The liquor called gin is made without a barrel and has undergone several cultural interpretations over the years, from the old days of bathtub gin.
People love or hate gin based on their taste, yet gin remains one of the most popular spirits in the world despite this and is most often seen drunk with tonic water (gin and tonic). You may be among the people who wonder how does gin taste as you have never tried it.
In our guide, we offer a bit of insight into what does gin and tonic taste like. By the end, you’ll understand more about this alcoholic beverage, and maybe enough to temp you to try the distinctive flavor with tonic water or as part of a cocktail when mixed with pineapple juice and served chilled. (Read Can You Freeze Tequila)
What Is The Main Flavor Of Gin?
Gin tastes like pine over everything else, although there is a touch of citrus scent with a mildly bitter taste.
The one ingredient in every gin is juniper berries, which is why gin generally tastes like pine.
However, different bases, such as barley and wheat, and different aromatics can be used when distilling the average gin.
How Do They Make Gin?
Before you drink alcohol and taste gin for the first time, know how it’s made. This helps comprehend gin’s ingredients and taste.
Gin is distilled like all spirits. However, gin uses fermented grains where the fermenting grains are distilled twice. Juniper berries and other herbs are added during or before the second distillation.
The composition of the berries and herbs determines the gin’s flavor.
Aromatics Added For Gin Tastes:
Gin makers can use a wide range of aromatics while creating their products. This is why the flavor profile of each bottle of gin you buy will vary.
Some aromatics include:
- Angelica root
- Coriander seeds
- Cardamom pods
- Grapefruit peel
- Licorice root
- Orange peel
There are a few common gin varieties, though the final flavor will depend on the precise combination of aromatics added to the juniper berries.
1. London Dry Gin
London dry gin can be made anywhere, despite what the name might lead you to believe. However, to be classified as a London dry gin, a gin must meet a few criteria.
First, juniper is typically highlighted in the ingredient list of London Dry gins. The juniper berries are one of the more prominent flavors you’ll taste, as opposed to more of an afterthought.
The flavor of sour London Dry gin is typically stronger. Many London dry gins also include coriander besides the juniper berries’ prominent taste.
Citrus peels may also be used, but they are more than a counterbalance to the gin’s more sour flavor and bitter qualities than the major attraction.
To be classified as a London dry gin, gin must be made without artificial colors or flavors.
Before diluting it, it must first undergo distillation to an alcohol process (ABV) of at least 70%.
Only water, tiny amounts of sugar, or neutral grain spirits can be added to an authentic London Dry gin after finishing the distillation process.
2. Plymouth Gin
Plymouth gin and London Dry gin are comparable. The gin’s distiller, Plymouth, initially protected the somewhat unusual kind of gin. But in 2014, they renounced these rights.
Plymouth gin’s juniper berry flavor is not as strong as London Dry gin’s. Plymouth gin, in contrast, emphasizes orange and herbal flavors more. Plymouth Gin was one of the earliest gins to stray from a London Dry gin’s typical flavor profile dominated by juniper berries. (Learn How Long Does Custard Last)
3. Contemporary Gin
Gin styles of all kinds can be found under the broad topic of “contemporary gin.” These flavors differ from the normal flavor profile of a London dry gin, which is what they all have in common.
Naturally, juniper is used in producing each of these modern gins because it is made for a spirit to be classified as gin.
However, the other aromatics that go into their products can differ significantly as contemporary gins shy away from juniper notes depending on the gin maker.
New Western gin and American Gin are among many gins where people describe the Contemporary gin genre.
While many modern gins have western roots, distillers today experiment with taste combinations and create their own distinctive spirits all over the world using varying herbal ingredients.
4. Old Tom Gin
Taste-wise, Old Tom gin is similar to London dry gin. Old Tom gin started during the Gin Craze when gin consumption in Britain and London soared. Old Tom gin is barrel-aged and sweetened with honey, sugar, and anise.
Old Tom gin, the original Tom Collins gin cocktail, lost popularity, although many craft distilleries are reviving this ancient form.
How To Drink Gin?
It depends on your preferences and how you like to sip your gin. But gin is a highly adaptable spirit.
Even though it is complex and traditional and used in many cocktails, you can also drink contemporary gins neat or on the rocks.
As we mentioned above, there is nothing wrong with enjoying gin neat or over the rocks. However, if you’d prefer to try a gin cocktail, here are a few options you may want to try.
There are popular gin cocktails and alcoholic drinks where the tart London dry gins taste isn’t an issue.
Adding soda water and pineapple juice, where sweet and sour flavors make a great drink if you don’t like the gin taste, like a summer drink where you can relax and sip.
Making bathtub gin and mixing it with juice so you can’t taste the dominant taste anymore, and the cocktail will be typically sweeter and drier flavor, unlike vodka cocktails.
One of the most well-known and well-made gin-based beverages is the martini. However, martinis also incorporate dry vermouth besides gin.
Although they are frequently included, orange or aromatic bitters are not a necessary component of a martini. Instead, lemons or olives are popular garnishes for martinis.
Gin and Tonic
The 19th century saw a rise in popularity for this cocktail. British East India Company soldiers sought to discover a substance to mix with their quinine (medication to prevent malaria).
There are only two ingredients easy to produce a gin and tonic: gin and tonic! For this drink’s garnish, many people additionally use lime.
Old Tom gin is used to make a Tom Collins; as we mentioned above, it doesn’t taste very strongly of juniper. You’ll also need lemon juice, simple syrup, ice, club soda, and a lemon wedge as a garnish for this beverage.
Count Camillo Negroni of Italy advised a bartender to make an Americano cocktail stronger by replacing the soda water with gin in the early 20th century when the Negroni was thought to have been created.
Therefore, gin, Campari, Sweet Vermouth, and Orange Peel are required to prepare a Negroni as the garnish.
What Does Gin Taste Like?
Each brand of gin has a unique taste. Because it is not aged or barreled, gin typically has a strong alcohol “bloom” or odor.
Sour gin frequently only tastes like pine as it is derived from the juniper berry. Good gin producers understand how important it is to include botanicals that improve and complement the juniper berry’s earthy flavor in taste to balance it out.
Angelica root, orris root, licorice root, cassia bark, grapefruit peel, orange peel, and dried herbs like coriander and anise are some popular botanicals used in gin.
While juniper gin is present in all gins, these extra botanical ingredients give each brand a distinct flavor.
Because citrus peels are frequently used in the gin-making process, gin typically has a strong citrus taste and scent. Therefore, in most gins, these two flavors come through first, followed by hints of other aromatics like cardamom and coriander.
When you choose a premium gin, the flavor profile is so exquisite and sophisticated that you can sip the gin straight up, adding no other ingredients.
Here is a rough description of how each sort of gin tastes; however, tasting bottle after the bottle is the best way to learn about any potent alcohol. (Read Can You Freeze Pad Thai)
What does London Dry Gin taste like?
A spirit must have a juniper berry flavor that predominates to be labeled a London Dry Gin.
For the other botanicals used, the juniper acts as an “aromatic canvas,” and fragrance significantly affects how we experience flavor. For example, London Dry Gin may have a herbaceous and flowery flavor.
For this reason, juniper is frequently blended with coriander, lemon peel, and other spices to make gin. These plants all contain the same flavor components; they are only in different proportions.
Among other botanicals, the main component of London Dry is juniper berries. After its distillation process, the juniper-forward gin, which is frequently linked with Christmas trees, solely requires water or neutral grain spirit.
Citrus peels give London Dry its sour and bitter flavors as well as an oily texture prior to distillation. However, adding a little sugar can make its flavor a little sweeter.
The barrel-aged gin likely has the most varying flavor compared to other gin types.
One of the most well-known botanical components of gin, juniper berries, is also used in the process of this alcohol. The aging process that can take weeks within the barrel is what distinguishes this, though.
Most gin tastes like whisky as a result. Depending on the wood used, the flavor can range from peppery to vanilla and caramel sweet.
Bitter Sloe berries, native to Europe and other parts of Asia, are a significant 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, delightful taste compared to others.
The final product has a plummy and extremely sweet taste compared to any other type of gin
Vodka and gin go through the distillation process, making them both neutral spirits.
It uses fermented substrates like grapes, potatoes, or wheat that lack flavor. The spirit is water-based and colorless. But you may wonder, what distinguishes vodka from gin?
You’ll find when drinking gin; gin has a more potent herbal taste than vodka because of the juniper flavor, which makes the gin taste less appealing in many well-known cocktails.