Are you a lover of the classic G&T (gin and tonic)? If yes, have you ever wondered what exactly gin is and how it is made?
With gin consumption in Australia on the rise, it is interesting to note that 8% of Australians consume gin at least once a month. Multiple options present themselves to you now, like MOUNTAIN gin; you may want to discover what gin brand works for you.
Read to know more about this famous beverage, its history and how to pair it with food.
What is Gin?
At the fundamental level, gin is essentially a clear flavoured spirit. This spirit is most commonly grain-based, such as maise or barley. However, gin can also include anything from grapes to molasses.
Juniper berries are the most common flavouring substance used in gin. Since juniper is not palatable, the gin also contains ‘botanicals’ that add a hint of distinct flavour.
Botanicals are flavouring substances that include everything from flowers to dry and fresh fruits, spices, and herbs. It is these botanicals that differentiate one gin from another. Cinnamon, orange peel, angelica root, and caraway are some common botanicals used in gin.
Unlike whiskey and wine, gin is usually not aged. However, some brands do put them in a barrel for a while.
Most gins contain botanicals that are local to the country they are made in. Australian gins precisely follow this by using indigenous botanicals.
How is Gin Made?
The first step to gin production is making a clear spirit with 96% ABV or alcohol by volume. It can be made from sugar-containing items such as corn, grains, potatoes, and more.
Once the neutral spirit is prepared, it is time to add the flavours or botanicals.
The botanicals are added to the spirit in any of the following ways:
- Distilling the neutral spirit and botanicals together
- Making a concentrate of the botanicals before distilling it with the neutral spirit
- Infusing the botanicals with the spirit before distilling them together
- Distilling each botanical separately and then mixing them together
Post the second distillation, water is added to the spirit to the desired alcohol level. Commonly, gins are of about 42% ABV.
Pairing Gin with Food
Here are some everyday pairings of Australian gins with food.
- Dry gins with a juniper-heavy palate are ideally paired with smoked meats and seafood. Essentially, the intense flavours of both the gin and meal would pair very well together. This combination would also work great on summer afternoons.
- Gins with citrus undertones make an excellent match for seafood such as prawns and salmon. It pairs brilliantly with the citrusy and salty flavours of the food.
How to Consume Gin?
It is common knowledge that the easiest and most popular drink is the classic gin and tonic. It is nothing but gin served with tonic water. Fortunately, the scope for experimenting with gin cocktails is endless.
A gin cocktail can be taken to the next level in its flavour with the right ingredients. From gin martini to elderflower gin, there is a lot of scope for experimenting.
With gin’s popularity soaring in Australia, it is interesting to note that the industry commenced only 30 years back. Australian gins such as MOUNTAIN gin are giving the gins from other countries a run for their money. This spirit is not only enigmatic, but it is also ubiquitous.
Pair gin with your favourite dish or just simply savour its rich taste to relax your stress away because, in both ways, gin is the winner!
Alison Lurie is a farmer of words in the field of creativity. She is an experienced independent content writer with a demonstrated history of working in the writing and editing industry. She is a multi-niche content chef who loves cooking new things.