The Mixology Talk Podcast
Episode Two: Let’s talk about Gin
We continue our series on base spirits. These are the common types of liquors that you’ll most often in cocktail recipes and behind bars. We’re looking at what happens to vodka when it grows up. That’s right, they turn it into gin aka Christmas Tree alcohol Julia calls it.
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In today’s Episode…..
We learn why gin tastes like Christmas trees and some of the many styles of gin in the market.
Basics of how gin is made
- Gin starts off as a high proof vodka and then you add botanical ingredients to infuse the alcohol.
- Once the botanicals have been infused, you run the infused alcohol through the distillation process.
- What comes out of the still is high proof gin. Water is added to bring down the proof of the alcohol to bottling strength,and now you have gin!!
Different styles of Gin
- The earliest style of gin is known as Genever. It can be very difficult to find, but it’s a great type of gin to add to your gin selection. Genever usually starts off as a malted spirit (think whiskey) and then the botanicals are introduced to it. Imagine if whiskey and gin had a baby, this would be a similar taste profile for Genever.
- The most popular form of Gin is known as London Dry. This style of gin is what we discussed above in how gin is made. It is characterized by a very dry finish with a focus on the botanicals. This would be the gin style of choice in a gin an tonic.
- The leap from Genever to London dry is pretty big, and the style of gin that helps to bridge the gap is known as Old Tom. This can be a very hard style of gin to come across, but well worth the effort if you can find one. This would be a great style of gin to use in your Tom Collins.
- The last style of gin that has become more popular recently is known as New Western Style Gin. With this style of gin, much less focus is placed on the juniper, and placed on the previously supporting flavors. Hendricks and Aviation Gin are probably the most popular versions of this type of gin. If you are a vodka drinker and want to make your way into gin, this is a great category of gin to explore.
Shopping for Gin
- There are a lot of quality gins that you can purchase for a very reasonable price. Look to spend anywhere from $15 to $25 for a decent quality London Dry Gin. Try Tanqueray, Beefeater, Bombay for some classic London dry gin.
- Genevers and Old Tom gins can be very difficult to find, but if you do find one, you can expect to pay a little more money for them. Expect to pay around $25 to $50 for something in this style. Bols and Diep 9 would be good examples of Genevers and Haymans or Ransom are the most popular versions of Old Tom gin.
- New Western Style gin can be found around $25-$40 and Hendrick’s and Aviation gin are great examples of this style.
Cocktails with Gin:
Since Gin has a lot of diversity on the flavors, they can be a fun spirit to experiment with. For some of the classic cocktails made with gin, try using some of the older styles of gin (Genever or Old Tom)
Here are some well known cocktails that use Gin:
- South Side
We’re Drinking a French 74:
It’s like a French 75, but we didn’t have Champagne and substituted soda water instead.
- 1.5 oz Gin
- 1.0 oz Lemon juice
- 0.5 oz Simple Syrup
- Soda water
Add the first three ingredients into a shaker tin and shake with ice for around 20 seconds. Add about 4 oz of soda water to the mixing tin and stir slightly to chill. Strain the drink into a champagne flute or coupe glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
Thanks for Listening!
I hope you found this episode helpful! If you have questions about using ginor other spirits in cocktails, ask a question using the buttons below, or just leave a comment!