Gin is Reborn Thanks to Millennials
Baharan Abdollahi, Digital Marketing Intern
Let’s be honest, gin has long been overlooked as an old fashioned spirit. Well, “Grandma’s Drink” has been reborn thanks to Millennials. Why this sudden renaissance of gin for Gen X? Let’s explore…
Gin is a distilled spirit that gets its flavour from juniper berries. In the US, ‘gin’ is defined as an alcoholic beverage of no less than 40% alcohol content (80 proof). Only gin produced through the redistillation of botanicals can be labeled as “distilled gin.”
To put it simply, gin is the “tea” version of vodka…you just stick a bag of botanicals in the still with pure alcohol and redistill it to create gin!
In the United States, we break down gin into the following categories:
London (Dry) Gin: The most classic. Considered the “purest” form of gin, London gin is made through a secondary distillation period of distilled 96% ethanol mixed with juniper berries, botanicals and other natural elements. The predominant flavour must be juniper. Often this gin style will be noted on the bottle as Dry Gin. Minimum bottled strength is 37.5% ABV.
Old Tom: One of the older styles of gin is distinctly sweet and full bodied. Sometimes it’s aged in barrels so it goes very well in a Martinez cocktail and commonly used in the famous cocktail: The Tom Collins.
Genever: Made back in Holland this style of gin is savory and a bit earthy. A strong juniper flavor is present in this style and it is fuller in body due to its original neutral spirit stemming from malt rather than grain.
Plymouth: Famously made in England, and only at the Plymouth distillery, this style of gin is not quite as strong and juniper-esque as the London dry, but this gin is quite silky and smooth on the palate as well as slightly lower in alcohol. But don’t think it’s so light, this earthy gin with a hint of salinity can be as strong as 57% ABV.
International: Outside of the US and Europe, gin is being made in a variety of innovative ways. In places all over Asia, the middle east and Latin America, they are finding new ways to shape gin. Utilizing local botanicals, these places are revamping this exciting spirit and showcasing new flavors just like the gin we know and love.
However, in Europe, gin is legally differentiated into four categories:
Juniper-Flavored Spirit Drinks: Includes the earliest class of gin. It is produced by pot distilling a fermented grain mash. It must be bottled at a minimum of 30% alcohol by volume (ABV).
Gin: A juniper-flavoured spirit made by adding approved natural flavouring substances to a neutral spirit of agricultural origin. The predominant flavour must be juniper. Minimum bottled strength is 37.5% ABV.
Distilled Gin: After pure ethanol alcohol is distilled to a 96% ABV, it is then redistilled with juniper berries, eau de vie (pre-distilled fruit) and other natural botanicals. This must be done in stills used for gin production only. The predominant flavour must be juniper, however you’re able to distill once again with several other natural botanicals to enhance other flavors. Minimum bottled strength is 37.5% ABV.
London Gin: The same as the uS.
While the process for gin-making seems a bit difficult, the reasons why millennials are gravitating back towards this spirit are not. Here are a few:
- Easy to Drink– The love of gin is growing among Millennials because it’s easier to drink, not as harsh on the throat as some other spirits.
- Health, Health, Health– Gin attracts the health-conscious drinkers with the local and organic botanicals many young distillers are adding to their spirits. Since it is pre distilled with so much flavor, it’s a perfect pair with tonic water; making cocktails low-cal, with less sugar or other additives.
- Craft Gin?– The craft element of gin is a key part of the spirit’s incredible rise. Many of these craft distilleries are using locally sourced botanicals promoting a healthy environment for local businesses. As we have said before, Millennial consumers prefer a boutique experience from local and craft distilleries to the mass-produced spirits.
- Gin Tasting Rooms– These days specialized gin bars and tasting rooms are starting to open up across the nation, and Millennials are loving it.
- Gin & Tonic: gin, tonic water
- Negroni: gin, sweet vermouth, Campari
- Gin Martini: gin, dry vermouth, orange or aromatic bitters
- Gimlet: gin, lime cordial
- Aviation: gin, Luxardo, créme de violette, lemon juice
It’s looking like a win for gin when it comes to Millennials. Once old and boring, this generation has taken it into their own hands to rebrand this spirit to what it is today: unique, diverse, and refreshing.