Our Guide to Gin
Where do we beGin?
Whether you’re a gin lover or a newbie, we’ve got all the details on all things gin. Want to know what it is? How is it made? Which brands are the best? Or simply just how to drink gin? Look no further…
What is gin & how is it made?
Gin is an incredibly popular spirit, more so over the past couple of years with the emergence of different flavours, variations and formations of gin, flavourful additions.
However the origin of gin is pretty interesting. Gin first became popular in the Middle Ages, originating from the Netherlands! Fun fact, the name ‘gin’ actually derives from the word ‘genever’ which is Dutch for Juniper. Juniper berries were consumed for medical purposes at the time, until one doctor made a schnapps distilled with the berries and brought to life the concept of gin! Hurrah!
Gin was introduced into England during the 17th century, and became an incredibly popular tipple. People started to distil their own gins, which led to the addition of sugar and rose water to the spirit to dilute the strong taste.
Now you may wonder, when did gin become a cocktail ingredient? And we have the answer for you! The very first gin and tonic was made in India in the 19th century. During the time when Britain occupied India, soldiers had to ingest quinine to prevent malaria, so to cover the bitter taste, they would add sugar, water and lime and… gin! Bet you weren’t expecting that!
How should you drink gin?
A question we’re asked (a lot!) is ‘What is the best way to drink gin’. Gin can be drunk in a variety of ways and it’s really down to you the drinker’s preference.
It also depends on the type of gin you’re drinking, and the base flavours – as this is what will help you to pair with a suitable mixer. The most common way a gin is drunk, however, is as a classic gin and tonic.
Does gin have a shelf life?
Another commonly asked question we get about gin is: does it have a shelf life? Unopened, gin can last for years as it hasn’t had time to react with oxygen in the air. If you’ve opened a bottle of gin, it’s still pretty good to be kept for years without going bad as long as it is sealed tightly with its lid.
However, you should also be aware that the longer you keep your gin open for, it will gradually change taste due to the reaction with oxygen in the air. You may find that flavoured gins spoil quicker, due to the sugar and additives, so be sure to work your way through those first!
How many calories are in gin?
Now you’ve had a little history lesson in where gin comes from and how it’s made, let’s get into the nitty-gritty. We’re often asked how many calories are in gin, and interestingly, gin is actually one of the lowest-calorie spirits out there!
Depending on the brand of gin, the calorie count can differ, so it’s always best to check the type of gin you’re purchasing. Of course if you’re mixing your drink with a tonic or lemonade, your calorie count will increase so if you’re conscious of the calories, make sure to check both your gin and your mixer!
What are the best gin brands out there?
There’s a massive range of great gin brands on our website, but here are just a few that we know our customers love:
— Gordon’s Gin.
— Mermaid Gin.
— Hendricks Gin.
— Edinburgh Gin.
Now you may ask, what makes these brands so special? Well a lot of these brands are well known for their great flavoured gins, years of product development and their well known reputations. So why don’t you check them out and find a new favourite?!
What are the different types of gin?
There’s quite the range of gins out there which can be quite overwhelming, however we’re here to give you better insight into some of the most popular types of gin you can get and help you find the next perfect gin for you!
London Dry Gin – This is one of the most well known types of gin out there. For most people, nothing beats a classic Gin & Tonic using your favourite London dry gin. To be known as a London dry gin, the base spirit has to be made of an agricultural origin. This can be grain, potatoes or even milk and is then distilled to 96% alcoholic volume. This is then redistilled with its plant botanicals with the main one being juniper.
Flavoured Gin – In most recent years, flavoured gin has become increasingly popular. Whether you’re a lover of the classic pink gin, or you’re partial to a blood orange gin, there’s endless flavours for you to try (and mixer combinations!) that will add that little bit extra fun into your life!
Scotland Gin – Whilst you may think that Sotland gin must have similar rules to London ry gin, you’re not wrong! In fact, many gin distilleries have moved out of London and into Scotland – Gordon’s, Hendricks and Tanqueray have all made the move. Scotland’s heritage is mainly associated with whisky, and as such it has the experience and set ups required to distil gin as well. Due to a shorter production time, gin can be produced and brought to market much quicker than whisky – allowing whisky makers to continue developing and maturing new products, whilst still making money from gin.
Sloe Gin – Sloe Gin is fairly self explanatory, it’s made by infusing sloe berries into gin, where the gin then takes on the colour and sugary contents from the berries itself. Fun fact, sloe gin has actually been around since the 17th century, making it a traditional spirit that’s well-loved in the UK.
Gin Liqueurs – Gin Liqueurs are light and sweet drinks that are mainly used in cocktails to give them a bit of extra flavour. They’re incredibly easy to drink and a lot less bitter than traditional gins. Perfect for those who like to enjoy a sweeter, fruitier drink, rather than a more bitter, botanical flavour.
What should you pair gin with?
There’s a range of tonic waters you can mix your gin with, such as Indian tonic water and Mediterranean tonic water;the list goes on.
However, you can also drink gin with mixers. Some of our favourites are “Double Dutch”. There’s so many different flavours to choose from and endless combinations for you to try which means you’ll never get bored of finding a new combination for you.
We hope that helps to clue you in on all things gin and set you on the right path to finding a new gin to become your new staple tipple.