Beginner Gin Recipe

When we talk about Gin, it’s quite a long story.  Gin holds a lengthy history, from a medical remedy to a cocktail spirit; and there are so many interesting things behind it.  Gin has been around since the 11th century. A lot of people might not like Gin because of its flavor or fragrance – some say it’s awful, harsh, and flavorless, but you know it’s completely not true to a true Gin lover, who might think otherwise. Despite a burn and bitter herby taste coming out at your first sip, the gin contains more than just one favor. It’s the most fruity and flavorful spirit on top of that spirit chain. Therefore, Gin is called a cocktail spirit and could be used to make any delicious cocktails in the summertime.  

What is Gin?

The word “Gin” itself comes from the French “Genièvre” and the Dutch “Jenever”, both of which mean “Juniper”. At its simplest form, Gin is a neutral spirit without any colors, which is made from fermented grain or molasses. Later, various herbs, fruits, and spices, known as botanicals, are added to the distillate to enhance the flavors and fragrance of the distillation. For some gins, distillers could add up to 30 botanicals or more. And they call it the “Botanist Dry Gin”.

History of Gin

Here is a gist of the history of Gin. By the 11th century, people had distilled juniper berries and used the distillate as a medical remedy for the disease. By the 17th century, the Dutch had started distilling malt or wine and added botanicals, mainly Juniper, to make it a medicine which was known as “Genever”. Genever made its way to England and became wildly popular in all alcohol shops in London. It’s because of how easy it was to make. People called it “Gin” as a simpler form of “Genever”. 

Later, Gin followed the footsteps of British sailors to the tropics. It became a supplementary ingredient for tonic water in which quinine was dissolved, and it was used to treat malaria. Nowadays, it is known as “the Gin and Tonic”, but bartenders make it more pleasant and drinkable for people to enjoy. Another point that you might want to know about Gin is that it was mixed with citrus fruit to help sailors avoid scurvy due to long-distance sea travels.  

Types of Gin

There are 5 various types of Gin that have ever been made in human history.

  • First is the Distilled Gin which is a redistilled white grain spirit flavored with juniper.
  • Second is the compound Gin which is a flavored grain spirit without added distillation.
  • Third is the London Dry Gin which is a redistilled grain containing other added botanicals in addition to juniper.
  • Fourth is the Sloe Gin which is a gin flavored with blackthorn fruit.
  • Last is the Old Tom Gin which is a distilled gin that has been slightly sweetened.

How to Make Gins

There are two ways to make Gins:

The first method is distilling. Gin is a spirit that has been distilled from grain or fruit (typically from wheat). Like other spirits, Gin is distilled in a process to capture the alcohol from the vapors which are generated from a boiling mash. After capturing all the alcohol and other flavorful elements, distillers commonly immerse botanicals in the vapor by running it through a chamber that contains fruits, herbs, and other spices. At the end of distillation, the distillate has no need for sugar added because the sweetness and flavors have been naturally added via the botanicals. In fact, the only thing that might be added later is water to dilute the alcohol to the acceptable point, which is 40% – the typical percentage for a spirit. 

The second method is cold compounding. For this process, distillers add flavorings to a neutral spirit, which has high strength as vodka. This process would be less time-consuming than the first one. Additionally, the flavorings can be flavor extracts, actual botanical, or a mix of the two kinds.