Types of gin
LONDON DRY GIN
Originally, this type of gin was produced only in London and emerged soon after the invention of continuous distillation in 1831, which guaranteed the production of refined, almost 100% alcohol with no aroma. This type of distillation made possible the production of almost completely neutral alcohol, which meant that gin no longer needed to be sweetened or concealed by other fragrances. Even though it is called London Dry it is the most common type of gin, produced all over the world. The label London Dry means that nothing but water has been added to the gin after the distillation.
Genever is a drink that hails from the Netherlands and is the predecessor of today’s gin. In the alcohol used for Genever, it is desirable to be able to feel the characteristics of its ingredients: rye, barley and maize. It should really be classified as a separate category of beverages and not a subcategory of gin, as there are a lot of different types of Genever.
OLD TOM GIN
This sweet version of gin reached the peak of its popularity in the 18th and 19th century due to the impossibility of producing neutral alcohol with then contemporary distillation methods. Because the initial fermentation caused the drink to have an unpleasant aftertaste, lemon and anise were added to at least soften it, if not eliminate it completely. Sweeteners were added as well, be it in the form of liquorice or, later in the 19th century, by adding sugar.
The popularity of sweet gin deteriorated in the second half of the 19th century, partly because of the introduction of Dry champagne and partly because of an improved distillation technology. This technology and the subsequent neutral alcohol enabled the beginning of the production of Dry gins as we know them today. With a few rare exceptions, the production of this kind of gin, containing 2%-6% sugar, almost completely disappeared in the 20th century. In 2007, a few selected distilleries brought it back to life, mainly for export to the American market.
MODERN DRY GIN
This term describes types of gin that have started appearing in the 21st century and are still being developed along with today’s craft spirits movement. Typical of this new style is that classic herbs and spices are no longer in the forefront. Instead, the emphasis is placed on atypical herbs which must, however, be carefully chosen and harmonically united. The gin still has to have its distinct taste of juniper berries, but it no longer has to be quite as dominant.
COLD COMPOUNDED GIN ( Aromatised gin )
Labelled as the worst quality of gin, as it is made by adding aromas and essential oils into neutral alcohol.