Gin or gim (as the Brazilian legislation itself admits) has become, in this new century that is beginning, a “darling” for many new consumers of this traditional drink. But, despite this fact in all my presentations a question always arises: “But what is gin after all?”. I answer it in two ways. The first, according to its own definition by Brazilian legislation, that is, “Gin is a distilled beverage with an alcoholic strength of 35% to 54% in volume, at 20ºC, obtained by redistilling potable ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin, in the presence of of juniper berries (Juniperus communis), with or without
addition of another aromatic plant substance.” And the second way, my favorite because it is simpler and more objective: “Vodka, which is also a distilled beverage obtained from ethanol of agricultural origin, is redistilled several times to become completely neutral. Gin also follows these initial steps of vodka, however, its absolute supremacy over vodka comes from the fact that it is still subjected to one more stage of production. At this stage, the neutral ethyl alcohol generated is redistilled in the obligatory presence of juniper and other botanicals, which are spices, herbs, flowers, fruits that give the drink extremely aromatic flavors.
Therefore, unlike vodka, which is always neutral, we can produce gins of various styles: citrus, floral, fruity, herbal, spices, etc.
Forms of consumption
Although a few consumers drink it with food, this is not its greatest vocation. It can be better enjoyed by consuming it in other ways. One of my favorite forms of consumption is to enjoy it pure. In that sense, I always have a bottle of gin in the freezer. However, as he is considered the “king of cocktails”, his noblest job is in the preparation of drinks in specialized bars. Every day there are a plethora of new versions of gin cocktails. However, it is a fact that there are some drinks considered classics by almost all bartenders, barmen and connoisseurs. Within this select range are the gin & tonic (one of the most refreshing of all), the dry martini (my favorite cocktail), the negroni, the red snapper (a gin bloody mary) and, since we are in Brazil, the gin caipirinha.
There is only one effective way to assess the quality of a gin, is to taste it pure and blind. In this sense.