One of the most popular drinks over the past decade, its majesty, the gin, has been enjoying a worldwide revival without any indication of upcoming retirement. No wonder, considering there is evidence that the drink has, in some form, been around for almost a thousand years. Whether you’ve been wondering what this immensely popular fluid is, considering a jump on the craft spirits bandwagon, or preparing to impress your company with impressive mastery of random topics, you are just about at the right place.
So, what is gin?
If you want to remember one thing, it should be this: gin is juniper flavored vodka. While this might not be completely accurate, it sure is guaranteed to spark a discussion.
Gin is no joke. In reality, it is so important that there are legal regulations (yes, even today) proscribing which drinks can be considered worthy of the label. The rules do vary across different countries, but let’s see what are some of the essential requirements
1. ethyl alcohol
◉ The starting point to making gin is ensuring you have a ethyl alcohol of agricultural natural origin. Most often used are wheat, corn or sugar beet, for their neutral aromas.
2. a dominating juniper flavor
◉ also known as the familiar scent of “I’ll have the same”. In fact, juniper is what gives this versatile drink a name, from Latin juniperus, into various European versions (genièvre in French, jenever in Dutch, genever in old English).
3. a minimum alcohol volume
◉ though varying across different countries, this regulation is one of the most important ones, distinguishing liqueurs and flavoured juniper distillates from actual gin. In the EU the minimum is set at 37,5%, and in the USA this is at 40%. Our medal winning Murska Dekla London Dry, one of the first Croatian craft gins, is designed at 42% ensuring a perfectly rounded organoleptic experience.
The restrictive rules imposed by modern regulators still allow for the distinction of several categories, most importantly gin, distilled gin, and the famous London dry gin. And while London dry and distilled gin require re-distillation of the alcohol, a Gin gin can actually be made as a simple vodka-infusion! Other popular types of gin all fall into one of these categories, including Old Tom, Pink gin, Plymouth gin, and Bathtub gin to name just a few among many others. With gin, the possibilities really are endless, thanks to hundreds of herbs, techniques, and manufacturing secrets that can be combined for unique flavors and all tastes.