Beefeater, Bombay, and Tanqueray. Some of the most popular gins in the world say "London Dry" on the label, and since some of them clearly aren't made in London, we are often asked about it. What is London Dry gin, and how is it different than any other gin? Haskell's President Ted Farrell has the answer in this edition of Quick Pours.
What is Gin?
Gin is a distillate that's dominated by the Juniper berry. But then there are many other botanicals that the distiller can add to enhance the flavors.
What is London Dry Gin?
The London Dry is a specific style of English gin. It's a style of gin dating back to the 18th century that shows the botanicals, but what's unique about London Dry Gin is that all of the flavoring must be added during or before the distillation process. If it's called London Dry, the distiller cannot add any further colorants or flavorants after distillation.
What About Other Types of Gin?
There are some other types of gin. Distilled gin is made essentially the same way as London Dry, with one big difference — flavoring can be added after distillation. Compound gin (sometimes called "just plain gin") is a low-priced alternative that doesn't have many rules — and doesn't have juniper flavor until it's added after distillation.
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