Gin is a wonderfully popular spirit, and for good reasons! The main argument for its popularity is that gin is incredibly versatile. Gin pairs well with a variety of mixers, making it a suitable choice for cocktails. Not to mention, gin is gluten-free.
As interest in alcohol-free drinks increases, so do the quality, quantity, and availability of these drinks! Today, we can rejoice in our options of many delicious, surprising, wonderful, exciting, tantalising, and delightful alcohol-free drinks like gin!
Strictly speaking, alcohol-free gin is not truly gin. This is because a drink can only be labelled as “gin” if it contains alcohol. Merriam-Webster defines gin as a “colourless alcoholic beverage made from distilled or redistilled neutral grain spirits flavoured with juniper berries and aromatics (such as anise and caraway seeds)”1.
In its essence, gin is a grain alcohol that has been infused with various botanicals. Gin’s most frequently found botanical is the juniper berry. Juniper berries are known for their exhilarating and clear taste and give off hints of pine and the forest floor.
One of the many charms of gin is that its supporting flavours are at the whim of the distiller’s wild imagination: anything is possible! By adding different kinds of botanicals, the gin will become clearer or cloudier, warmer or colder, fuller or deeper.
Alcohol-free gin is a spirit that has been stripped of its alcohol, leaving behind a deliciously bitter concoction. Good non-alcoholic gin should tick multiple boxes. It should be well-balanced, have complex and layered flavours, and not lose those flavours when mixed with other ingredients. Also, it should have a silky consistency, and deliver a lush and rich drinking experience.
The market for n/a gin is booming! Nowadays, there’s a non-alcoholic gin for everyone, no matter your flavour preference! Citrusy, floral, juniper-forward, cucumber-fresh, or zingy? There’s a bottle of non-alcoholic gin with your name on it.
Deliciousness awaits when you mix these alcohol-free gins with some Lobster Tonic Water for a classic gin and tonic! Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, try mixing it with a Grapefruit and Vanilla Mocktail, or an alcohol-free Spritz! Below are listed some of the great non-alcoholic gins out there. Cheers!
Although non-alcoholic drinks are usually safe for pregnant women, it is always best to consult your doctor before consumption.
GINAMIS is an alcohol-free distilled Dutch drink developed by two ‘amis’ from Amsterdam. They have a shared passion to develop the best-tasting non-alcoholic drinks and share them with the world.
Its characteristic taste comes from 10 botanicals that are infused, distilled, and then mixed with sand-filtered dune water. The most striking botanical is the use of dandelion leaves, which provide a sweet-bitter, peppery taste. Create flavourful and mature virgin cocktails by mixing GINAMIS with a premium mixer (e.g., Lobsters tonic or ginger ale)!
There are two ways to make alcohol-free gin. The first is by using water instead of an alcoholic base, and the second is by distilling and diluting alcohol.
Usually, a neutral grain spirit is used as a base liquid. This grain spirit can be replaced with water and then infused with botanicals until the flavours slowly meld together. Herbs used in non-alcoholic gin differ from those in regular gin because they need to compensate for the lack alcohol’s signature bite.
A common shortcoming is the consistency of the final product. The drinks tend to be thinner and not as luxurious or silky as the distilled and diluted alternative. Luckily, the market and its alcohol-free gins are constantly evolving!
The second way to make alcohol-free gin is quite similar to the way alcoholic gin is created. Only in the last steps of the distillation process do they differ. Non-alcoholic gins go through a more sizable and repetitive distillation process to make sure the alcohol is removed. In the final step, water is added to complete the drink!
Alcoholic gin is usually drunk as a cocktail, not neat. This is mainly because it can taste quite bland, especially a gin of poor quality.
When considering how to drink non-alcoholic gin, it’s good to keep its potentially bland nature in mind. Even more so, when considering that non-alcoholic gin doesn’t have the same mouthfeel as its alcoholic counterpart. Alcohol’s distinctive bite can be imitated but never duplicated, making non-alcoholic gin suboptimal for neat drinking.
Most n/a spirits shine brightest when used in mixed drinks like mocktails. Non-alcoholic gin is no exception. Add tonic water to make an alcohol-free G&T or use it as a base in a delicious mocktail!
Want to try it neat? Fill a glass with ice, add gin to taste, and garnish it with a wedge of lime. A cucumber slice or any other citrus fruit that takes your fancy will work too! Give it a good stir and it’s ready to be drunk!
The fresh citrus or cucumber, as well as the cold glass, complement the fresh nature of the drink.
Non-alcoholic gins make for incredibly tasty and convenient mocktails! They allow non-drinkers or sober-curious individuals a lush and luxurious drinking option when attending a party. They contain few calories, especially in comparison with juice-based alcohol-free cocktails.
There are copious choices and non-alcoholic drinks aplenty! What mocktail will you make?
1 “Gin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gin. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.
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