A World of Gin: Exploring the Many Faces of a Botanical Spirit
Gin has captivated the spirits world with its botanical complexity and versatility, making it a favourite among connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike. This versatile spirit, known for its juniper-dominant flavour, comes in various styles, each offering a unique taste and aroma. In this blog, we'll explore the different types of gin, diving into their histories, flavour profiles, and how they're best enjoyed.
1. London Dry Gin
London Dry Gin is perhaps the most famous gin type, known for its crisp, clean taste with a strong juniper flavour. Despite its name, it does not have to be produced in London. The term "dry" refers to the absence of sugar or sweetening agents. London Dry Gin is a one shot distillation. After macerating botanicals for 24hrs, the distillation process can begin. Some distillers may choose to use a vapour infusion basket to create a deeper flavour profile. This type of gin is perfect for classic cocktails like the Gin and Tonic or a Martini, where its distinct flavours can shine.
We currently make both of our Gins in a London Dry Style, you can view them on our website:
2. Plymouth Gin
Plymouth Gin is a geographically protected gin, meaning it can only be produced in Plymouth, England. Specifically, Black Friars Distillery are the only producers of this product.
It's slightly less dry than London Dry Gin, with a more earthy tone and a hint of sweetness. Plymouth Gin has been noted as more of a botanical earthy gin, that is citrus forward. It's excellent for sipping neat or in cocktails that benefit from its softer profile.
3. Old Tom Gin
Old Tom Gin noted at ‘the missing link’ the malty, sweet Dutch Genever and the clean, crisp London Dry Gin. It's slightly sweeter than London Dry but not as sweet as Genever. This style of gin was popular in the 18th and 19th centuries and has seen a resurgence in recent years.
Old Tom Gin is perfect for vintage cocktails like the Tom Collins or Martinez, offering a richer, more rounded flavour.
4. Navy Strength Gin
Navy Strength Gin is a high-proof gin, typically around 57% alcohol by volume. The term "Navy Strength" comes from the British Royal Navy, which required gin to be of high enough proof to still ignite gunpowder if spilled on it. This gin is bold and intense, with a concentrated flavour that holds up well in cocktails, offering a robust gin presence.
Scottish Navy Strength Gins:
5. Sloe Gin
Sloe Gin is a red liqueur made by infusing gin with sloe berries (the fruit of the blackthorn bush) and sugar. This gin type is sweet, tart, and has a lower alcohol content compared to standard gin. It's often enjoyed on its own, in cocktails, or as part of a winter warmer drink. Sloe Gin showcases the versatility of gin as a base for liqueurs and flavoured spirits.
And so, that brings us to a natural end from the traditional London Dry to the innovative New Western Dry, gin offers a remarkable range of flavours and styles to explore. Whether you're a fan of classic cocktails or looking to experiment with something new, there's a type of gin that will suit your palate. As the gin renaissance continues, we're likely to see even more variations and innovations, further cementing gin's place as a staple of the spirits world.