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Comprehensive Gin Buying Guide

Comprehensive Gin Buying Guide

Welcome to the Comprehensive Gin Buying Guide, your ultimate resource for navigating the fascinating world of gin. With its rich history and diverse flavor profiles, gin has become a staple in bars and homes worldwide. 

Whether you’re an aspiring mixologist or a casual enthusiast looking to explore new tastes, this guide will help you understand the various types of gin, their unique characteristics, and how to choose the perfect bottle for your next cocktail party or a quiet evening at home. 

Let’s embark on this exciting journey together and unlock the secrets to finding your ideal gin. Cheers!

What is Gin?

Gin is a popular distilled spirit known for its distinctive flavor derived from juniper berries. Originating in Europe, it has evolved over the centuries and now comes in various styles and flavors, making it an essential ingredient in many classic and modern cocktails. From the iconic gin and tonic to the sophisticated martini, gin’s versatility has made it a favorite among bartenders and enthusiasts alike.

What is Gin made of?

Gin is primarily made from a neutral grain alcohol base, such as wheat, corn, or barley. The distinctive flavor comes from the infusion of botanicals during the distillation process, with juniper berries being the key ingredient. Other botanicals commonly used include coriander, angelica root, citrus peels, and a wide array of herbs and spices that vary depending on the brand and style of gin.

Alcohol Percentage

The alcohol content in gin can vary greatly, with most gins typically ranging between 37.5% and 50% alcohol by volume (ABV). Some high-proof gins can go up to 57% ABV or more, providing a stronger flavor and intensity. 

It’s important to note that the alcohol percentage can affect the taste, aroma, and overall experience of a gin, so be sure to consider this factor when selecting the perfect gin for your preferences and cocktail recipes.

Types of Gin and Food Pairings

Gin comes in various styles, each with its unique characteristics and flavor profiles. Understanding these types of gin will help you choose the right one for your cocktails and pair them with complementary foods to enhance your overall experience.

1. London Dry

London Dry is the most common type of gin, known for its crisp, clean flavor and strong juniper presence. It often features additional botanicals such as citrus peels, coriander, and angelica root. 

Food pairings that work well with London Dry include seafood dishes like oysters, smoked salmon, and grilled shrimp, as well as soft cheeses and cured meats.

2. Plymouth

Plymouth Gin is a slightly sweeter and less juniper-forward style of gin that originates from Plymouth, England. It has a smooth, full-bodied texture and features earthy and citrusy botanicals.

Plymouth Gin pairs well with rich, creamy dishes like clam chowder or mushroom risotto, as well as fruit-based desserts and dark chocolate.

3. Old Tom

Old Tom is a sweeter and often barrel-aged style of gin that bridges the gap between London Dry and Genever. It’s characterized by its subtle sweetness and mellow flavors. Old Tom Gin works well with spicy foods like curries or Mexican dishes, as well as tangy cheeses and charcuterie boards.

4. Genever

Genever, also known as Dutch gin or Holland gin, is the precursor to modern gin. It has a maltier, more whiskey-like flavor due to its base of malt wine. Genever’s unique taste pairs well with hearty, savory dishes like beef stew, roasted vegetables, and aged cheeses.

5. Contemporary or New Western

Contemporary or New Western gins are a more recent category that pushes the boundaries of traditional gin flavors. They often downplay the juniper notes and emphasize other botanicals, resulting in a wide variety of flavor profiles.

Food pairings for these gins depend on their specific flavor profile, but they generally work well with creative, fusion-style dishes that mirror their innovative spirit.

Which Gin is For You?

Choosing the right gin for you depends on your personal taste preferences and the types of cocktails you enjoy. If you’re looking for a classic gin experience, Ginebra San Miguel Premium is a great choice. It’s the most popular gin in the Philippines and has been distilled since 1834. Its unique flavor comes from juniper berries and other botanicals that give it a smooth finish. Please change brand to Tanqueray

For something more adventurous, try Crows Gin or Arc Archipelago Barrel Reserve Gin. Both are small-batch gins crafted with local botanicals like pomelo, dalandan, calamansi, and dayap. These gins have complex flavors that will make your taste buds dance!

How to Enjoy Drinking Gin

Gin can be enjoyed in various ways, from sipping it neat to using it as a base for creative cocktails. Here are some tips to enhance your gin-drinking experience:

Different Style

Start by trying different styles of gin to discover which ones you prefer. Sample a range of gins, from traditional London Dry to more modern styles, to develop an understanding of their unique flavors and characteristics.

Different Garnishes

Experiment with different garnishes and mixers to find combinations that complement and enhance the flavors of your chosen gin. For example, try pairing a citrus-forward gin with a twist of lemon or grapefruit or a floral gin with fresh herbs like basil or mint.


Can you drink straight gin?

Yes, you can drink gin straight or “neat” if you enjoy its taste and intensity. Sipping gin neat allows you to fully appreciate the complexity of its flavors and aromas. However, many people prefer to mix gin with tonic water, soda, or other mixers to create a more balanced and refreshing beverage.

Is gin stronger than vodka?

Typically, vodka has an ABV (alcohol by volume) of around 40%, but it can reach up to 90% in some cases. On the other hand, gin’s minimum ABV in the United States is 40%, and it seldom exceeds 60%.

The alcohol content of both drinks can differ greatly, so it’s essential to check the label or consult a vodka belt before trying them.

Keep in mind that both gin and vodka have a relatively high alcohol content. If you primarily drink wine or beer, the strength of these spirits might surprise you.

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