Flavoured Gins (and of course non-flavoured gins) are one of the most popular alcoholic beverages with an interesting history. People have praised juniper berries for their medicinal and healing properties for many centuries. In the 11th century, the monks of Salerno, Italy created the first healing drink based on juniper berries. In the 16th century, people invented Gin – an alcoholic drink based on grain and flavoured with juniper berries.
This drink became an instant hit all over Europe. For many barmen, gin is still the best alcoholic drink because it can be used in many different cocktails. The fact is that there are dozens of companies around the globe that produce gin today. This is the reason why there are different gin varieties. One of the most interesting “family” of gins is the flavoured gin family.
Flavoured gins are special type of gin that emphasizes the flavour of one or several botanicals at the expense of the juniper berries flavour. It is not uncommon for these gins to be called New Western Gins. The production process of these gins is a little bit different because the Gin is infused once the last distillation with extra botanicals takes place. In this way, the gin gets specific flavour. In most cases, these additional botanicals include fruits, flowers, spices, herbs etc. The minimum ABV of flavoured gins is between 25% and 30%. Generally speaking, flavoured gins are not sweetened even though small amounts of added sugar can be found in some varieties.
One of the most famous types of flavoured gins is the one based on sloeberries. Besides Sloe gin, people also enjoy Damson gin. As a matter of fact 4 out of 10 flavoured gins produced in the world are based on sloe and damson.
Another popular flavour is the one based on red fruits. Most of the flavoured gins are red. Some red fruits that are used for the production of flavoured gins include blueberry, plum, blackcurrant, blackberry, passion fruit, elderberry, strawberry and raspberry. It is worth mentioning that some of these fruits were used for this purpose for several centuries. In addition, there are flavoured gins based on a combination of red fruits like Lady Blanc produced in Spain.
All citrus fruits can be used as good basis for creation of tasty flavoured gins. The most popular citrus fruits used for this purpose are oranges and lemons even though there are lime flavoured gins present on the market too. What is interesting about citrus fruits is that they were used to disguise the taste of alcohol during the prohibition era. However, when the ban was finally removed their popularity decreased in the United States. Citrus flavoured gins are still popular in the Netherlands (the country where the story of gin began and in Spain. In addition to these fruits, some manufacturers use pears, peaches, gooseberry and apples to produce flavoured gin.
Some producers in the United Kingdom are known for their rose petal gins and violet gins. Herbs like mint, nuts like chestnut and spices like ginger also serve as foundation for flavoured gins.
Flavoured gins are definitely worth trying because they promise unique drinking experience.