WHEN ONE of our mates asked for some clarification about our popular Global Flavors Park Lane Gin Essence, we thought, “Why not write a yarn about gin production in general?
After a chat with our tastemeister Keith Emms, we’ve now got the goods.
The Easy Peasey method of making gin? Add 20ml t0 30ml (according to your taste) of our Park Lane Gin essence to a litre of your cleanest 40% neutral alcohol and you’re ready to go.
Park Lane Gin spirit essence contains three separate botanicals which we don’t make public, but we can say for certain that Keith was a dedicated Bombay Sapphire drinker, and after he perfected our Park Lane Gin essence he swears he’ll never touch Bombay Sapphire again because Park Lane is that good.
General Gin Info
The most usual production method for gin is to distill botanicals, such as juniper, coriander, citrus peel, cinnamon, almond or liquorice, with neutral grain alcohol. Making gin is like flavoring vodka, except that botanicals are always natural.
Several different techniques for the production of gin have evolved since its early origins, this evolution being reflective of ongoing modernisation in distillation and flavouring techniques. As a result of this evolution, gins can be broadly differentiated into three basic styles.
Pot distilled gin
…represents the earliest style of gin, and is traditionally produced by pot distilling a fermented grain mash (malt wine) from barley or other grains, then re-distilling it with flavouring botanicals to extract the aromatic compounds.
The fermentation of grain mash produces a neutral alcohol (similar to vodka) that is predominately tasteless except for the iconic ethyl alcohol taste. A double gin can be produced by re-distilling the first gin again with more botanicals.
Due to the use of pot stills, the alcohol content of the distillate is relatively low; around 68% ABV for a single distilled gin or 76% ABV for a double gin. This type of gin is often aged in tanks or wooden casks, and retains a heavier, malty flavour that gives it a marked resemblance to whisky.
Korenwijn (grain wine) and the oude (old) style of Geneva gin or Holland gin represent the most prominent gins of this class.
Column distilled gin
…evolved following the invention of the Coffey still, and is produced by first distilling high proof (e.g. 96% ABV) neutral spirits from a fermented mash or wash using a refluxing still such as a column still.
The fermentable base for this spirit may be derived from grain, sugar beets, grapes, potatoes, sugar cane, plain sugar, or any other material of agricultural origin. The highly concentrated spirit is then redistilled with juniper berries and other botanicals in a pot still.
Most often, the botanicals are suspended in a “gin basket” positioned within the head of the still, which allows the hot alcoholic vapours to extract flavouring components from the botanical charge.
This method yields a gin lighter in flavour than the older pot still method, and results in either a distilled gin or London dry gin, depending largely upon how the spirit is finished.
…is made by simply flavouring neutral spirits with essences or other “natural flavourings” without re-distillation, and is not as highly regarded as distilled gin.
But the easiest of all is to grab some of your own neutral spirit, add some Global Flavors Park Lane Gin spirit essence… and put some ice in your glass!
Until next time… Happy Distilling!