The secret of gin

How is it made? And what are the classic cocktails? The story of gin in a nutshell.

Gin and gin are made from a neutral alcohol, to which various plants and herbs are added. The main flavoring is juniper. With the exception of some Belgian and Dutch jenever, gin is not typically aged in wooden barrels, but the white alcohol only mixed with water before it is bottled.

The history of gin
It is believed that the forerunner of gin a tonic from Italy, made from juniper berries. In the fourteenth century were those berries are used to combat stomach complaints, and they would also have worked against the plague. With the spread of the plague in Europe came this jeneverbestonic also in Flanders, where, according to tradition, the first eau de vie de genièvre would be made in 1572. Afterwards, it would be the tonic, especially in the Netherlands are produced, in the first place by the distillery Lucas Bols, a name that still exists today.

Gin was only for the first time in great Britain after William of Orange to the English throne claimed in 1689. The main center was London. In the late 1700’s was in London not less than 12 million gallons of gin per year produced and gin was the drink of the middle class. It is obvious that the alcoholism rampant cuts.

Over time, the distillatiemethoden better and the kruidenrecepten complex, making the general level of quality of gin alley. This new, complex gin was London Dry Gin called and he became England’s national drink.

Two types of
The European legislation defines gin as a “neutral alcohol made from agricultural products and with a minimum strength of 96% Vol. Alc., flavoured with natural or nature identical flavours so that the taste is predominantly that of juniper.” Distilled gin is made by the neutral alcohol re-distillation, together with juniper berries and other herbs and plants. Mixed gin is made by neutral alcohol to fragrance with essences and flavourings.

What plants and herbs?
Most gins use the following herbs in their production:

– Juniper: in law, this is the only seasoning that is required in gin and gin must be used.

– Coriander seed: the second important ingredient and always be found in the best gins. Coriander adds spicy, light peperachtige citrustoetsen.

– Angelica root: this old seasoning has a bit of a muskusachtig, earthy, dry woody aroma.

– Liswortel: has the ability to other volatile aromas to hold on to. Has a bit of purple aroma.

– Dried citrusschil (lemon and/or orange): allows for complexity and a slight bitter touch.

In addition to these most common seasonings are sometimes other aromatics, such as cinnamon, almond, licorice, nutmeg, chore, and cardamom.

The distillation
Before the distillation starts, the neutral alcohol with water and cut to about 60% Full. Alc, the ideal strength for distillation. The plants and herbs are added, sometimes up to 24 hours in advance, and the distillation begins. The principle is that the essential oils from the plants and herbs in the alcohol geïnfuseerd. They mingle with the alcoholdamp that during the distillation to the top rises.

Each essential oil comes in its own unique point. First, the most volatile: lemon and orange peel, juniper, coriander, orris and angelica root.

All of these volatile oils are retained by the alcohol and come out during the trials in the same order freely as during the distillation process. The gin to dilute it with, for example, tonic stimulates that release.

Some of the top brands
– Bombay Sapphire: what’s closed. Perfumed and herbaceous. Violet, flowers and citrus, less openly juniper berries. Delicate and aromatic.
– Tanqueray: a powerful and open, with aromas of juniper, angelica, orris and citrus peel, pine, lavender and pepper. Powerful and rich.
– Gordon’s: spicy and dominated by juniper. What earthly.
– Beefeater: very citrus-like (orange, kumquat and lemon) and spices (cardamom, cumin).
– Hendrick’s: very floral (and also expensive!), with pronounced aromas of rose petals and cucumber (these ingredients are also added for the distillation).

Classic gincocktails
– Gimlet: 5 cl gin 2,5 cl Rose’s Lime Cordial (kind of refined lemon juice). Shake and serve in tumbler.
– Singapore Sling: 3 cl gin 1,5 cl cherry liqueur, 1,5 cl lime juice, 7,5 cl Cointreau, 7,5 cl Benedictine, 12 cl pineapple juice, 1 cl grenadine, a dash of Angostura Bitters. Shake and serve with ice cubes. Finish off with a disk of lemon and a cherry.
– Bramble: 3,5 cl gin, a dash of sugar syrup, 2 cl lemon juice, 2 cl crème de mûre. In this order on ice cubes pour. Finish with a blackberry and a disk lemon.
– Tom Collins: 5 cl gin 2,5 cl lemon juice, 2 cl of gomme or sugar syrup, soda water (to fill). In this order on ice cubes pour.

For gin is a different production process is used for gin. The basisalcohol is mostly malt wine, a distillate of malted barley. That has a lot more flavor than the neutral alcohol for gin. This malt wine is then distilled with juniper berries and other herbs and plants. Some genevers are after the distillation in wooden barrels supported. The use of sugar has a direct impact on the flavor and the texture of the gin, and reduces the aromatic influence of juniper.

In general, there are two types of jenever: the young and the old. Young genever is malt wine which is re-distilled with juniper and other plants and to which subsequently a neutral alcohol is added to the character lighter.

Old jenever is not diluted with neutral alcohol, but will have a short vatting him a light amber color.

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