentrated syrup was the cure for malaria. They added carbonated water to reduce its taste and mixed it with gin. Hence, the world’s first gin and tonic came to existence.
Nowadays, tonic water does not have enough amount of quinine to treat malaria. The significant cut down of quinine helps in making the drink more palatable. In reality, you will have to down at least 20 liters of tonic water to stay protected from malaria. You might love gin and tonic, but 20 liters is a bit overboard.
PHILIPINES LOVE GIN AND TONIC!
Filipinos are the most prolific gin drinkers. Filipinos alone form the vast majority of gin drinkers. Almost 43% of Philippines make up global gin consumption. Not only they consume the most gin, but they also savor a gin brand you do not often hear of- Ginebra San Miguel. Even though the Philippines drinks the most gin, Spain showed a higher consumption rate with 1.07 liters of gin per person.
GIN IS LIKE VODKA
Where vodka lacks the flavor profile, gin has a burst of flavor to offer. However, the flavoring is merely an infusion of botanicals in neutral spirit: vodka. Juniper and other botanicals add flavorings in vodka. If you interrupt the process at any point before flavoring, you will end up with vodka only. Unlike vodka, gin does not have geographical restrictions like other spirits like tequila, cognac, and scotch.
GIN IS VERSATILE
Mescal and tequila are popular drinks for pint shots. Chilled vodka accompanies food, and whiskey drinkers add ice cube in their drinks. However, one thing to know about gin is that it tastes best when mixed. The botanicals add flavor and complexity to any of your favorite cocktails. That is why many classic cocktails use gin than other spirits. Negron, Gimlet, and aviation to name a few.
ONLY A FEW GIN DISTILLERS PRODUCE THEIR OWN ALCOHOL
Gin processing needs neutral spirit: a commodity usually bought in bulk by most gin distillers. All the flavoring and texture depend on what distillers do with neutral spirits in the flavor-infusing process. It is what makes every gin unique and different.
JUNIPERS ARE STILL PICKED WILD
The gin industry requires a huge amount of juniper berries. Unfortunately, these tiny berries are not cultivated in many places and have to be picked up wild. The picked-up berries are then sold through distributors to the gin industry worldwide.
THERE USED TO BE A BATHTUB GIN
Moonshine and whiskey were famous for their illegal imbibing, but gin was also popular for its illegal production. Made in the bathtub, this type of gin was a mixture of cheap grain and juniper flavoring. The mixture was left for fermentation and later distilled from the tub. The lack of cleanliness in bathtub gin production became a serious concern. The absence of regulation led to several illnesses and even deaths.
GIN ISN’T FOR DRINKING NEAT
Bathtub gin had one purpose- and that is to be strong on the palate. Bathtub gin was strong and rough on the throat. To cut down its strength, other flavors and ingredients helped in reducing the acidity of gin. Hence, the reason why several classic cocktails feature gin as their highlight ingredient.
There is no doubt that gin has made a strong comeback in the drinking world. Today, people are not only returning to gin, but they also prefer it to other drinks. Whether you are a novice or experienced, gin is sure to please your palate.