One of the most common gins is London Dry Gin. Many people enjoy drinking it straight, with ice, or in classic cocktails such as Gin, Tonic, and Martini. The most popular London Dry Gin brands, such as Gordons and Tanqueray, are also British.
However, what sets London Dry Gin apart from other gins? Does London Dry Gin have to be made in London, Britain?
London Dry Gin need not be produced or distilled in London. This is because the name London Dry Gin does not refer to the location but to the style of making the gin. London Dry Gin is usually made with a reflux still and uses no sugar. It also has a bold taste, with a heavier juniper berry flavor.
This article explores whether London Dry Gin has to be made in London, Britain. It also looks into why London Dry Gin gets its name and does not say Manchester Dry Gin.
Why Is London Dry Gin Called London Dry Gin?
London Dry Gin’s name may be related to its cultural, legal, and historical connection to the city. Gin has been distilled in London from as early as the 17th century. The British government also set a standard for distillers to control alcoholism. The standard is named London Dry Gin and has since been adopted by distillers.
London Dry Gin’s name may have many origins and be explained in many ways. This is because the gin is connected to the City of London, Britain, culturally, legally, and historically.
Gin was first brought into Britain in the 16th century as a medicinal tonic from the Netherlands. The drink caught on with the masses and eventually became popular with the working class at the time.
Most working-class people live in cities, with London being one of the main urban centers at the time. To cater to the demand. Many local distillers began operating to distill and make gin in the 17th century. In fact, many of the popular London gin distillers today may trace their origin back to this period.
Gin was so popular in England in the 17th century, to the point that it was consumed widely countrywide. As a result, gin distilleries sprung up nationwide, producing gin of numerous qualities and prices.
Some distillers in London began using the term’ London Dry Gin’ to separate themselves from the other distillers. The idea is to connect their gin to Britain’s cultural, commerce, and administrative center, making their gin a little high glass.
The British, ever conscious about social class, see that drinking ‘London Dry Gin’ may be more classy than simply drinking random gin from local distillers. Eventually, many distillers also adopted the name.
As gin became increasingly popular with the working glass in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries, rampant alcoholism ensued in the country. In fact, the drunkenness of the masses during this period was so bad it was immortalized in artwork such as William Hogarth’s Gin Lane.
One of the reasons was the lack of control over the gin made. Some are made to contain more alcohol than others, while some are lighter. Some gins are so crudely made they are hard to drink or simply dangerous to health.
As a result, the British government attempted to regulate gin production. The regulation controls the amount of alcohol and stipulates the distilling process to make gin safer to drink.
The standard is given the name ‘London Dry Gin,’ which eventually resulted in many gin distilleries that make their gin by the standard adopting the name.
Does London Dry Gin Have To Be Made In London?
You do not need to make London Dry Gin in London. This is because it is a standard type of gin and not referring to a specific geographical location. This means that distillers in any part of the world can produce a gin that fits the standard and call it London Dry Gin.
If you are wondering if London Dry Gin must be made in London, Britain, the answer is no.
This is because London Dry Gin refers to a standard of preparing gin. Suppose you look into the standard of London Dry Gin in European Union law. In that case, there is no stipulation that the gin must be made in London or Britain.
To pass as London Dry Gin, the gin has to:
- Use a base spirit of at least 96% ABV (Alcohol By Volume)
- Use all-natural botanicals.
- All the botanicals must be added during the distillation process of the gin, not before or after.
- After distillation, only water and a small amount of sweetener can be added.
This makes the standard for London Dry Gin different from other popular alcoholic beverages, such as Cognac, Whisky, or Champagne. These standards set a geographical limitation on the name.
For example, Whisky must be distilled in Scotland. Those from outside Scotland use Whiskey instead. Cognac drinks must come from the Cognac region of France. If it comes from outside Cognac, they are called Brandy.
The loose regulation of London Dry Gin also means any distiller from any part of the world can produce London Dry Gin. The only thing is that they must follow the regulation and produce a gin that befits the standard.
As a result, London Dry Gin may be different from other types of gin, such as Japanese or American Gin, which are geographically based, without any set regulations.
Want to know what to mix with London dry gin? Try our guide that explores lots of great mixers that you may never have thought about.
Aside from the standard regulation, there is also an expectation of the taste of London Dry Gin. This means many makers of London Dry Gin try to produce a gin with a bolder, stronger taste and a heavy juniper-berry flavor.
The gin also is usually less sweet, which may be described as having a ‘dry’ taste. This helps to set London Dry Gin apart from other gin standards, such as Extra Dry Gin or Old Tom Gin.
London Dry Gin does not have to be made in London, Britain, despite its name. This type of gin is made with a reflux still and uses no sugar, giving it a bold, juniper berry taste that can be enjoyed on its own or in classic cocktails.
London Dry Gin is a popular choice among gin fans, and it is not hard to see why. With its distinct flavor and versatile uses, it is sure to be a favorite for many years to come.
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