OUR GIN COLLECTION
How Is Gin Produced?
The first step in making gin is to produce a neutral spirit.
This is typically done by fermenting a base ingredient, such as grains or molasses, to produce a low-alcohol wash. The wash is then distilled to increase the alcohol content, resulting in a neutral spirit with little flavour or aroma.
Once the neutral spirit has been produced, it is then infused with a variety of botanicals. Juniper berries are the key botanical ingredient in gin, and are required by law to be the predominant flavor in order for a spirit to be considered gin. Other common botanicals include coriander, angelica root, citrus peel, orris root, and cardamom, though the exact blend of botanicals used can vary widely.
The botanicals are typically added to the neutral spirit through a process called maceration, in which the spirit is left to soak with the botanicals for a period of time. This allows the flavours and aromas of the botanicals to infuse into the spirit.
Once the maceration process is complete, the spirit is then distilled again to remove any impurities and create a clear, flavorful gin.
There are two main methods of distillation used in gin production: pot distillation and column distillation.
Pot distillation is a traditional method that involves heating the spirit and botanicals in a large pot still, while column distillation is a more modern method that involves passing the spirit and botanicals through a series of columns to extract and concentrate the flavours.
After the distillation process is complete, the gin is typically diluted with water to reduce the alcohol content and create a more balanced flavour profile. The final alcohol content of gin can vary widely, but is typically around 40% ABV.
Aging: Some gins may be aged in barrels or casks for a period of time to add additional complexity and depth to the flavour. However, most gin, including ours, is bottled and sold immediately after the distillation and dilution process is complete.
Overall, the process of making gin is a complex and intricate one that requires a deep understanding of the botanicals used and the distillation process itself.
The end result is a flavourful and aromatic spirit that is enjoyed by gin enthusiasts around the world.
Tracing the History of Gin: The Spirited Journey
The story of gin's journey from medicinal concoction to a staple in the cocktail world is indeed a fascinating one.
This potent yet delicate spirit has traveled through centuries, across continents, and has been both revered and scorned.
From its rudimentary origins in medieval times to its modern-day sophistication, gin has an epic tale.
Origin and Early History:
The journey of gin begins with its ancestor, jenever, a malt wine-based spirit infused with juniper berries, produced as far back as the 13th century in what is now Belgium and the Netherlands.
Initially, jenever was used for its medicinal properties, to treat ailments like stomach disorders and gout. The juniper infusion was believed to have healing attributes, besides masking the harsh taste of the malt wine.
The Distillation Renaissance:
The spirit evolved considerably during the distillation renaissance of the 17th century. The refinement of distillation techniques, particularly in Holland, led to a smoother, more palatable spirit. It was during this period that English soldiers fighting in the Thirty Years' War discovered jenever. They brought the “Dutch Courage” back home, and it was not long before the English started experimenting with their version, which eventually came to be known as gin.
Gin Craze in England:
The early 18th century witnessed what is known as the "Gin Craze" in England. Loopholes in the distillation laws, coupled with heavy taxes on imported spirits, fueled an explosive growth in domestic gin production. It was during this period that gin gained notoriety as the poor man’s drink, leading to widespread drunkenness and social disorder. The government intervened with the Gin Act in 1751, which regulated the production and sale of gin, leading to a decline in consumption and an improvement in the quality of the spirit.
Colonial Influence and Expansion:
As the British Empire expanded, gin travelled to the colonies.
In India, gin was mixed with tonic to mask the bitter taste of quinine, which was used to treat malaria. Thus, the classic gin and tonic was born.
The botanicals required for gin production were sourced from various colonies, leading to a variety of gin flavours.
Gin experienced a resurgence in the 21st century, riding the wave of the craft spirits movement.
The global demand for artisanal, locally sourced products has led to a boom in small-batch gin distilleries.
Today, gin is celebrated in numerous cocktails, and its flavour profile continues to expand, with distillers experimenting with a wide range of botanicals.
The evolution of gin mirrors the broader narrative of social, economic, and colonial histories.
From a humble medicinal remedy to the heart of sophisticated modern-day cocktails, gin has matured over the centuries, yet remains true to its roots, offering a sip of history with every drop.