What Does Gin Taste Like?
Historically, gin was one of the most overlooked spirits, but in recent years it has grown in popularity and has now become a popular alcoholic spirit to mix into cocktails.
This “gin boom” means more and more people are choosing to embrace gin and its many varieties.
If you’re new to gin and want to know more about how it tastes before you buy your first bottle, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about it.
What Does Gin Taste Like?
Given that it is essentially distilled grains that make ethanol, gin and vodka are remarkably similar in many aspects.
Although the juniper flavor dominates in this grain-based spirit, several herbs, including licorice, lemon, and coriander, can affect the flavors.
There are different varieties of gin, each with its own flavor profile. They can be sweet, sour, botanical, citrusy, or even a little spicy.
Compared to most gins, barrel-aged gin likely has the widest range of flavors. One of the most well-known botanical elements in gin production is juniper berries, but what makes this spirit unique is the aging process, which can take weeks inside the barrel.
As a result, this gin has a whiskey-like flavor. The flavor can range from peppery to vanilla and sweet caramel depending on the type of wood the gin is aged in.
The oldest type of gin is called genever, and it is exclusively found in certain countries. Although juniper berry is also used, other flavors are more evident here.
Angelica root and orris root, which give the spirit its bitter flavor, are among the ingredients. Instead of using neutral grain spirits for distillation, malt wine produces a savory flavor that is rich in butter and malt quality.
As the name suggests, London Dry is an English gin. Among other botanicals, the main component of London Dry is juniper berries.
After being distilled, the juniper-forward gin solely uses neutral grain spirits or water. Before distillation, citrus peels give London Dry its sour and bitter flavors as well as an oily texture.
Modern gins avoid the London Dry’s dominant juniper flavor and create a different flavor profile for the spirit. Although juniper berries remain the main component, other botanicals and herbal components also come through.
When compared to traditional gin, the flavor of juniper is no longer the most prominent flavor.
Cucumber is a typical flavor, and it usually has a fruity or floral taste. With this kind of gin, there is greater room for creative license, which results in some unique products.
When there was a gin craze in England in the early 18th century, Old Tom gin was established. The gins produced at that period were known as “bathtub gins” and contained additional aromatics for flavoring.
Although the name of Old Tom gin has an unclear origin, most experts concur that its flavor is between the malty Genever and the acidic London Dry gins.
The modern version of Old Tom gin is nevertheless typically sweeter than most other types of gin.
Plymouth gin has a flavor of dried herbs and other botanicals that is sweeter and drier than the juniper-forward London Dry gin. Roots like orris root and angelica root contributed a faint earthy flavor.
The naval strength (57%) alcohol concentration of Plymouth gin, which is only made in Plymouth, England, was demanded by British soldiers as they set off to war.
The tart and bitter sloe berries, which are native to Europe and other parts of Asia, are the main component of Sloe gin.
This gin-based liqueur is made by combining juniper berries with additional botanical ingredients. In contrast to other types of gin, the finished product has a plum-flavored, excessively sweet taste.
What Does Gin Mix Well With?
Gin can be great on its own, however, it is most commonly mixed to make delicious cocktails that can be sipped and savored.
Here are some of the best pairings for gin.
Gin and tonic are one of the most well-known beverage pairings, dating back to the British colonial era in India when gin was combined with quinine tonics to make them more palatable.
Gin’s flowery and spicy flavors pair perfectly with the tonic’s bitter quinine base and light sweetness. There are many different tonics available on the market nowadays.
Ginger beer or ginger ale is the perfect gin mixer if you prefer a dry beverage. It works especially well with gin that has strong flavors that you want to mellow out a bit.
It can withstand the strong flavors frequently found in gin since it is peppery rather than floral. If you want to try it, you should pair ginger ale with gins that are flavored with spices.
The Martini, which combines gin and dry vermouth, has been around for at least a century and is still a mainstay in most cocktail bars.
Vermouth is created from wine that has been infused with alcohol, wormwood, herbs, and sugar. These days, dry vermouths come in almost as many varieties as gins.
It’s common knowledge that those who claim to dislike gin actually just dislike the tonic flavor. Lemonade should be your go-to gin mixer if you prefer something sweeter.
The great thing about using lemonade with your gin is that you can experiment with flavored lemonades, homemade cloudy lemonade, or fresh berries to offer a more nuanced flavor.
Because of its mild bitterness and acidity, grapefruit goes particularly well with gins that have grapefruit among their botanical flavors.
It gives the gin a tangy sweetness that makes the citrus notes in the gin stand out.
If the tartness of this gin mixer has you on the fence about trying it, consider salting the rim of your glass. The bitterness of the grapefruit is naturally reduced by the salt.
Gin is favored among many nowadays and with so many varieties to choose from, you won’t have trouble choosing the perfect gin for you. With this guide, you’ll be able to choose and craft your perfect gin-based drink.
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