Gin or Geverer is a spirit whose predominant flavour must be juniper . Although several different styles of gin have existed since its origins, gin is broadly differentiated into two basic legal categories. Distilled gin is crafted in the traditional manner, by re-distilling neutral spirit with juniper berries and other botanicals. Compound gin is made by simply flavoring neutral spirit with essences and/or other ‘natural flavorings’ without re-distillation, and is not as highly regarded. The minimum bottled alcoholic strength for gin is 37.5% ABV in the E.U., 40% ABV in the U.S.
Some would argue that the ideal is between 40–55 % abv as below this a gin is unable to hold its flavours and the complexity and balance are thus adversely affected.
There are several distinct styles of gin:
Old Tom Gin is a botanically-intensive and lightly sweetened style of gin that consequently delivers a balanced and mild undertone which results in a subtle and distinctive gin experience.
Genever or Dutch style sweet gin is full bodied, malt based spirit that was introduced to the Netherlands in the 16th century. The popularity spread so quickly that it soon was hailed as Hollands national drink, just as it remains today.
Plymouth gin is another style which has a distinctively different, slightly less-dry flavour than the much more commonly available London Dry Gin, as it contains a higher than usual proportion of root ingredients, which bring a more ‘earthy’ feel to the gin, as well as a smoother juniper hit
London dry gin remains the most popular style, which is a type of distilled gin. In addition to the predominant juniper content, London dry gin is usually distilled in the presence of accenting citrus botanicals such as lemon and bitter orange peel, as well as other combination of spices such as, Angelica, Anise, Cardamom, Cassis, Coriander, Ginger, Lemon peel, Liquorice, Orange peel, Orris root and Paradise grains. London dry gin may not contain added sugar or colorants, water being the only permitted additive
The explosion of new gins on to the market has seen some quite unusual additions to the classic recipe with such botanicals as sencha tea – Beefeater 24, Blue berries and blackberries – Brockmans gin, Rose petals and cucumber – Hendricks Gin, Edlerflower and blue Iris – Blue Zephyr Gin are but a few of the wonderful new gins available.