What is London dry gin?
At a time when gin has become a trendy drink and countless products are pushing onto the market, which shine with ever new production methods, botanicals and special features, there is one gin variant which hardly changes at all - London Dry Gin. This is the oldest category of gin, which was created around the beginning of the 18th century and has enjoyed great popularity ever since. Contrary to what the name suggests, London Dry Gin does not necessarily come from the English capital, but has its origins there. The most important characteristic of this gin variety is the strict regulation under which a gin may be called London Dry Gin. This is even legally regulated in an EU standard. Thus, manufacturers must use a neutral alcohol of agricultural origin with at least 95% alcohol content as the base alcohol. Furthermore, manufacturers may only choose from a fixed botanical list, may not add any artificial flavours or colourings to the gin during distillation and may not sweeten the product. The bottling alcohol content of London Dry Gin must be at least 37.5%.
What is the taste profile of a London Dry Gin?
Due to the strict regulations on the production and ingredients of London Dry Gin, the taste is also quite consistent within a certain range. The distinctive flavour of any London Dry Gin is juniper, which often develops a spicy earthy aroma and also gives the gin its typical juniper scent. The juniper is the basis of every gin and is usually supplemented by a number of different botanicals, for example citrus fruits such as oranges or lemons, herbs such as coriander, lemon balm or basil or spices such as cloves, cinnamon or pepper. Depending on the addition of these additional botanicals, the taste of London Dry Gins can be very different, so that there is no common denominator except for the juniper. The classic London Dry Gins manage with a small number of botanicals, for example the Tanqueray London Dry Gin or the Bombay Sapphire London Dry Gin.Younger gin brands often use more unusual botanicals, which are supposed to support and complement the juniper aroma. Here, they also rely on herbal ingredients from distant continents, such as eucalyptus, baobab or hibiscus flowers.
How is London Dry Gin made?
Producers who wish to add "London Dry Gin" to their gin must adhere to strict production guidelines. These begin even before the distillation process, with the stipulation that only neutral alcohol from agricultural sources, such as rye or potatoes, may be used for London Dry Gin. The botanicals may only be added collectively at the beginning of the distillation process. For example, it is not permitted to distil each botanical separately and then combine them. This is why the botanical mixture for London Dry Gin must be particularly harmonious and perfectly prepared. Then the London Dry Gin has to be distilled several times. The finished product must have a minimum alcohol content of 37.5%. The absence of artificial flavours, colourings and sugar in London Dry Gin is also particularly important.
What is the best way to enjoy a London Dry Gin?
Due to the wide variety of flavours of the different London Dry Gins it is difficult to find the perfect way to enjoy them. In general, due to their high quality production, London Dry Gins are also suitable for the pure consumption without a mixer, as the connoisseur can taste and experience the botanicals in a special way.
Of course London Dry Gins are also perfect for a refreshing and delicious gin and tonic. Here you can have a considerable influence on the taste experience, especially by choosing the tonic. For a classic gin tonic, which emphasizes the botanicals and nuances of the gin, a neutral tonic such as Schweppes Indian Tonic Water or Thomas Henry Tonic Water should be used. If you prefer something a little more unusual, choose a floral or fruity tonic water, for example Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water or Thomas Henry Cherry Blossom Tonic Water. It should be noted, however, that such a tonic can, under certain circumstances, mask fine and interesting flavours of the gin.Especially classic London Dry Gins with a pronounced juniper aroma and intense taste are great for other gin cocktails, as they can also bring out their aroma when mixed with juices or other tasty mixers.