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What is Gin Made From

The Spirit of Juniper: Exploring What is Gin Made From

Written by Emma C | Updated May 2023

Gin is a distilled spirit that derives its characteristic flavor primarily from juniper berries and a blend of various botanicals. The base alcohol used to produce gin can be made from different sources, such as grains (like barley, corn, rye, or wheat), molasses, or even grapes. These base alcohols are first distilled to create a neutral spirit with a high alcohol content.

The defining element of gin is the infusion of botanicals during the distillation process. Juniper berries are the key botanical that gives gin its distinct piney and aromatic flavor. However, it is the combination of other botanicals that contributes to the complexity of gin's taste and aroma. Common botanicals used in gin production include coriander, angelica root, lemon or orange peel, licorice, cinnamon, cardamom, orris root, and many others. Each distiller has its own secret recipe of botanicals, which can lead to a wide variety of gin styles, ranging from traditional London Dry Gin to more contemporary and flavored gins.

There are two main types of gin: London Dry and New Western. London Dry gin must be distilled with all of its botanicals at once, while New Western gin allows for a more flexible approach, allowing distillers to experiment with different flavors and botanical combinations.

Taster’s Club Gin Recommendations: Available in Our Bottle Shop
Hendrick's Gin
1. Hendrick's Gin

A Scottish gin with a unique blend of botanicals, including cucumber and rose petals, giving it a distinct flavor profile.

Region: Scotland | Tasting Notes: Coriander, Juniper, Citrus | ABV: 41.4%

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Tanqueray No. Ten Gin
2. Tanqueray No. Ten Gin

This gin is distilled with fresh citrus fruits, such as grapefruit and lime, giving it a refreshing and zesty taste.

Region: US | Tasting Notes: Pepper, Coriander, Angelica | ABV: 47.3%

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Bombay Sapphire Gin
3. Bombay Sapphire Gin

Made with 10 botanicals and infused with vapor to create a smooth and balanced flavor, this gin is a classic choice for gin and tonics.

Region: England | Tasting Notes: Sweet-Tart, Thick, Soft Juniper-Pepper Spice | ABV: 47%

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Beefeater London Dry Gin
4. Beefeater London Dry Gin

A traditional London Dry gin that has been around for over 150 years, it has a bold juniper flavor and is great for classic gin cocktails.

Region: England | Tasting Notes: Lemon Zest, Juniper, Earth, Citrus, Coriander, Licorice | ABV: 40%

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Aviation American Gin
5. Aviation American Gin

This American gin is distilled with a unique blend of botanicals, including lavender and cardamom, giving it a floral and spicy taste.

Region: US | Tasting Notes: Cardamom, Smoke, Citrus, Pepper | ABV: 42%

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Plymouth Gin
6. Plymouth Gin

This gin is made in Plymouth, England, and is known for its smooth and creamy texture, as well as its citrus and earthy notes.

Region: England | Tasting Notes: Angelica, Coriander, Cardamom, Citrus, Nutmeg | ABV: 41.2%

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Monkey 47 Gin
7. Monkey 47 Gin

A German gin that is made with 47 different botanicals, including lingonberries and cranberries, creating a complex and fruity taste.

Region: Germany | Tasting Notes: Clove, Grapefruit | ABV: 47%

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Roku Gin
8. Roku Gin

A Japanese gin that is distilled with six Japanese botanicals, including sakura flower and yuzu peel, giving it a delicate and floral flavor with a hint of citrus.

Region: Japan | Tasting Notes: Cherry Blossom, Green Tea, Bergamot, Pepper | ABV: 43%

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Gin is a versatile and delicious spirit that's loved by many. Whether you prefer the bold, piney flavor of a classic London Dry gin or the more experimental flavors of a New Western gin, there's a bottle out there for everyone. So the next time you're in the mood for a gin and tonic or a martini, reach for one of these recommended bottles and discover the spirit of juniper for yourself.

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