Different Types of Gin

Gin is a liquor used in mixed drinks all over the globe, but it is highly underappreciated by consumers who take it for granted. The average consumer never begins to think about the gin that comes into their martini or other cocktails, so they never realize if they are getting the best drink possible.

Gin’s origin date back to the 16th century and Holland is considered as the birthplace of gin. The different types of gin that have emerged since then are as different as the eras they are produced in. Each variant of this overlooked liquor has its distinctive flavour, aroma, and body that impact what it should be combined with and how customers should consume it.

So here are the different types of gins that can be found around the globe:

Old Tom

Old Tom was originally a sweetened style of gin, characterized by sugar in the re-distillation process making it sweeter than a London Dry. It was first created in England in the 18th century. Old Tom Gin is often referred to as the missing link between Dutch style Genever and London Gin. It is an excellent gin for whiskey drinkers who crave heavier undertones in their liquors. Old Tom almost completely disappeared from the market over the years, but the recent cocktail renaissance has led to its revival, as independent producers have delved into the history of gin and rediscovered its long-lost recipes.

London Dry

London Dry is the most familiar and most widely available style which an average person thinks of as gin, this type of gin is usually very dry with a pungent aroma and juniper flavour. London Dry Gin is defined by its juniper flavour which it gets from neutral spirits (grain alcohol) re-distilled with botanicals. As the name suggests London dry does not have to be made in London only. London Dry contains only natural ingredients and only a very small amount of sugar, no additional flavours or colours may be added after the distillation process. To give it a bright, citrus flavour, some London Dry gins steep fresh citrus peels or dried peels before distillation.


Plymouth was very popular in the first part of the 20th century when a lot of gins were coming onto the market. It’s less dry than London Dry and more citrus, and you might get a spicier finish from their blend of seven botanicals: juniper, coriander seed, dried sweet orange peels, cardamom, Angelica root, and Orris root. Presence of these roots offers an earthy flavour and softer juniper tones that customers won’t find in any other type of gin. Anything that has a slightly bitter taste, Plymouth gin work well with it. Plymouth is unique for it is only produced in only one distillery in the world in Plymouth, England. It’s one of the oldest recorded distilleries in the U.K. Plymouth was first distilled in 1793 and is now a common part of any bar. Good for almost any drink in which you might use a London dry gin.

Genever or Dutch Gin

Sometimes also referred to as Holland Gin, is the original style of gin, created in Holland dating back to 16th-century. Malt-spirit base is used, similar to whiskey, giving it a more robust flavour. It’s also flavoured with juniper and botanicals, but the difference between the dry gins and Genever is that juniper is not the predominant flavour. Dutch gin is usually good for sipping straight or chilled rather than mixed into martinis. If Old Tom is considered rich in taste, Genever is even richer.

New American or International Style Gin

New American or International Style Gin is a name given to types of gin that have appeared recently. They use the same base process for distilling but use flavours other than the juniper berries and can be made anywhere in the world. Instead, they focus on more botanical flavours and fragrances including citrus peels, coriander and even rose, cucumber and lavender, that are being used by mixologists to invent all new cocktails. Because of its wide variety of aromas and flavours, it appeals to drinkers who previously avoided the gin category because of juniper’s piney notes. It has been a popular option for modern craft cocktails and helped support the spirit’s recent revival. These new gins, drawing on an expanded palette of botanicals, are as subtle and intriguing.

These are the five recognized gin but always keep in mind that a gin’s taste will change depending on the brand. Every distillery has its unique mix of botanical ingredients that can create a sweeter, earthier, or drier style of gin no matter the type. This list is good for deciding on the type of gin that you would like. Try out different brands to learn what you like best.

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