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STYLES OF GIN

Gin is a flavoured spirit obtained by the distillation of grain, usually malted barley, rye or maize. The spirit originated in Holland over 400 years ago when a doctor successfully combined the juniper berry and alcohol to produce a cheap remedy for kidney complaints. He word ‘gin’ is a corruption of the French word for juniper – genièvre. English soldiers returning from religious wars of Tudor times took with them a liking for the drink which gave them ‘Dutch courage’ in times of stress. At the end of the seventeenth and the beginning of the eighteen century saw gin popularise in London, who by this time had started its manufacture and it became the cheap solace for London’s poor, but there was no control over production and the concoctions could contain aniseed, turpentine and even sulphuric acid. The invention of the ‘continuous still’ in 1831 meant that a better quality of spirit could be made, however, it was still known as ‘Mother’s Ruin’ because of the juniper berry’s supposed ability to induce abortion. Sloe Gin; is made by steeping sloes in gin and is more properly accepted as a liqueur. Lemon and Orange Gin; occurs by steeping the peel of the fruit in gin for eight to ten weeks.




London Dry

ALC/VOL = 40% Alcohol
Country of origin:
England.
Distilled from:
Grain and flavoured with juniper, angelica root and seed, liquorice root, savoury, lime peel, coriander and nutmeg.
History:

London dry gin, the world's most popular gin type, although it is rarely made in London anymore as only one distiller remains in the City (Beefeater), and is dry only in the sense that it lacks sugar to make it sweet. London dry gins tend to be high in alcohol — 90 proof (45% ALC/VOL) — with a characteristic citrus flavour and aroma due to the widespread addition of dried lemon and/or orange peels to the botanical recipe. Very dry, light bodied, and pungent, this is what most of us think of when we think of gin. Excellent ingredient for Gin-and-Tonics and Dry Martinis.

Genever

ALC/VOL = 40% Alcohol
Country of origin:
Holland.
Distilled from:
Grain and flavoured with juniper and other botanicals.
History:

Genever is the juniper-flavoured and strongly alcoholic traditional liquor of the Netherlands and Belgium, from which gin evolved. Traditional Genever is still very popular in the Netherlands and Belgium. Believed to have been invented by a Dutch chemist and alchemist named Sylvius de Bouve, it was first sold as a medicine in the late 16th century. In the 17th century, it became more popular for its flavour. This style—the original—uses a malt-spirit base and less botanical than the English styles. Good for Sipping straight and chilled.

Plymouth

ALC/VOL = 40% Alcohol
Country of origin:
England
Distributed by:
Black Friers Distillery
Distilled from:
Grain flavoured with juniper, coriander seeds, angelica root, orris root and cardamom.
History:
Plymouth Gin is a Protected Geographical Indication that pertains to any gin distilled in Plymouth, England. Today, there is but one brand, Plymouth, which is produced by the Black Friars Distillery. The Distillery is the only remaining gin distillery in Plymouth, in what was once a Dominican Order monastery built in 1431. It has been in operation since 1793. The Plymouth Original Strength brand of gin is 41.2% ALC/VOL. There is also a 'navy strength' variety which is 57% ALV/VOL, being the traditional strength demanded by the British Royal Navy. A 47% ALC/VOL (94 U.S. proof) version is distributed worldwide.

Old Tom

ALC/VOL = 40% Alcohol
Country of origin:
England.
Distilled from:
Grain flavoured with Juniper, citrus, coriander and 2%-3% sugar.
History:
London dry's sweeter, fuller-bodied parent has only recently come back on the market after decades in suspended animation. Popular in 18th-century England that now is rarely available. It is slightly sweeter than London Dry, but slightly drier than Genever, thus is sometimes called 'The Missing Link'. The name came from wooden plaques shaped like a black cat (an "Old Tom") mounted on the outside wall of some pubs above a public walkway in the 18th century England. Owing to a scandalous news report gin was outlawed and went underground, changing from a cloudy liquid to its modern clear form so as to appear like water. After a pedestrian deposited a penny in the cat's mouth, they would place their lips around a small tube between the cat's paws. From the tube would come a shot of gin, poured by the bartender inside the pub.

Old Tom Gin was the original gin used in making the Tom Collins Cocktail.

Sloe Gin

ALC/VOL = 40% Alcohol
Country of origin:
Holland
Distributed by:
De Kuyper
Distilled from:
Sloe (blackthorn) drupes
History:
Sloe gin is a red liqueur flavoured with sloe (blackthorn) drupes, which are a small fruit relative of the plum. Sloe gin has an alcohol content between 15 and 30 per cent by volume. The traditional way of making sloe gin is to infuse gin with the berries. Sugar is required to ensure the sloe juices are extracted from the fruit. Many commercial sloe gins today are made by flavouring less expensive neutral grain spirits, producing a fruit cordial effect, although some manufacturers still use the traditional method. Sloe gin is made from ripe sloes, which are traditionally picked after the first frost of winter (late October to early November in the Northern Hemisphere).

Straw Gin
(Yellow Gin)
ALC/VOL = 40% Alcohol
Country of origin:
England.
Distilled from:
Grain flavoured with Juniper and coriander, matured in oak casks.
History:
Straw Gin or “Yellow Gin” is the collective term for aged, matured or rested gin, i.e. any gin that has had contact with wood in order to modify its character. In the early days of London Dry Gin, the spirit was not shipped in bottles or stainless steel tanks, but in wooden casks giving the wood time to affect the gin. At some point, someone realised that this serendipitous approach to ageing imparted some pleasant and desirable characteristics on gin and so brands such as Booth’s began to deliberately “mature” their gin by storing it in casks for 6-12 weeks. Since the demise of Booth’s Gin, few others have bothered to set up this interaction between the spirit and wood, with the exception of Seagram’s, who have always rested or matured their gin for 3-4 weeks.