Friends, it’s time we have a little chat about gin, partly because gin is the least-understood bottle in the bar, and partly because it’s one of the most subtle and beguiling spirits available. Though it’s now heavily associated with the UK, gin was actually invented by the Dutch. They dubbed it jenever, a name that was promptly shortened by a drunken Englishman.
Gin’s secret shame, of course, is that it’s actually the world’s first flavored vodka—a neutral grain spirit that’s distilled a second time with juniper and other botanicals. In the days before vodka drinkers flooded the bar scene, gin used to be the most popular clear spirit on the planet. It’s classic. Timeless. And if you give it a chance, it’s likely to surprise you.
Here are a few insidery brands you ought to be drinking: