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Gin distilled from Juniper Berries?

Old 07-20-18, 08:50 AM
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Gin distilled from Juniper Berries?

My prefered libation is gin with some tonic or sparlking water. I'm not picky and prefer to save my money for bicycles and bike parts, so I usually drink the cheaper stuff. I recently read that most cheap gin is just neutral alcohol and flavored with juniper berries, while real/decent gin is distilled from juniper berries. I also read that gin made from juniper berries is better/less bad for you. Also read that Gordon's Dry London Gin was a good, moderately priced option made from actual juniper berries.

Went to my local ABC (I'm from a state without ABCs and one of the only things I truly hate about living here is dealing with liquor stores being closed on Sundays, closing at 21:00, and have so few locations. Just a general pain in the neck AND it chaffs at my anti-authoritarian nature. Anyway.) and picked up some Gordon's. It was distilled in Norwalk, CT and says 100% Neutral Grain Spirits.

Anyone have any idea if this means it's just flavored gin or actually made from juniper berries?
I have been unable to find the answer to this question! Thank you in advance!
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Old 07-20-18, 09:11 AM
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https://caskstrength.wordpress.com/2...is-ngs-or-gns/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon%27s_Gin

By what's on the bottle, it indicates "flavored with". The Wiki states it "contains" juniper, but does not say it's distilled from (it says wheat).

Last edited by Juan Foote; 07-20-18 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 07-20-18, 09:52 AM
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Juniper berries are generally what's used to flavor most gins. Every gen has it's own mix of Juniper, herbs and other spices. It's never distilled from them as they don't make any fermentable sugars. Most gins are made from wheat, some use potato and even corn.
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Old 07-20-18, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Juan Foote View Post
https://caskstrength.wordpress.com/2...is-ngs-or-gns/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon%27s_Gin

By what's on the bottle, it indicates "flavored with". The Wiki states it "contains" juniper, but does not say it's distilled from (it says wheat).
Wow! That was informative, thanks for those links!! Hmm, so it seems like unless I spring for something actually good, I'm probably drinking NGS...welp, that foils my plan!
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Old 07-20-18, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by sevenmag View Post
Juniper berries are generally what's used to flavor most gins. Every gen has it's own mix of Juniper, herbs and other spices. It's never distilled from them as they don't make any fermentable sugars. Most gins are made from wheat, some use potato and even corn.
Ah, fermentable sugars. Also informative, thanks!!
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Old 07-20-18, 10:33 AM
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I highly doubt there is enough fermentable sugar to do anything with just the berries beyond making very bitter smoothies. As a kid, I ate every berry around our house that I saw (save for the very few my dad said were poisonous). Well, I tired the juniper berries. Once. Maybe twice just to confirm how bad I remembered the first try was. Bitter?

Later, while still young, I learned those berries were the essence of gin. When I grew old enough, I tasted gin. Yup! That taste. With absolutely no inclination to try to acquire a taste for the unthinkable, I would order white rum and gin at cocktail parties. (I grew up in the ancient social classes of New England.)

I have since acquired a taste for another drink that many consider undrinkable - island scotch, scotch brewed with fires fueled by peat; that fuel that used to be trees and is halfway on its journey to becoming coal (and has a very distinct flavor!. Laphroaig, the queen of the peats, is my first choice.

No, there is no correlation between my Peter Mooney having the name Pete and my love of peaty scotch, just like the re is no correlatoin between the builder's first name being Peter and the bike being Pete. My taste for scotch came years after the name revelation.

Ben
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Old 07-20-18, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by nayr497 View Post
My prefered libation is gin with some tonic or sparlking water. I'm not picky and prefer to save my money for bicycles and bike parts, so I usually drink the cheaper stuff. I recently read that most cheap gin is just neutral alcohol and flavored with juniper berries, while real/decent gin is distilled from juniper berries. I also read that gin made from juniper berries is better/less bad for you. Also read that Gordon's Dry London Gin was a good, moderately priced option made from actual juniper berries.

Went to my local ABC (I'm from a state without ABCs and one of the only things I truly hate about living here is dealing with liquor stores being closed on Sundays, closing at 21:00, and have so few locations. Just a general pain in the neck AND it chaffs at my anti-authoritarian nature. Anyway.) and picked up some Gordon's. It was distilled in Norwalk, CT and says 100% Neutral Grain Spirits.

Anyone have any idea if this means it's just flavored gin or actually made from juniper berries?
I have been unable to find the answer to this question! Thank you in advance!
So flavored, but that's basically what gin is: a flavored alcohol. Like Kool-aid is to sugar water.

The basic quality behind spirits, i.e, gin, vodka -- is the distillation process. The more its distilled, the greater the quality. Of course there are other requirement such as type of grain and their quality as well.

Repeated distillation removed congeners -- those impurities that are chiefly responsible for your hangover.

Last edited by KraneXL; 07-22-18 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 07-20-18, 11:32 AM
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It makes a good glass cleaner too ..
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Old 07-20-18, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by nayr497 View Post
My prefered libation is gin with some tonic or sparlking water. I'm not picky and prefer to save my money for bicycles and bike parts, so I usually drink the cheaper stuff. I recently read that most cheap gin is just neutral alcohol and flavored with juniper berries, while real/decent gin is distilled from juniper berries. I also read that gin made from juniper berries is better/less bad for you. Also read that Gordon's Dry London Gin was a good, moderately priced option made from actual juniper berries.

Went to my local ABC (I'm from a state without ABCs and one of the only things I truly hate about living here is dealing with liquor stores being closed on Sundays, closing at 21:00, and have so few locations. Just a general pain in the neck AND it chaffs at my anti-authoritarian nature. Anyway.) and picked up some Gordon's. It was distilled in Norwalk, CT and says 100% Neutral Grain Spirits.

Anyone have any idea if this means it's just flavored gin or actually made from juniper berries?
I have been unable to find the answer to this question! Thank you in advance!
Not sure about spirit law where you are.In the UK,if its says "London Dry Gin" its made properly,with the botanicals in the spirit,or in the goose neck of the still (Bombay Saphire).
If it just says GIN,it can be gin flavoured syrup,with spirit and water added.
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Old 07-22-18, 07:30 AM
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Gin tastes horrible Yuck!! I'll take my martini with vodka, please. Shaken and with a slice of citrus fruit in it, too.
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Old 07-22-18, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by nayr497 View Post
I recently read that most cheap gin is just neutral alcohol and flavored with juniper berries, while real/decent gin is distilled from juniper berries. I also read that gin made from juniper berries is better/less bad for you.
"Neutral alcohol" is just ethanol and water (vodka, more or less). It's "neutral" because it has no extra flavors.

The "bad for you" stuff is the alcohol.

Flavored alchohol isn't magically better for you.

Originally Posted by nayr497 View Post
Wow! That was informative, thanks for those links!! Hmm, so it seems like unless I spring for something actually good, I'm probably drinking NGS...welp, that foils my plan
You will always be drinking "neutral spirit" (ethanol and water).
​​​​​​​

Last edited by njkayaker; 07-22-18 at 07:45 AM.
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Old 07-22-18, 10:55 AM
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Gin tastes horrible
that's why you add tonic , perhaps with Quinine, if in the malaria infested Colonies..
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Old 07-24-18, 06:14 AM
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Yea, gin by itself isn't good. However there are some really great cocktails that use gin. Really refreshing and crisp for the summer.
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Old 07-24-18, 08:19 AM
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A miracle!

Gin is one of those spirits that works best in the summer. G&T+lime = tasty! But just one. For some reason, I get more owly with gin as compared to other spirits.
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Old 07-24-18, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
"Neutral alcohol" is just ethanol and water (vodka, more or less). It's "neutral" because it has no extra flavors.

The "bad for you" stuff is the alcohol.

Flavored alchohol isn't magically better for you.


You will always be drinking "neutral spirit" (ethanol and water).
So are you saying that even drinking more expensive, better tasting liquor doesn't mean it's any less bad for my body, if you consider all alcohol a general poison for the human body? Seems like maybe more distilling = few impurities, and less bad hangovers, but does that mean it's any better/less bad for my body?

If not, I'll just stick with cheap gin and avoid consuming enough to have a hangover

Thanks for all the interesting information. When I posted I thought I'd get zero replies, goes to show me!
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Old 07-24-18, 04:03 PM
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Alcohol is not necessary for any biological process in the body, but it still contains empty calories that encourages fat i.e. beer belly. Alcohol is also processed through the liver which is where you get liver damage. The cheaper it is, the more junk it contains to further wreck your body.

Gin is particularly insidious in that unlike red wine which contains resveratrol from grapes, gin has zero redeeming qualities.

The trick is don't consume it everyday with every meal. Keep it small. Even drinking red wine more than a couple times a week will eventually become liver toxic.
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Old 07-24-18, 05:20 PM
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So I know basically nothing about Gin, but the little bit I know about Vodka I learned from this podcast episode.

It sounds like (from what njkayaker said ""Neutral alcohol" is just ethanol and water (vodka, more or less). It's "neutral" because it has no extra flavors.") Gin is just flavored juniper-flavored Vodka?

Either way I think you'll find that podcast very informative.
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Old 07-24-18, 06:34 PM
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Gin is essentially the same thing as vodka (typically a neutral grain spirit, though it doesn’t have to be grain based, any fermentatble sugar will do) except that it’s flavoured via botanicals, juniper berries being a common one.

Most commercial distillers will keep the botanical blend secret, but the vast majority will include juniper.

Typically the botanicals are infused into the spirit during distillation by utilizing an “infusion basket” or something similar which holds the botanicals somewhere along the distillation pathway, typically before the condenser. Bathtub gin goes a different route and the botanicals are infused into the final product much like a tea bag in hot water.

The bathtub approach is reportedly much inferior for extracting flavour.
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Old 07-24-18, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by nayr497 View Post
So are you saying that even drinking more expensive, better tasting liquor doesn't mean it's any less bad for my body, if you consider all alcohol a general poison for the human body?
No, "more expensive, better tasting liquor" isn't better for you. About 99.99% of the health impact is the alcohol. It's silly to ignore that and be worried about unspecified "impurities".

Originally Posted by nayr497 View Post
Seems like maybe more distilling = few impurities, and less bad hangovers, but does that mean it's any better/less bad for my body?
But there isn't really "more distilling".

Some of the things that might increase the severity of hangovers are added after distilling. For example, things like scotches and whiskies.
​​

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Old 07-24-18, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
The cheaper it is, the more junk it contains to further wreck your body.

Gin is particularly insidious in that unlike red wine which contains resveratrol from grapes, gin has zero redeeming qualities.
This is BS.

Gin isn't any worse than other spirits.

The "cheaper" stuff just doesn't taste the same but there is no mysterious "junk" in it.

The amount of red wine you'd have to drink to get a useful dose of resveratrol would be much more than you should be drinking.
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Old 07-25-18, 03:41 AM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
This is BS.


Gin isn't any worse than other spirits.
Maybe. For example, coffee black isn't fattening, but few people that go to Starbucks order it that way. A cup of coffee improves cognition. But too much can have you climbing the walls. How many fit gin drinkers do you know?


The "cheaper" stuff just doesn't taste the same but there is no mysterious "junk" in it.
In fact, all liquors have byproducts and impurities (one of a many reasons why it doesn't taste the same) that have to be filtered and/or distilled to lower their content. Methanol is one example that is suspected to contribute to the hangover.


The amount of red wine you'd have to drink to get a useful dose of resveratrol would be much more than you should be drinking.
Potato Patahto. Some basic health benefits vs none. Which is why I included consume all in moderation, since too much red wine can be just as unhealthy.
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Old 07-25-18, 12:48 PM
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I made some vodka with friends once. We used no grain, just sugar and a heavily domesticated yeast that would eat that sugar and survive up to about 20% ethanol. Then we distilled that product. That is the least-input neutral spirits you can make and I bet that's what most 'grain neutral spirit' is these days. Grain-free. I don't know how juniper berry flavor should be added (in the still, or in the bottling).

To make it the caliber of the fanciest vodka out there, one could pass it through a brita a couple times, and then use water to bring it to the final EtOH concentration.
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Old 07-27-18, 08:42 AM
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To say that cheaper liquors don't have any additional components that are bad for isn't necessarily true. The better whiskey/whisky distillers pitch the heads and tails, and keep only the hearts. The heads contain methyl alcohol, the hearts is where the ethyl lies, the tails have some methyl and other undesirable components. This is why drinking higher quality spirits can give you a milder hangover. Obviously, I'd prefer not to drink enough put the hangover into the equation, but we all slip at one time or another.
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Old 07-30-18, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by sevenmag View Post
To say that cheaper liquors don't have any additional components that are bad for isn't necessarily true. The better whiskey/whisky distillers pitch the heads and tails, and keep only the hearts. The heads contain methyl alcohol, the hearts is where the ethyl lies, the tails have some methyl and other undesirable components. This is why drinking higher quality spirits can give you a milder hangover. Obviously, I'd prefer not to drink enough put the hangover into the equation, but we all slip at one time or another.
You have no idea how much methanol is in so-called "cheap" spirits.

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Old 07-30-18, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Maybe. For example, coffee black isn't fattening, but few people that go to Starbucks order it that way. A cup of coffee improves cognition. But too much can have you climbing the walls. How many fit gin drinkers do you know?
Huh? This makes no sense.

Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
In fact, all liquors have byproducts and impurities (one of a many reasons why it doesn't taste the same) that have to be filtered and/or distilled to lower their content. Methanol is one example that is suspected to contribute to the hangover.
You have no idea whether there's any real difference in the "impurities".

Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Potato Patahto. Some basic health benefits vs none. Which is why I included consume all in moderation, since too much red wine can be just as unhealthy.
Still, no.

There's likely no health benefits from the trace amounts of reversatrolin a "moderate" amount of red wine.

You'd have to drink 41 glasses a day to get the amount of reversatrol that is on the low side provided by reversatrol supplements.

What Dose of Resveratrol Should Humans Take? Life Extension
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