In order to understand gin, it’s important to appreciate the value of the juniper berry. Like grapes are to wine, gin cannot exist without the juniper as its primary botanical. In fact, gin is not gin with juniper.
Technically, to be classified as gin, it must have this key botanical ingredient included. Juniper is therefore an essential botanical to be included in every gin, with distillers having creative license to further add other botanicals at their discretion (and pleasure). This is what makes Gin such a versatile, interesting spirit to drink.
Juniper is the pine sensation that you taste in gin. From there, each gin develops its own DNA with the additional of other botanicals, selected and added in varying quantities at will by its creator.
When you taste gin, it is the familiar undertone of Juniper berry that typifies the spirit as gin. It forms the base signature note on the palette and the nose.
It’s for this reason that gin is arguably the most diverse spirit on the market. The subtleties of each gin are what makes this liquor so interesting, and the boundaries of what can be achieved is potentially limitless.
It is the aromatic compounds of the botanicals that are further distilled in gin, crafted by its maker, that create a gin’s DNA.
Botanicals are usually absorbed by the gin spirit as an oil, and the steeping process is what flavours the distillate. There are hundreds of botanicals that may be used in gin, but a common few are found in most, such as coriander seeds, angelica root, lemon and orange peel, cardamom, cinnamon and berries.
The use of botanicals and creating a compatible mix of ingredients makes it possible to establish an interesting point of difference that separates one gin from another. In a way, botanicals provide an opportunity for a gin brand, with its distiller, to bring their own signature and style into a gin and, like wine, the subtleties that differentiate one gin from the next are what makes gin one of the more interesting and on-trend spirits today.
One might say that the botanicals in a particular gin speak of a certain place.
In the case of Heathcote Gin, it speaks to you about where it comes from.
Because gin is considered to be the choice mixer for cocktails, botanicals play on the senses and provide the bartender with creative space to create new wonderful cocktails that bring life to a gin and further justify why gin is such a big player in the world of spirits.
Yours in gin …