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How Gin is Made
There are four categories of gin as recognised by the European Union with probably the most well-known being London (or ‘dry’) gin. It comes from ethanol of agricultural origin with the methanol flavour introduced only through the re-distillation in traditional stills of ethanol with all the natural plant materials being used. In the EU, it’s minimum bottled alcoholic strength is the same as gin and distilled gin; 37.5% ABV. The other three forms of gin are juniper-flavoured spirit drinks, gin and distilled gin. The latter of these is made by redistilling ethanol of agricultural origin with a strength of 96% ABV in stills traditionally used for gin, along with juniper berries and other natural botanicals. There are several ways to produce gin; pot distilled gin, column distilled gin and compound gin. The first of these represents the earliest style of gin and involves pot distilling a fermented grain mash from barley of other grains and then redistilling it with water and other botanicals. It was the tropical British colonies who started drinking gin with tonic when they used gin to mask the sharp flavour of quinine. The quinine was dissolved in carbonated water to form the tonic water and resulted in the now well-known cocktail of gin and tonic. Over time gin has become more and more popular with premium brands like The Botanist, Tanqueray, Hendricks and Edinburgh Gin to name but a few.