Did you know that the name ‘Gin’ derived from the Dutch drink ‘Jenever’?
Traditional Jenever, or Genever, was originally produced by distilling malt wine and adding juniper berries to mask the unpleasant flavor.
Now, the Gin category is considered one of the broadest since it can be made from any neutral spirit alcohol made from agricultural products like grain (barley, maize, etc.) or molasses.
Currently, there are three defined ways of producing Gin, according to the European Community Regulation 110/2008, which governs spirit drinks:
- The most important method is London Gin, which merely describes the distillation process (using only natural ingredients) NOT the location of where this process needs to take place.
- The second method is referred to as Distilled Gin, which is made the same way as London Gin except artificial flavorings may be added to this spirit type.
- Lastly, the third method is simply called Gin or if you want to get technical, it is also known as Compound Gin. So, why ‘compound,’ you ask? Well, in this last method you can just simply cold compound essential oils of different flavors by mixing it with the appropriate amount of water and then adding on to a suitable alcohol.
The one flavor all Gin types have in common is juniper berry.
At the moment, London Gin is proving to be the most loved. This inspired our sister data company, Foodable Labs, to further look into the Gin spirit segment to learn more about these top brands by overall ranking.
We looked at scores in the following categories: brand, flavor profile, and value. Let’s take a look at the top Gin spirits on our list.
Tanqueray’s overall score ranked No. 1 with “Taste Profile” being the highest ranking category.
This company produces and London Dry Gin that has been distilled four times and in small batches. The flavor features only four botanicals and as the company website suggests, it makes for the perfect Gin & Tonic. The brand markets its product with the slogan “It’s what you put in” and it goes out of its way to educate professional and at home bartenders to create Tanqueray inspired cocktails. The four botanicals include juniper, coriander, Norwegian angelica, and liquorice.
Beefeater’s overall score ranked No. 2 with “Brand” being the highest ranking category.
This company has one of the most recognizable gin brands characterized by its London-styled logo. The recipe used for this London Dry Gin is actually James Burrough’s original and it is overseen by Desmond Payne— the world’s most experienced master distiller, according to the company’s website. Beefeater uses a total of nine botanicals, including juniper, almond, orris root and angelica seed.
Bombay Sapphire’s overall score ranked No. 3 with “Taste Profile” being the highest ranking category.
This company really makes it a point to go above and beyond to source its botanicals from around the world. Ivano Tonutti is the Master of Botanicals at Bombay Sapphire and according to the company’s website, he “doesn’t just go the extra mile, he goes an extra thousand miles. Hand-selecting every single botanical and building personal relationships with each grower.” The botanicals, which vary from juniper and cubeb berries to coriander and cassia bark, total out to 10 in each bottle of Bombay Sapphire.