It’s just a limitation to talk just about “Gin”, we should start to categorize in a clear way each possible kind of this spirit, depending on the way it is produced.
We are in the middle of a “Gin Craze” and as somewhere sales are starting to decrease, in Italy Gin is growing.
New Italian Gins are presented to the market, so it’s good to try to understand the possible ways for producing Gin.
There are several kind of Gins, every producing system can result in a good Gin or a bad one, we need to read the labels, browse online for the most important informations, just to know what we’re drinking, because the differences are huge, for quality and for the final taste.
I liked the “International Wine and Spirit Competition” categorization, which seems a good starting point:
A Gin, distilled or compound, that is modified by the use of woods, using barrels or wood chips, to add the charateristic aroma. The juniper flavour must be predominant and alcohol volume at least 37,5%
A Gin that isn’t produced by distillation, but by infusion or macerations of the botanicals or using aromatic essences. The juniper flavour must be predominant and alcohol volume at least 37,5%
Contemporary style Gin:
A modern Gin, the juniper isn’t necessarily predominant, and usually the citrousy, herbal and floral notes are exalted. The Gin has to be distilled at least with some of the botanicals, even if the others are added in a second time.
Produced in a traditional and disciplined way, just in the Netherlands and Belgium
London Dry Gin:
London gin is obtained exclusively from ethanol of agricultural origin with a maximum methanol content of 5 grams per hectolitre of 100% ABV equivalent, whose flavour is introduced exclusively through the re-distillation in traditional stills of ethanol in the presence of all the natural plant materials used, the resultant distillate of which is at least 70% ABV. London gin may not contain added sweetening exceeding 0.1 grams of sugars per litre of the final product, nor colorants, nor any added ingredients other than water. The term London gin may be supplemented by the term “dry”.
Traditional Style Gin:
A Gin that is inspired by the original spirit, like it was produced in London 200 years ago.