What is Gin Made From?

Gin is a well-liked, long-time favorite distilled spirit. It is created by distilling plant components into a neutral spirit to create a transparent, light-bodied liquor. Juniper berries, which are the most prevalent botanical used in gin, are what give it its characteristic flavor.

Gin’s origins can be traced to the Middle Ages when it was initially utilized for therapeutic purposes. It was used to cure a range of illnesses since it was thought to have therapeutic characteristics. Gin gained popularity throughout time in Europe and later migrated to America.

Gin is a popular beverage used nowadays and is a key ingredient in numerous cocktails. Coriander, angelica root, and citrus peel are among the other often used botanicals in gin, though juniper is the most significant. Gins from different brands use different botanicals in different ratios, which creates distinctive flavor characteristics.

What is Gin?

Gin is a clear distilled spirit that is flavored with juniper berries and other botanicals.

It is a popular drink that has been enjoyed for centuries, and it is known for its unique flavor and aroma. Gin is typically made from a mash of cereal grains, such as corn, rye, barley, and wheat.

Gin Production

There are several methods for producing gin, and each method can result in a different flavor profile. The most traditional method for producing gin is achieved by steeping the botanicals in a pot still with the base spirit. The length of time that the ingredients are left is decided by the master blender. In some cases, the aromatic solution is distilled immediately.

Another method for producing gin is known as vapor infusion. This method involves placing the botanicals in a basket above the base spirit in a column still. As the spirit is heated, the vapor rises through the botanicals, picking up their flavors and aromas.

Yet another method for producing gin is known as cold compounding. This method involves infusing the base spirit with botanicals at room temperature. The botanicals are typically left to infuse for several days, and the resulting mixture is then filtered to remove any solids.

Regardless of the method used, all gin must contain juniper berries. After juniper, gin tends to be flavored with herbs, spices, floral or fruit flavors, or often a combination. Gin is typically not aged in barrels, and it is usually clear in color. Some gin may get a slight golden color due to certain methods used to incorporate the flavors into the gin.

Overall, gin is a unique and flavorful spirit that is enjoyed by many. Whether it is made using traditional methods or modern techniques, the key to a good gin is the balance of flavors and aromas.

Types of Gin

There are several types of gin, each with its own unique characteristics.

In this section, we will explore the most common types of gin: London Dry Gin, Old Tom Gin, Plymouth Gin, and Genever.

London Dry Gin

London Dry Gin is the most popular type of gin. It is made by distilling a neutral spirit with botanicals, including juniper berries, coriander, angelica root, and citrus peel. The name “London Dry” does not refer to the location of production, but rather to the process used to create the gin. London Dry gin must be distilled to a minimum of 70% ABV and cannot contain any artificial flavors or colors.

Old Tom Gin

Old Tom Gin is a sweeter style of gin that was popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. It is made by sweetening London Dry Gin with sugar or honey. Old Tom Gin has a slightly sweeter taste than London Dry Gin and is often used in classic cocktails like the Tom Collins.

Plymouth Gin

Plymouth Gin is a style of gin that is made exclusively in Plymouth, England. It is made using a blend of seven botanicals, including juniper berries, coriander, and angelica root. Plymouth Gin has a slightly sweeter taste than London Dry Gin and is often used in classic cocktails like the Martini.


Genever, also known as Dutch gin, is a style of gin that originated in the Netherlands. It is made using a blend of malted grains, including rye, wheat, and corn. Genever has a maltier taste than other types of gin and is often enjoyed neat or in cocktails like the Holland House.

How to Drink Gin

Gin is a versatile spirit that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Whether you prefer it straight, mixed into a cocktail, or with a touch of simple syrup, there are many options to suit your taste.

Here are some tips on how to drink gin:

Straight Gin

If you’re new to gin, it’s best to start by sipping it straight. This will allow you to appreciate the unique flavors and aromas of the botanicals used in the gin. To properly taste gin, pour a small amount into a glass and swirl it around to release the aromas. Take a small sip and let it sit on your tongue for a few seconds before swallowing. This will allow you to fully appreciate the flavors.

Gin and Tonic

One of the most popular ways to enjoy gin is in a gin and tonic. To make a gin and tonic, fill a glass with ice and add a shot of gin. Top it off with tonic water and a squeeze of lime. Stir gently and enjoy. You can also experiment with different types of tonic water to find the one that best suits your taste.

Gin Cocktails

Gin is a versatile spirit that can be used in a variety of cocktails. Some popular gin cocktails include the Negroni, the Martini, and the Gimlet. To make a Negroni, mix equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. For a Martini, mix gin and dry vermouth in a shaker with ice and strain into a chilled glass. And for a Gimlet, mix gin and lime juice with a touch of simple syrup.

Simple Syrup

Simple syrup is a common ingredient in many gin cocktails. To make simple syrup, mix equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolves. Let it cool before using. Simple syrup can be added to gin cocktails to balance out the flavors and add a touch of sweetness.

Gin Cocktails

Gin is a versatile spirit that can be used to make a variety of cocktails.

Whether you prefer a classic Martini or a refreshing Tom Collins, there is a gin cocktail to suit your taste.


The Martini is a classic gin cocktail that has been popular for over a century. It is a simple cocktail made with gin and dry vermouth, garnished with a lemon twist or olive. Here is a recipe for a classic Martini:

  • 2 1/2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz dry vermouth
  • Lemon twist or olive for garnish

To make a Martini, fill a shaker with ice and add gin and dry vermouth. Stir until well chilled, then strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist or olive.

Tom Collins

The Tom Collins is a refreshing gin cocktail that is perfect for a hot summer day. It is made with gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and soda water, and garnished with a cherry and orange slice. Here is a recipe for a classic Tom Collins:

  • 2 oz gin
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • Soda water
  • Cherry and orange slice for garnish

To make a Tom Collins, fill a Collins glass with ice and add gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Stir well, then top with soda water. Garnish with a cherry and orange slice.

These are just two examples of the many gin cocktails that can be made with this versatile spirit. Whether you prefer a classic Martini or a refreshing Tom Collins, gin is a great choice for your next cocktail.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

Written by Paul Kushner

I have always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. My restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time I turned 17 I was serving tables, and by 19 I was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, I opened my first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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