Early in the 11th century a crude form of Gin was being made in Italy, distilled spirit was flavored with juniper berries and used as a cure for the Black Death. This was of course completely ineffective as a cure, but the use of juniper as a flavoring agent lived on.It is the Dutch physician Franciscus Sylvius who is often credited with the invention of Gin; in the mid 1600s several hundred distillers in Holland were redistilling grain spirit with a blend of juniper berries, anise, and caraway seeds, as well as other botanicals.
This early gin was sold by chemists to treat stomach ailments. The English troops fighting against the Spanish enjoyed drinking gin before battle, hence the term “Dutch Courage”, and helped to bring the drink back to England.

The government imposed a heavy tax on imported spirits, but allowed the unlicensed production of gin. This gave rise to a massive production of cheap gin which was served in gin shops all over the country. The high consumption of gin and various problems which arose from this level of drinking gave gin a bad reputation. The terms “Gin-soaked” and “Gin-joints”, used to negatively describe a drunk and a bar respectively, were coined during the mid 1700s. Gin was also referred to as “Mother’s ruin” in London.

The Gin being made during the late 1700s and early 1800s was often flavored with turpentine as well as juniper berries, and the drink was sweeter than the Gin we are familiar with nowadays. The creation of the drier style of Gin we see today began in 1832 with the invention of the column still. This enabled distillers to distill using citrus as well as botanicals and the “London Dry” style was created. Bitter orange peel, lemon, and lime were used as well as juniper berries, licorice root, saffron, coriander, and frankincense among other spices and herbs.

The colonies in the tropical climes of the British Empire used gin to help cover the flavor of the bitter quinine used as an anti-malaria medicine. The quinine was dissolved in carbonated water and formed the first tonic water. The gin and tonic was born.

The name gin is derived from either the Dutch word jenever or the French word genièvre both of which mean juniper.

Types of Gin

There are 4 legal definitions of gin:
  • 1. Juniper flavored spirit This is the early style of Gin produced using a pot still. This style is often aged in wooden barrels to add flavor, and can be bottled at a lower proof than most other spirits. The common name for this style of gin is Genever, Geneva Gin, or Holland Gin.
  • 2. Gin Referred to as Compounded Gin. This spirit is made by simply by flavoring a neutral spirit with essences or flavors. This type of gin has a minimum of 40% abv.
  • 3. Distilled Gin This is produced exclusively by redistilling a spirit in the presence of juniper berries and other botanicals. The flavor of juniper must be the principal flavor. No artificial color or sugar is allowed, however the gin can be a blend from multiple distillates.
  • 4.London Dry Gin This is considered to be the highest quality style of gin.Londondry gin requires that all of the gin is made in a single distillation, all in 1 still, no blending and only water can be added after distillation.

    Other styles of gin include:

  • Old Tom Old tom gin is characterized by being lightly sweetened. It is slightly sweeter than the London Dry and slightly drier than Genever. Old Tom style gins have a full body on the palate so that they can stand up to liqueurs and not create a lopsided cocktail.
  • Plymouth Gin By law this gin can only be produced inPlymouth,England. The only distillery remaining here is the Black Friars Distillery. This style tends to be earthier in flavor because it uses a higher percentage of root botanicals.
  • Sloe Gin Sloe gin is a liqueur made by soaking sloes (Blackthorn tree fruit, somewhat akin to plums) in gin.

Classic Gin based cocktails

    • Martini2 oz Gin ½ oz Dolin Dry Vermouth Garnish with Olives or a lemon twist
    • Gimlet2 oz Gin ½ oz lime juice ¼ oz Dolin Vermouth Blanc or simple syrup Garnish with a lime twist
    • Gin and Tonic2 oz Gin Add tonic until desired flavor is achieved. Usually about 4oz
    • Tom Collins2 oz Gin 1 oz lemon juice ½ oz simple syrup 2 oz soda water Garnish with a lemon slice. Cherry optional
    • Vesper3 parts Gin 1 part Vodka ½ part Cocchi Americano or Lillet Shaken and served up with a lemon twist
    • Negroni1 oz Gin 1 oz Dolin Vermouth Rouge 1 oz Campari Stir and strain over fresh ice or into a chilled cocktail class Garnish with an orange zest
    • Singapore Sling2 oz gin 1 oz Cherry Heering ¼ oz Benedictine ¼ oz Grenadine ¼ oz Cointreau 3 oz Pineapple juice 1 oz lemon juice 1 dash Angostura bitters
    • White Lady2 oz Gin 1 oz Cointreau 1 oz lemon juice

Gin Producers

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ProducerPictureAbout the Producer
Pacific Distillery Pacific Distillery is a small, family-owned-and-operated distillery located in the heart of Woodinville, Washington's wine country, just north of Seattle. We specialize in making world-class hand-made spirits using old-world methods, recipes and equipment.
Pacifique utilizes the knowledge accumulated from years of running their small family herb business to good use. Botanical samplings from around the world, in addtion to what they have grown in their garden are combined to make the best spirits possible.
Pacifique uses one of the old style copper pot stills to distill their Absinthe and Gin.

Making old world spirits requires old world skills and old world equipment. Since their products are single-batch, hand-made spirits, it only makes sense for them to use an alambic pot still that was made with this craft in mind. Pacifique is committed to the methods of spirit-making that were practiced by the craft distillers of the 19th Century.
Another reason for choosing a traditional copper still is the chemical properties copper exerts during the distillation. Copper has excellent heat-transfer capabilities, resistance to corrosion from wine being distilled into brandy, and copper chemically neutralizes many of the unwanted flavors that can ruin a liquor.
The botanicals used in Pacifique spirits range from familiar aromatic spices like citrus zests, cinnamon, anise and juniper, to hard-to-find and exotic items such as roman wormwood and florentine fennel.

Voyager Single-Batch Distilled Gin
A gin lover's gin. That's why Voyager Gin tastes the way gin is supposed to taste: bold juniper, fresh, light citrus and mild hints of exotic spices; not like whiskey, not like vodka. And definitely not like the potpourri sitting on your grandma's dresser.
Voyager is a hand-crafted American gin in the London Dry style. It's been artisan distilled using only the finest grain spirits and select, all organic plants, herbs and spices. We choose our botanicals from around the globe to insure that Voyager is truly a world class product that carries forward the traditions of 19th century craft distillers. These ingredients are placed into a hand-hammered copper alembic pot still and carefully distilled to insure that the finished flavor and aromas are fully integrated and complementary. The result is an ultra-premium spirit that mixes perfectly in your favorite gin-based cocktail: from a classic dry Martini to a refreshing Gin & Tonic, or one of the many great new creations by today's talented mixologists - Voyager is a gin that epitomizes the essence of cocktail culture.
For distillery and product information, please see:
Sun Liquor DistillerySun Liquor Lounge opened in Capitol Hill in May of 2006. Located on Summit Avenue it has served as an intimate neighborhood scratch cocktail lounge. The drinks here are made using fresh squeezed juices and in-house made syrups and bitters.

Sun Liquor Distillery opened in March 2011 at 514 E Pike Street in Seattle.
Head distiller Erik Chapman and Founder Michael Klebeck worked tirelessly for several years to figure out how to make this dream a reality.

In the Fall of 2011 they debuted their flagship Hedge Trimmer gin; this was
followed by their award winning UNXLD vodka and robust Naval Strength Gun Club gin.

Hedge Trimmer Gin
The flagship gin is distilled from organic wheat and flavored with nine fresh and dried botanicals. This gin is the perfect balance, it is gentle enough to drink its own and yet flavored to make wonderful cocktails.

Gun Club Gin

Robust strength and 13 botanicals are what make this gin in a class of its own.
It has a heavily spiced flavor and is made with seasonal ingredients. This gin is great for spirit forward cocktails.

For distillery and product information, please see:
Sound Distillery
Ebb + Flow

Ready for a little local flavor?
Ebb + Flow Vodka and Gin — the first craft spirits to be distilled in Seattle since Prohibition. The vodka and gin is made one slow batch at a time, with hometown pride.

Ebb + Flow Gin is amazing to sip, but is also crafted to bring out the best in classic cocktails, with a rich balance of flavors: herbal, citrus and spice.

The first distillery in Seattle since the prohibition, Sound Spirits currently makes and gin and vodka from its 15th street Interbay location. It is run by friendly Boeing engineer Steven Stone in his off hours. After putting in a full day at Boeing, where he works as an aerospace engineer, Stone spends his evenings turning Washington state barley into vodka.
Stone has had a long interest in home brewing beer, but the idea to produce spirits came about two years ago from his friendship with Christian Krogstad, one of the owners of House Spirits, a leader in Portland’s booming craft distillery scene. Krogstad was finding success producing things like Aviation Gin. He wrote a business plan, found seven investors and went to work.
With help from his wife and one volunteer, Stone began working to produce barley-based vodka. Most vodka is made from wheat and potatoes, but Stone was aiming for something different. He wanted to use all local ingredients and barley, along with wheat, is one of the primary grain crops grown in Washington. Barley has a distinctive taste, Stone says, “a touch sweet,” and he’d be using the grain in the future to make whiskey.
The end result is Ebb + Flow.
Hayman's Old Tom GinHayman's Old Tom Gin is produced from an original Old Tom Gin recipe from the family archives. Old Tom Gin is a botanically-intensive and lightly sweetened style of gin that consequently delivers a balanced and mild undertone which results in a subtle and distinctive gin experience.
Specified in the recipes of numerous classic gin based cocktails, it provides balance and nuance unique to its style and long tradition.
Hayman Distillers is the longest serving family owned gin distiller in England today. Hayman’s Old Tom Gin is made under the careful supervision of our Chairman, Christopher Hayman.

Old Tom Gin is a botanically-intensive and lightly sweetened style of gin that was particularly popular in the 18th Century and was the Gin of Choice in the 19th Century.
In comparison to London Dry Gin, the Old Tom style delivers a more rounded taste experience with depth. The distinctive Old Tom Gin profile is the key ingredient in classic gin cocktails such as the Martinez, Tom Collins and Ramos Gin Fizz.
The style of Old Tom is renowned for its botanical intensity balanced by a light sweetness, which imparts a more complex experience than other styles of gin. Old Tom Gin was traditionally made from grain spirit and distilled in a pot still with Juniper berries being the most dominant botanical in the recipe.
Distillation methods in the 18th Century did not produce a particularly clean or pure spirit and initially Old Tom Gin was lightly sweetened to mask any impurities. The name “Old Tom Gin” comes from what may be the first example of a beverage vending machine in England. During the Gin Craze of the 18th Century when William of Orange encouraged distillation, London was awash with spirits and the preferred style of the time was Old Tom Gin. A wooden plaque shaped like a black cat (an Old Tom Cat) was mounted on a wall outside pubs. Passers by would deposit a penny in the cats mouth and would be served a shot of Old Tom Gin by the bartender through a tube between the cat’s paws.
The original company of Hayman Distillers was founded in the 1800’s by James Burrough, the great Grandfather of the current Chairman, Christopher Hayman. James Burrough created the world renowned Beefeater Gin. Although Beefeater Gin and James Burrough Limited were sold to Whitbread in 1987, the Hayman family retained part of the business and continued the tradition of distilling and blending Gin and other white spirits.
Old RajFounded in Scotland in 1842, William Cadenhead Ltd. is the country's oldest independent bottler. The business was originally that of importers, bottlers and wholesalers of Scotch Malt Whisky and Demerara Rum. However, over the years William Cadenhead has expanded its product range and since 1972 bottles of Gin under its own brand name, Old Raj.

William Cadenhead Ltd continues to set itself apart by flavoring The Old Raj with a full measure of saffron (the world's most expensive spice) from the crocus flower. Juniper, coriander seed and angelica root also contribute to this fine gin's unforgettable flavor.

Gin is produced by compounding a Gin flavor (essence) with a neutral Scottish Grain Spirit. The Gin essence is prepared by steeping botanicals, principally Juniper, but also Coriander Seed, Angelica Root, and a few others in an alcohol/water mixture for 36 hours and then distilling after a partial reflux in a small pot still.

Cadenhead's Old Raj Gin is distinctive in that it contains a measure of saffron, the rare and costly spice derived from the crocus flower. In addition to a slightly spicy flavor, this also imparts a pale yellow color to Old Raj. The addition of the saffron is undertaken personally by the Company Chairman, in order to ensure a consistency in flavor and color each time Old Raj is bottled.

This Old Raj Gin is bottled at 55% ABV and represents a further departure from standard gin bottlings which are generally bottled at 40% ABV or less.

For distillery and product information, please see: