London Dry – what does it actually mean?

London Dry – what does it actually mean?

Tall, slim 500ml bottle of G+ London Dry

Gin has various manufacturing methods, all of which have their own names. This article is intended to clarify the different types of gin.

First, however, we would like to briefly give an insight into the gin production itself. The fact that juniper is decisive for gin is now widely known, but there is a rumour that gin is actually a juniper based brandy. Gin is actually a juniper spirit, meaning the juniper and the other spices are placed in neutral alcohol (alcohol of agricultural origin with at least 96% and thus neutral in smell and taste) and thus give off the taste to the alcohol. This process is called maceration.

There are several other approaches from here:

Compound Gin vs. Distilled Gin: Compound gin refers to those gins that are not distilled again after maceration, i.e. spices are added to the neutral alcohol and after a certain “steeping period” the liquid is only filtered.

New Western (Style) Gins: This is usually the name given to gins in which juniper is still present but is not in the foreground.

Dry Gin: unsweetened gin. However, the addition of artificial additives and dyes is allowed.

London Dry Gin: Spices are added to the neutral alcohol (maceration), followed by distillation. After distilling, only water can be added to reduce the gin to the desired drinking strength. London Dry Gin is therefore always unsweetened.

Old Tom Gin: Original form of the gin. The added sugar makes it sweeter and “fuller” than London Dry Gin.

Sloe Gin: Not gin by definition, but sloe liqueur with at least 25% alcohol and at least 100 grams of sugar per litre.

Our gins are therefore London Dry Gins and Dry Gins. For example, the Oak Cask should not be called London Dry because it is stored in wooden barrels after being distilled. The saffron is subsequently mixed with saffron, which also does not correspond to London Dry.

Here is a small task for you: take a look at your own gin range and they look at the technical description very carefully. Which gins are London Dry, which Dry and which maybe even just “Gins” (the omission of “dry” could mean that the Gin is sugared)?

And then when it comes to dry gins, ask yourself the question why the manufacturer decided not to use the addition “London”. With gins stored in wooden barrels, the answer is obvious; with clear gins, flavours were most likely used. Flavours are not bad per se (available all year round, constant quality) – we only ask you to question what you consume and whether that is what meets your expectations that the manufacturer creates with its marketing.

P.S: our Rose Garden is also a dry gin (where we work with rose essence). We also communicate this very honestly, because the fragrance and taste of the rose would simply be lost when distilling.

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