Pot distilled is the earliest style of gin, it produced by pot distilling fermented grain mash (malt wine) from barley and or other grains, then re-distilling it with other plant extracts. A double gin can be produced by re-distilling the first gin, and then re-distilling it again with additional plant extracts. Due to the use of pot stills, the alcohol content of gin is relatively low around 68% ABV for a single distilled gin or 76% ABV for a double distilled gin. This type of gin is often aged wooden casks, which retains a heavier, malty flavor. Kornwijn and the old style of Geneva gin or Holland gin are the most represented gins in class of spirit.
Column distilled is produced by first distilling high proof (e.g. 96% ABV) neutral spirits from a fermented mash or wash using a column still. The ferment-able base for this spirit may be derived from grain, sugar beets, grapes, potatoes, sugar cane, plain sugar, or any other material of an agricultural origin. This highly concentrated spirit is then re-distilled with juniper berries and other plant extracts in a still pot. Most often, the plant extracts are suspended in a ‘gin basket’ positioned within the head of the still, which allows the alcoholic vapors to separate the flavoring components. This method makes a gin lighter in flavor than the older still pot method, and results in either a distilled gin or London dry gin depending largely upon how the spirit is finished off.
Compound gin is made by flavoring neutral spirits with extract and or other natural flavorings’ without re-distillation, this method is not as highly regarded as distilled gin.
Other commonly used plant extracts and or flavoring elements for gin include citrus elements, such as lemon and orange peel, and a combination of other spices, which may include any of these; anise, angelica root and seed, ores root, licorice root, cinnamon, almond, lime peel, grapefruit peel, dragon eye, saffron, baobab, frankincense, coriander, grains of paradise, nutmeg, cassia bark, and others.
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