Not long ago, gin was not really the fashionable alcohol. Yet more and more of these new bottles are being created. A brief overview of the new “gin phenomenon” !
WHAT IS GIN?
Let’s start by understanding what gin is and how it is made. First, to make gin, you’ll need a vodka. Gin is nothing more or less than a vodka in which various plants and herbs will be infused.
Gin is the product of a distillation of grains (rye, barley or wheat). First, the grains are mixed with water to release the sugars. This operation, called malting, will allow enzymes, naturally present in cereals, to eat sugars to transform them into alcohol. This is how all fermentation works.
FROM FERMENTATION TO DISTILLATION
At this moment, the “wort” is like a beer (fermentation of malted cereals). It will now be necessary to distil this must, between 8 and 14°, to make it reach an alcohol content of 90° via a column still. This type of continuous distillation extracts more alcohol and texture but less aroma.
At this moment, the product obtained could be sold as vodka (and yes, it is still surprising but contrary to popular belief, vodka is no longer made with potatoes, or even very rarely!
FROM VODKA TO GIN
To switch from vodka to gin: two possibilities! By maceration or infusion. Yes, but maceration or infusion of what?
This is where botanicals comes in. This is the set of plants, flowers, fruits, roots or spices that we will use to flavour our alcohol base. The main ingredient being juniper berry.
Then, according to the botanicals used, the gin will be able to claim various names, the main one being the famous mention London Dry Gin. For that, no geographical limitation. It is enough to respect the recipe to be able to claim this mention.
A SMALL STORY POINT
London Dry Gin was created by Queen Victoria of England to standardize the different gins and ensure consistent quality. The first targeted were the English colonies, with India in particular.
India still produces excellent London Dry Gins even if its consumption remains very local !
AND OTHERS IN ALL THAT ?
Indeed, that is precisely what I wish to raise with this article. Gin no longer comes only from England. The recipes and codes for this alcohol have been somewhat dusted off.
Today you will find gins made all over the world, using more local botanicals.
JAPAN TEA LEAFS, SCOTTISH PEAT OR BRETON ALGUE
Here lies all the happiness of those thirsty for novelty. Gin never ceases to surprise. To give you a few examples, H2B (Breton gin) has succeeded in its crazy bet to bottle iodine Roku Gin uses tea leaves or yuzu zest or The Botanist smokes its gin slightly with Scottish peat.
Whether you know gin or not, these new recipes will always surprise you. After all, there is no limit to the choice of ingredients. Even if I am always a little wary of the excess of novelties in this kind of field.
For the moment, no worries and only wonderful surprises. I can’t count the number of friends who converted to gin and tonic for drinks.
LE TONIC PARLONS-EN !
Indeed, because even if I can only advise you to try some of these gins plain or on ice, the latter is more often associated with tonic.
But unfortunately, I find that the tonic progresses less quickly than does gin. In any case, in France. If you go to England or Portugal, it is not rare to find, on the bar menu, a page of gins next to a page of tonics.
And yes, because just like for gins recipes, there are a multitude of tonic recipes.
To start well with tonics, I advise you Fever Tree Tonic Water or Archibald Tonic. They will allow you to discover gin without changing its taste too much. Most industrial tonics are often too sweet and filled with artificial flavours.
DU GIN BUT NOT ONLY
Less known, there are also other types of gins. Of particular note: Yellow Gin (aged in sherry barrels) and Old Tom Gin (slightly sweetened gin).
VOILA ! ALL YOU HAVE TO DO NOW IS TASTE
Finally on the subject, I’ll tell you I haven’t told you anything yet! There is so much to discover and so much aromatic richness that you will have to make the difficult experience of testing for yourself ????.
In addition, there are a multitude of gin cocktails. So there really is something to do during your next vacation or your next evenings.
And to perfect your knowledge on other alcohols, read my article now to discover Japanese whisky.
See you soon,
Corentin – DesVinsaVous