If your cocktail of choice is the humble gin and tonic, you’ll be pleased to see an abundance of new options in distilleries across Ontario. Since the versatile and affordable craft beer and spirits movement first hit land, gin has made a powerful comeback. Once an anti-inflammatory solution in the 17th century, gin has since become a palate favourite—here’s why.
The Craft Gin Movement is Making a Splash
The gin market took a turn for the better in 2009 when craft distilleries began introducing unique blends. Technically, gin is only classifiable if its principal characteristic is the juniper berry. Thus, gin distilleries had to get creative, making up for the discrepancy by incorporating botanicals such as licorice and orange. It’s safe to say the experiment was a hit.
Each distillery proudly boasts a unique flavour profile, all of which required years’ worth of discovering trademarks and delectable concoctions. Walk into any pub across Ontario, and you won’t be likely to find identical gins.
Gin is an Unpredictably Versatile Spirit
Think “adaptable,” and your mind isn’t too likely to associate gin. Yet, avid gin fans are most spoiled for choice. There is a profusion of flavours on the market, allowing bar-hoppers to consume the delightful drink in whatever way they please. Whether you prefer your gin straight or as part of a cocktail, it isn’t likely to disappoint.
Some gin makers, such as Alchemist Distillers, incorporate over 10 botanicals into their signature blend, whereas others might push the limits to 30. The genever-style gin is a favourite of bartenders, why not enjoy it at home as well?
Plus, your choice in gin may change with the seasons. In the summer, for instance, your classic favourite might take on a floral or berry twist—or you might run into an endless flow of Bramble.
Its Prices are Dropping
Since breaking ground in the 1600s, the process of gin-making has hardly been subject to change. First, manufacturers will combine neutral spirits, juniper berries, and botanicals into a pot still, heating the mixture for up to 48 hours.
Now, as new technologies hit the market, processing gin takes less time while retaining the tang and sweetness of botanicals you know and love. Some distilleries heat their gin in just under seven hours—that means getting your hands on a bottle without decreasing its value.
The quicker the gin bottle hits shelves, the more available it becomes to consumers, and the less pricey the tags. Now available in more flavours than you could’ve thought up in the 1600s, it’s no wonder cocktails like the Negroni are making headway on international lists of popular cocktails.
If you’re expanding your gin cellar or want to give your taste buds a run for their money, the best time to explore the spirit is now. As gin recipes become more refined, distilleries are turning to more daring spices and bold zests.
Enjoy more artisan gin with Whisky Quarterly Ontario, your new favourite craft distillery destination. Whether you’re new to spirits or have already defined your palate, you can receive new recommendations that match your preferences with a yearly membership.