“Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walls into mine.” – Rick Blaine, Casablanca.
If that quote right there doesn’t tell you how iconic Gin is in our society then you obviously don’t watch a lot of movies. Casablanca is an absolute classic, just like Gin. Just to give you an idea, worldwide Gin sale equalled $13,994 Million! That’s a lotta dough! The most sales were generated in England with a 3,640 million share of that amount. All of these stats are from statista.com by the way. So, I didn’t just make them up in case you were wondering.
A Little History On Gin
Gin is a distilled alcohol that gets its flavor from the Juniper Berry. Juniperus communis, the common Juniper, is a small coniferous evergreen tree. It produces a fruit that is a berry-like cone. It ripens in about 18 months when it goes from green to blue.
In the middle ages a drink called jenever was made by the Dutch which was used as an herbal medicine. It was used to treat kidney, stomach, and gout ailments. During the Eighty Year’s War, also known as The Dutch War For Independence, it was found to have calming effects before battle. In the 17th century Dutch and Flemish distillers started adding juniper berries into the distillation process for flavor, and it worked. Gin had become a low cost option that many in England took to due to import restrictions at the time on Brandy.
Gin has seen a few variations over the years, so here is a list of the official terms per wikipedia:
Juniper-flavoured spirit drinks
This includes the earliest class of gin, which is produced by pot distilling a fermented grain mash to moderate strength e.g. 68% ABV, and then redistilling it with botanicals to extract the aromatic compounds. It must be bottled at a minimum of 30% ABV. Juniper-flavoured spirit drinks may also be sold under the names Wacholder or Ginebra.
This is a juniper-flavoured spirit made not via the redistillation of botanicals, but by simply adding approved natural flavouring substances to a neutral spirit of agricultural origin. The predominant flavour must be juniper. Minimum bottled strength is 37.5% ABV.
Distilled gin is produced exclusively by redistilling ethanol of agricultural origin with an initial strength of 96% ABV (the azeotrope of water and ethanol) in stills traditionally used for gin, in the presence of juniper berries and of other natural botanicals, provided that the juniper taste is predominant. Gin obtained simply by adding essences or flavourings to ethanol of agricultural origin is not distilled gin. Minimum bottled strength is 37.5% ABV.
London gin is obtained exclusively from ethanol of agricultural origin with a maximum methanol content of 5 grams per hectolitre of 100% ABV equivalent, whose flavour is introduced exclusively through the re-distillation in traditional stills of ethanol in the presence of all the natural plant materials used, the resultant distillate of which is at least 70% ABV. London gin may not contain added sweetening exceeding 0.1 grams of sugars per litre of the final product, nor colourants, nor any added ingredients other than water. The predominant flavour must be juniper. The term London gin may be supplemented by the term dry. Minimum bottled strength is 37.5% ABV.
The World’s Most Expensive Gins
NOLET’S THE RESERVE DRY GIN (From caskcartel.com)
NOLET’S Reserve Gin was created by 10th generation Royal Nolet Distillery owner, Carolus Nolet, Sr. with special craftsmanship for special occasions. Warm, spicy saffron is balanced by cool, subtle verbena to create a complex gin like no other and a long-lasting finish. Drink NOLET’S Reserve Gin neat and savor it slowly.
Nolet’s The Reserve Dry Gin Tasting Notes
- Nose: Warm, spicy saffron.
- Palate: Cool, subtle verbena to create a complex gin like no other.
- Finish: A long-lasting finish.
The Cambridge Distillery Watenshi Gin (from themanual.com)
“Only six bottles of this gin are produced per run of distillation, so you’ll have to try and try again if you want to find one. But these bottles are worth the hunt and the price, for they contain a spirit rarely obtained. As the distiller’s site explains: “Revered by gin collectors as the absolute pinnacle of modern spirits production, Watenshi is the “angel’s share” of our Japanese Gin, normally lost to evaporation but preserved using our pioneering distillation processes – which yields just 15 ml of spirit per distillation.” This gin, with “notes of sweet citrus and spice, supported by bitter juniper and an incredibly long, complex finish,” is quite literally the portion that no one ever got to taste before.”
Jam Jar Gin Morus LXIV (from themanual.com)
“At 64% ABV, it packs plenty of punch, and the fact that, as the distillery’s site states, it is “distilled from the leaves of a single, ancient Mulberry tree [and as] a single batch of this exquisite cask-strength gin takes more than two years of careful work to produce,” a high price makes sense. Just maybe not quite that high, but of course, you buy this “very bloody marvelous” gin as much for prestige as for flavor.”
The Best Gin Recipes Out There
Classic Gin Martini
- Gather the ingredients.
- In a mixing glass filled with ice cubes, combine the gin and vermouth, pouring more or less vermouth to your taste.
- Stir for 30 seconds.
- Strain into a cocktail glass.
- Add a dash of orange or Angostura bitters, if desired.
- Garnish with olives or a lemon twist.
Gin and Tonic
- Gather the ingredients.
- In a highball glass filled with ice cubes, pour the gin, then top with tonic.
- Stir well.
- Garnish with a lime wedge.
New Orleans Fizz
- Gather the ingredients.
- In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the gin, lemon and lime juices, simple syrup, cream, egg white, and fleurs d'orange.
- Dry shake without ice.
- Fill the shaker with ice. Shake vigorously again (more than normal to ensure the egg and cream are well mixed and the drink is silky).
- Strain into a chilled highball glass.
- Top with club soda.
- Serve and enjoy!