The Gin Test: Can You Smell Gin On Your Breath?

If you want to reduce the smell of gin off your breath, you can drink it with a slice of lemon or lime. You can also gargle your mouth with mouthwash and shower to remove the smell.

This article explores the question if you can smell gin on your breath. We also discuss the question if there is a way to remove the smell of gin off your breath and body and if there are better spirits that do not smell strong.

How Does Gin Smell?

Gin may smell alcoholic initially, but once you allow it to breathe, you may detect a range of aromatics. Some may use the following to describe how gin smell:

  • Piney
  • Grassy
  • Fruity
  • Sweet
  • Herbal
  • Earthy

Gin is a clear, transparent spirit made by distilling grains like wheat, rye, or barley. It is then infused with flavors with botanicals, such as juniper berries, which give gin its unique scent. It may have a similar appearance to Tequila, Vodka, or Shochu, which are also clear spirits.

When you first open a bottle of gin, it may smell strongly of alcohol. This is logical since the gin is locked inside a bottle and cannot breathe. But let the bottle open a bit, and the smell will go away quickly as the gin breathes. You can now smell more aromatics and botanicals in your gin.

Gin may carry a different scent signature, depending on the brand and the botanicals used to make it. However, in general, most gins smell fresh and piney.

This is because gin gets its flavor and smell from juniper berries. Juniper berries have a unique scent that people often compare to the smell of pine needles or freshly cut grass.

You may also detect some slight sweetness or fruitiness. These smells may be present in gin that uses flowers or licorice. There is also gin that smells citrusy, owing to the use of lemon or orange peel. If the gin uses many roots or herbs, the gin may smell more like herbs or medicines.

Can You Smell Gin On Your Breath?

If you have been drinking gin, be assured that people will smell it off you, especially if they have not drunk.

This is because gin is an alcoholic drink, which will give out that alcoholic scent on your breath. The botanicals may also leave a scent on your breath, particularly juniper. The alcoholic gin breath does not come from your oral cavity but from your lung.

When you drink gin, what happens is that the alcohol is absorbed by your stomach and intestines. Alcohol is then absorbed into the blood system, and some usually will end up in your lungs.

As a result, as you breathe in and out, your lungs also release the alcohol. This is the medical explanation of an alcoholic breath.

On top of that, if you drink gin, you may also leave a strong scent that others may be able to pick up. The smell of juniper is particularly strong on the breath of people who drink gin. In fact, people who may not smell the alcohol may smell the juniper. They then get reminded of the smell of gin.

How strong the gin smell on your breath may be determined by several factors, such as:

The Gin Type You Drink

If you drink London Dry Gin, you may have a stronger juniper smell on your breath. This is because London Dry Gin has more juniper smell.

If you drink gin with higher alcohol by volume (ABV), such as navy strength gin, your alcoholic breath may also be stronger. Navy strength gin has an ABV of around 57%, compared to regular gin, which is usually bottled at 40%.

How Much Do You Drink

The more gin you drink, the stronger the smell will be on your breath. This is because by drinking more, there is more alcohol in your blood system, which means a higher concentration of alcohol will end up in your lungs.

As you breathe in and out, more alcohol will be present in your breath, making the smell heavier. You can apply the same logic to the juniper smell too.

How Good Your Body Is In Processing Alcohol

When it comes to alcohol, not all human bodies are equal. Some are blessed with the ADH gene, a class of proteins in the liver that can help process alcohol better.

This means these people can process alcohol faster. As a result, they may smell alcohol on their breath initially. Still, the smell can reduce faster as their liver removes all the alcohol in the system, including the lungs.

They only need to then work on removing traces of gin smell from their oral cavities, skin, or clothing.

How Long Ago Was Your Last Drink

If you are not blessed with the ADH gene, your best friend would be time. The more recent your last drink, the stronger your breath will smell of gin. This is because your body has not processed the alcohol, meaning it will be in your lungs.

Chances are, as some time passes, there will be less alcohol in your body and lungs since your liver will have processed them. This should result in a less alcoholic, gin-smelling breath.

Does Gin Cause Your Breath To Stink Really Badly?

Gin can cause your breath to smell, but many alcoholic drinks can cause even worse breath, such as wine and beer. Spirits can also cause bad breath after drinking since they deliver higher doses of alcohol and may cause heavier dehydration.

Gin is not the worst offender when it comes to bad breath from drinking. This is because gin is clear alcohol, which means, in many cases, you are only drinking alcohol, water, and a minuscule amount of compounds.

Some of the drinks that can give you the worst breath would be murky, unclear alcoholic beverages, such as beer and wine.

Beer, for example, can be really bad for your breath. This is because aside from alcohol and water, you also drink sulfur-like compounds, which can stink up your breath. Beer is fermented with yeast, similar to many other alcoholic beverages.

However, in the case of spirits, the distillation process removes many of these compounds, meaning they would not end up stinking your breath too badly. This does not happen with beer.

The same could be said for wine. Wine is also undistilled, meaning many sulfur or chemical compounds that may stick to your breath remain inside the drink. Some may believe red wine may cause worse bad breath than white wine, although this may not be proven.

Spirits generally cause less bad breath than beer or wine. However, they still cause it in other ways: stronger alcohol doses and dehydration.

Spirits generally have a higher alcohol content per volume than beer or wine. This means drinking a little bit of them may send more alcohol into your body. Your body may not have the time to process the alcohol, which means some may end up in your lungs, causing alcoholic breath.

By sending in a more concentrated dose of alcohol, spirits also may cause a more serious case of dehydration. As your body dehydrates, your mouth produces less saliva, which results in bad breath.

Can You Quickly Get Gin Off Your Breath?

You may not be able to completely get rid of the gin or alcoholic breath quickly, but you can reduce it. When drinking, drink your gin as a cocktail, or drink it neat with a slice of lemon or lime. You can also drink water in between drinks. After drinking, you can brush your teeth and gargle your mouth with mouthwash to reduce the smell.

You may be disappointed if you think there is a way to enjoy gin and quickly remove the smell from your breath as if you never drank any.

This is because your body needs time to process the alcohol in your system, and there is no way you can remove them. Until your liver processes all the alcohol in your blood, chances are some will end up in your lung and cause alcoholic and gin-like breath.

However, you can reduce the smell by taking some of these actions:

Drink Your Gin As Cocktails

When you drink your gin, one of the ways you can reduce the alcoholic breath is to control the amount of alcohol entering your system. If you drink gin neat or straight, chances are you are adding alcohol too fast into your system.

This means your liver cannot process them as quickly, and this alcohol will end up in your lungs, causing alcoholic breath.

By drinking them in cocktails, you should be able to put the alcohol into your body slowly, giving your liver time to catch up.

Drink Water Between Drinks

Aside from cocktails, you can also drink water between drinks. This strategy can help manage alcoholic and gin breath in three ways.

First, it buys your liver time to process alcohol. As you drink water, you no longer add alcohol to your system. This means your liver can focus on removing the alcohol flowing in your blood and reducing it.

Second, it replenishes the fluid in your body. This means you will not suffer dehydration, which can cause dry mouth and bad breath.

Finally, the water can help wash away some of the alcohol and juniper smell in your mouth, reducing the gin and alcoholic smell.

Drink Gin With A Slice Of Lemon and Lime

Drinking your gin with a slice of lemon and lime may not help much with the alcohol side of things, but it can help reduce the intensity of the juniper smell on your breath. It helps to neutralize and also mask the smell.

This may be why many gin-based cocktail drinks include a slide of lemon or lime as garnishing. You could take up the fruit slice, put it in your mouth, and suck some of its juices. This should help with the juniper breath.

Brush Your Teeth

After you drink, take some time to clean your mouth. This is because you may have some gin stuck between your teeth. Some may also end up lodged in your teeth itself.

Brushing your teeth helps to remove these residues and reduce the gin breath. Use minty toothpaste for a better effect.

If you wish for a better result, gargle your mouth with some mouthwash after brushing. This should help thoroughly clean up the mouth since a toothbrush may not cover all areas. Again, minty mouthwash may help better.


Finally, alcoholic and gin smells may not just come from your mouth but also from your skin, clothes, hair, and other areas of your body. The best way to remove the alcoholic smell from these is to shower.

A hot shower can also refresh you, just in case you are intoxicated, and need to drive or do something after drinking. After showering, consider a change of clothes to completely get rid of the smell.

Take A Mint

Finally, for good measure, slap some mint into your mouth. If there is any remaining alcoholic smell from your breath, the mint can help mask or reduce it.

Final Thoughts

While gin may be one of the lightest-smelling spirits, it can still leave a scent on your breath that may remind others of the drink.

However, with a slice of lemon or lime, and a good gargle of mouthwash, you can minimize the smell of gin on your breath and body.

Alcohol can leave a lasting impression, so it’s important to be mindful of how you present yourself to others after consuming any alcoholic drink.

How useful was this information?

Click on a star to rate it!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Similar Posts