June 10, 2024 / by Danny Mavis

Did you know that gin actually originated in Holland? Even though it’s represented as the national drink of England, gin was first made in Holland and the English discovered it in the 17th century when they were fighting the Dutch War of Independence. But no matter where it came from or who claims it as their own, gin is one of the most popular drinks in the world. It became even more widespread recently because of the rising cocktail culture because it’s the main ingredient in many of them.

What’s Gin?

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The word itself is originally from the Dutch word “jenever” or “genever”, which stands for juniper. Gin is essentially just distilled alcohol, whose distillation process starts with grain, most commonly barley.

It continues with adding water and juniper berries and then flavouring it with additional botanical ingredients, like fruits, roots, herbs, and spices. In the beginning, gin was used as medicinal liquor in the 13th century. Later, in the 17th century, it became very popular and started spreading all over the world. Nowadays, you can find hundreds of gin manufacturers. But if you want to have high-quality gin buy from a reliable supplier.

Types of Gin

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London Dry

The London dry gin is what first comes to mind when you think about gin. It’s a very popular variety that’s widespread and consumed all over the world. There are several classic brands such as Beefeater and Tanqueray. But newer labels are also making a statement with their innovative ways of making gin.

Don’t worry, the gin doesn’t have to be made in London in order to fall into this category. It’s the only subcategory of gin that has a loose legal definition. In order for the spirit to be considered as gin, it needs to be made in a certain way. In this case, the London dry needs the botanicals to all be natural. They also must be added during the distillation process.

In other cases, they’re added after the distillation or even macerated. However, this is not the way that London dry is made. Its aroma and flavour profile are easily recognisable because of its strong juniper and citrus notes. When it comes to colour, the gin will always be clear. Sometimes, the presence of botanical oils can result in a silver hue.

Old Tom

Old Tom gin originated in the 18th century in England. It became very popular during the gin “revolution”, and it got its name from the wooden plaques outside British gin houses. They were there to show the people that you could buy gin inside. They were mainly cat shapes, hence, the name of the gin.

This is a type of gin with historical meaning, and it has been revived in recent years. Compared to London Dry, it has a sweeter flavour because distilleries include honey or sugar as sweeteners in their recipes. Even with the addition of liquorice, it is still not as sweet as some contemporary gins.

This is a type of gin that doesn’t have to be aged but can sometimes be stored in oak barrels after the distillation. It still has a classic flare because of the botanicals from the citrus, coriander, orris root and of course juniper. There isn’t one correct way of making it so many distilleries have their own unique way of producing it. Old Tom has a soft, viscous mouth feel which makes it very suitable for cocktails such as Martinez, Tom Collins and Ramos Gin Fizz.

Plymouth Gin

Plymouth gin is very versatile and a more neutral version of the London Dry. It was created in 1793 in Plymouth, England. Black Friar monks used to make it in a distillery. Just like the other gins, juniper is the dominant flavour and it’s sometimes combined with botanicals and citruses.

One big thing about Plymouth gin is that it’s produced in only one distillery and that’s the Plymouth Gin Distillery. The style was granted a protected geographical indicator status under European Union legislation. This meant that the gin had to be made in Plymouth, with an ABV of at least 37.5% and a predominance of juniper flavours.

This gin can also have a spicier note in the finish because it uses a mix of several botanicals such as coriander, juniper, cardamom, dried sweet orange peels, Angelica root, and Orris root. It has an earthy flavour and an oily texture which makes it perfect for cocktails. So, if you want to taste a special, specific type of gin buy the Plymouth version.

Contemporary Gin

Also known as the New American or New Western variety, this one is a modern version of the drink that doesn’t fall into the older, historic categories. While juniper is a must, makers of New Western gins can use a multitude of methods and sometimes experiment with things like vapour distillation or using botanicals other than the standard ones to flavour their gins.

This is a special type of gin because manufacturers often use the local botanicals. They add whatever is popular and thriving in their region, making each gin unique in flavour and scent. Distilleries explore and experiment with things like native sage, cucumber, roses, jasmine, lavender, chamomile and many more.

This diversity in flavour is what makes this gin so popular. You can express your creativity in cocktails and create amazing flavours where the contemporary gin will be dominant or just supportive of the other ingredients. You can also make your own gin at home if you want to make the effort. If you don’t want to bother, you can just buy gin online and get it delivered to your doorstep.


The Genever is a gin that many people compare to a cross between gin and whiskey because it’s a botanical malted grain spirit. It has a malty flavour and some of the other flavours distilleries add are ginger, cloves, nutmeg and caraway. Genever is the national drink of the Netherlands and Belgium and it’s loved by many because of its historical significance.