Making Gin

How the Alchemy of Copper and Design Creates Great Gin
The history of this botanical drink is more spirited than you can imagine.

"Sun-baked hay. A bustling Marrakech market. Pinecones on the forest floor. Though these may seem like prompts for a poem, they are in fact tasting notes from gin, a spirit with a history of being maligned and misrepresented. Perhaps worst of all for gin advocates though? It’s misunderstood.

“'A lot of customers who don’t like gin have only consumed it with tonic,' says Brendan Bartley, bar manager at New York’s Bathtub Gin, which keeps 60 gins on hand. 'The flavor profile of gin gets lost in translation, because most people don’t like tonic. It’s not the actual gin—gin has so many variants that there’s generally something for everybody.' Hence the 60 different bottles.

When it comes to what distinguishes gin from other spirits, the name itself offers a clue. 'Gin' is a shortened version of the word 'genever,' which has its origins in the Latin word juniperus, or 'juniper.' That coniferous Christmas tree and shrub is an essential part of gin, as the spirit must draw its main flavor from juniper to be considered a gin in the United States. It also has to be fairly boozy. By definition, gin must have no less than 40 percent ABV (80 proof). "