The World of Gin

In 2019, our goal for Beau Satchelle’s lifestyle blog is to celebrate topics and venture down roads beyond the comfort zone of subjects.   For instance, diving into the world of liquor and spirits has been pretty non-existent due to my naiveté on the assignment.   During college, the extent of my drinking was cheap beer and wine to let off steam from studies; early adulthood introduced experimenting with the trendiest cocktails with a group of drinking companions; and currently, the preference, has grown into  learning all the nuances in enjoying a glass of wine .

One particular spirit that is quite enjoyable is the classic gin martini (and I do realize that there is a large camp of vodka martinis aficionados).    So in the first of several blogs, we’re taking the leap into the world of liquors and spirits, beginning with exploring the world of crafting exceptional gin.    Both the back story of this white liquor and examining the evolution of distilleries intentionally disrupted the process and the taste is fascinating as crafters seek unique flavors to offer consumers.

Gin’s earliest roots are traced in writings during the Middle Ages, however it was the Dutch that grabbed on to the purveyor title as hundreds of distilleries grew during the 1700s.  Gin’s popularity exploded as England was introduced to this spirit as soldiers who fought in the “Thirty Year War” use gin for both medicinal and, of course, drinking purposes.

Gin can only be gin only if the predominant flavor is the aromatic berries that derive from the juniperus communis plant/tree.  The process of gin begins with a neutral (often grain-based) spirit – pure ethanol which is re-distilled by adding flavors.  The two most common methods of distillation is 1) adding the  juniper berries and other botanicals to the base spirit in a vessel that is heated and distilled immediately or up to 48 hours. Water is then added to reduce the gin to bottling strength or 2) the botanicals never come into direct contact with the base but rather place in baskets in the still and the boiled base vaporizes and infuses wit the botanicals.  Once the infused vapor condenses into liquid, water is then added for the bottling process.  Some distilleries combine both methods to for a more flavorful gin

New producers of gin have introduced methods including vacuum distillation resulting in the botanicals cooking less and offering a more fresh flavored gin and producers are using more unusual botanicals. Not only does the method of distilling influence the taste of the final product, the flavor can be affected by the weight and number of botanicals added.  It is truly both science and art merging to create the perfect gin.

Gins can be botanical or fruit flavored (such as: coriander, bitter almond, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon bark, angelica, licorice, cucumber and peels of citrus fruits to name a few), most commonly mixed with tonic water.  The most popular gin cocktail drinks include the iconic Martini, the tried and true  Gin and Tonic, the alternative to the Martini – the Gimlet, the before dinner cocktail the Negroni, the Singapore Sling, the Tom Collins, the Sloe Gin Fizz, the French 75, the Gibson and the Vesper. 

So as you stock your bar, below are some of the top gin brands in the U.S and Europe – several that are steeped in centuries of old world distillery tradition while a few are relatively newcomers: -AJ

-Aviation American Gin
– Sipsmith London Dry Gin
– The Botanist Islay Dry Gin
– Hendrick’s Gin
– Few Spirits American Gin
– Bulldog London Dry Gin
– New York Distilling Company Dorothy Parker American Gin
– Tanqueray No. Ten
– Beefeater London Dry
– Boodles British London Dry Gin
– Caorunn Small Batch Scottish Gin
– St. George Terroir Gin
– Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin
– Breuckelen Distilling Glorious Gin
– Martin Miller’s London Dry Gin

Content Sources:

The Manual – https://www.themanual.com/food-and-drink/a-brief-history-of-gin/

Flavia – https://flaviar.com/blog/how-gin-is-made

Best Products.com – https://www.bestproducts.com/eats/g1654/best-gin-brands/

Hat Tip to the talented photographers of pixabax.com

Stevepb – martini

Tom69Green – Gin Bottles                                                                                                 

BenKerckx – Gin and Tonic

Daria-Yakovleva -Gin Mohito

Freshideas – Mohito on the Beach

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