Gin: How to Drink It, and Like It

Categories: Last Call

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Really, they're better than you think!
​In my years of bartending, one of the things I've heard the most is this: "I don't like gin."

When I press for details, the story is always the same: They had a bad experience with it years ago (inevitably in college) and haven't been able to touch the stuff ever since. I'm telling you now, gin got a bad rap. Sure, in the wrong hands it's dangerous stuff. But it's easy to set those hands right so you can enjoy some of the finest tipples on the planet.

What Is It?
I have a surprise for you: Gin is nothing more than a specifically flavored vodka. So, all of you who go crazy for vodka that tastes like raspberries, whipped cream, or bubble gum (and all of you pretentious mixologists who turn your nose up at the same), gin is a closer step than you think. The main flavor of gin comes by re-distilling neutral spirits with juniper berries, which gives the gin its signature scent and flavor reminiscent of Christmas. Lemon peel and other spices are also often added, making each gin a little different from any other. Common to most gins is a higher proof than vodka; most gins clock in around 90 proof, while your average vodka is only 80 proof.

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