Gin has been the fastest growing spirit for a few years. Each country has its own timetable, i.e. a starting point from which a small to large gin wave emerged in the country. Usually, local gin brands are at the beginning, paving the way for many to follow. This happened in Germany around 2010 with The Duke and Monkey 47. In Switzerland, Breil Pur and Gin 27 2015 were a bit later. In Austria, Reisetbauer did start with Blue Gin in 2004, but the wave didn’t arrive until early 2016 with many exciting brands like Stin Gin and Aeijst.
Here is an excerpt from my personal post on LinkedIn:
Why did gin actually become so popular? After all, it has been around for several hundred years.
In the European Alcohol Regulation of 2008 (starting at point 20, we talk about gin), gin is described as follows:
- Juniper, plus at least one other natural botanical (ingredient). The main ingredient to be added is juniper.
- Base alcohol for distillation must be at least 96% and of natural origin.
- Finally, the gin must have at least 37.5% alcohol level
The few specifications give the gin manufacturers great scope for creativity. The first to try out design freedom away from juniper aromas on a grand scale were William Grant and Sons. They started with Hendrick’s Gin in 1999, and since then, for many gin beginners, cucumber has always belonged in a gin and tonic. After distilling the 11 classic gin botanicals, the gin is infused with rose petal and cucumber distillates. What this means for the taste is that these dominate the nose and palate. From the production method, this is a Dry Gin, because after distillation, the gin was further processed with single distillates. In Germany, the term New Western Dry Gin is used more often as in Switzerland or Austria.
What about Hendrick’s?
Hendrick’s is, strictly speaking, the first New Western Dry Gin in the world. This flavor profile opened a new target audience for the gin category. Namely, those who dislike the tartness of juniper-dominated were suddenly reached with a smooth and quaffable product. If you follow the success of Hendrick’s in our countries, then you also understand how the gin gradually established itself successfully across the board. Today, there are well over 10,000 products internationally and every year there are even more.
Gin is juniper…
Although the taste of gin is becoming more and more widespread, even among the new producers there are those who still rely on the classic juniper. Like Ben Peel, former distiller and global brand ambassador for Sipsmith, who left London to make his own gin. In a garage in Leeds, he developed it piece by piece, first building the still and experimenting on the flavor of his gin. The result is a gin with a classic twist that immediately made it onto the watchlists of international experts. The first awards show that his product has been well received. The product is still only available in the UK, but it will soon be available in Germany.
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