Gin consists of neutral spirits distilled or redistilled with juniper berries and other aromatics. Although it sounds like a simple liquor, gin is a product of precise quality control and secret, complex recipes. Gin is a “Product obtained by original distillation from mash, or by re-distillation of distilled spirits, or by mixing neutral spirits with or over juniper berries and other aromatics, or with or over extracts derived from infusions, percolation or maceration of such materials.”
In the distillation process, fermented grain mash is pumped into a still. Heat is applied and the spirit vapors rise through the still and through a “gin head” at the top of the still. Prior to the start of the distilling process, this gin head is packed with juniper berries and herbs and, as the spirit vapors pass through these flavoring materials, it extracts the flavoring from them. This delicately flavored vapor is then condensed. The resulting liquid is finished gin.
This process is basically the same except it uses a few more steps. After the first distillation, the fermented mash is made into a flavorless spirit. It is then put into a second still containing a gin head packed with the flavoring materials. The spirit is redistilled or vaporized with the vapors passing through the gin head and absorbing the flavors.
English gin is making a dramatic rise in the popular culture. It is made from a grain that’s formula consists of 75% corn, 15% barley malt, and 10 % mixed grain. It is produced at a lower proof than domestic gins. Usually, English gins are made at a 180 proof and during the process they dilute the distilled water till the gin makes it to a proof of 120.
Some of gin’s characteristics range from the main ingredient juniper berries and coriander seed, to fennel, calamus root, orris root, angelica root, almond, cardamom, cassia, ginger, cinnamon, licorice, caraway seed, orange and lemon peel, and other special ingredients.
40-50 % Alcohol by Volume
Gin was first created for a healing process. Gin was first distilled in Holland around the seventeenth century, by Franciscus de la Boe. He was a chemist at the University of Leyden known as Dr. Sylvius. By extracting oil from juniper berries and then redistilling it with pure alcohol, he attempted to make an inexpensive medicine. Gin was first called genivre, which is the French word for juniper berries. The name was shortened by the Dutch, who called the spirit genever. The British later coined this spirits name, by calling it gin. Most gins in England, were sweetened to disguise the harshness of the spirit. In the eighteen sixties, a San Francisco bartender named Jerry Thomas combined gin and vermouth. This brought forth the martini craze.
Extra Brut – Extremely dry
Brut – Dry to very dry
Extra Sec – Medium dry
Sec – Dry
Rose – Sweet to Very sweet
Demi – Sec – Sweet
Doux – Very sweet