Gin vs Vodka

Gin and Vodka are two popular alcoholic beverage that consumed in most part of the world. These spirits are having moderate alcohol content and have their own distinct taste from their main ingredients. If you are interested on how they differ from each other, you should check our article below.

In this article, we are going to give you information about:
– What is Gin and Vodka
– How Gin and Vodka are made
– How to Serve Gin and Vodka
– Gin vs Vodka

About Gin
Gin is a type of alcoholic beverage that was made from juniper berries. This fruit is the female seed cone produced by various species of junipers. Even though it looks like a berry, it is actually a cone with unusually fleshy and merged scales, which makes it look like a berry. Gin is one the most broadest categories of spirits comes from many origins and styles as well as flavors profiles that revolves around juniper for it is the main ingredient. For similar alcoholic beverage, check our article on Tequila vs Whiskey here.

Gin History
Similar like many type of spirit, Gin also made initially as herbal medicine. The earliest history of Gin is date back in Middle Ages and developed based on the older Dutch liquor named jenever, which then achieve great popularity in Great Britain especially in London between 1689 and 1702. The beverage name is the shortened version of genever from older English, which takes back into the Latin word for juniper, its main ingredient.

Gin Production
Gin is mainly differentiated into three basic styles including Pot distilled gin, Column distilled gin, and Compound gin. Pot distilled gin is the most traditional method used to make gin. This method is using pot to distill a fermented grain mash from barley or other grains. Gin from this method will produce 68% for single distilled and 76% for double distilled gin. Column distilled gin is a method of producing Gin by distilling high proof neutral spirits from fermented mash or wash using reflux stilling.

The fermented base of Gin made with this method may vary from grain, grapes, potatoes, sugar cane, or other material. Compound Gin is the simplest among them all, because it only add flavoring into the natural spirits with essence without having to do additional distillation.

Gin Variants
In the European Union Gin is divided into four categories including Juniper-flavored spirit drinks, which contains around 30% alcohol and made by pot distilling; Gin, which is a juniper flavored spirit added with natural flavoring without redistillation; Distilled Gin, which is Gin from redistilled ethanol with original strength of 96% and added with essence or flavoring; and London Gin, which obtained from 100% ethanol and will result in 70% after distilled. London Gin is also called “dry” to set it apart from the others.

Gin Serving
Gin is popularly served as Gin & Tonic, which categorized as highball cocktail made with gin and tonic water. This is also the simplest way to drink gin often garnish with a slice or a wedge of lime and added with ice. Another recommended Gin serving is The Parisian, which made by pouring a tablespoon of elderflower liqueur into herbal gin and add equal parts of tonic water and champagne.

About Vodka
Vodka is an alcoholic beverage made from ethanol and water, but in some variants you can find Vodka with added flavoring or other impurities. Vodka was originally made through distillation of some grains or potatoes that was fermented. However, in modern days, many vodka are also made from fruits or sugar. The standard alcohol content for Vodka in various countries may differ depend on their own regulation.

In countries like Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, and Czech, Vodka must contain at least 40% while in European Union the standard for Vodka is slightly lower at 37.5%. In the United States Vodka must contain at least 40%.

Vodka History
This beverage name is the diminutive from of the Slavic word voda that means water. However, Vodka term was not used to refer the beverage in 1400s instead it is used to refer medicines and cosmetic product while the beverage is called gorzałka. Similar to many alcoholic beverage, Vodka also used mostly as medicines. Mass production of Vodka only begin in Poland at the end of 16th century and soon later spread to other European Countries like Netherlands, Denmark, England, Russia, and others.

Vodka Production
As it have been mentioned earlier, Vodka can be made from various starch or sugar rich plants. In present day, it often made from grains like corn, rye, sorghum, or wheat. In the US, the most popular ingredient used is grains that contain minimum 95% pure alcohol. This alcohol then sold in a bulk to be filter, dilute and added with some flavoring if needed depends on the brand.

Vodka Variants
Vodka can be differentiated based on the origin like Russia and Poland, which is the most famous Vodka producers. Since it is made with different ingredients, you can differentiate them by the basic ingredients like potato or grains. Vodka also differentiate by whether it was flavored or not. Flavored Vodka is becoming more famous for its pleasantly smooth flavor. The last is Alcohol content, commercial Vodka may have around 40% alcohol but homemade vodka may reach 80% alcohol. 40% is the most popular type, since it is in the middle between easy to drink and how quick you will get drunk.

Vodka Serving
As you may already know, Vodka is commonly served by itself or “neat” without being mix with anything including water or ice. But if you want to step up your drinking, you can mix them with various other mixing to make it more flavorful. Taken from bbcgoodfood, you may want to try a variation called Appletini by mixing vodka, apple juice, lemon juice and maple syrup in ice-filled shaker then pour in a martini glass and garnish with apple slice.

Now, let’s compare Gin with Vodka. First, from the main ingredients Gin is made from Juniper berries, while Vodka can be made from many ingredients as long as they are rich in starch or sugar. From the production, Gin can be made with various method, but Vodka commonly use the same method. Unlike Vodka that have many flavorings, Gin usually flavored with limited flavorings. If Gin is often serve as Gin & Tonic, Vodka is usually drink neat without additional mixing or even ice. The average alcohol content between bot beverages are the same but you can find Vodka that have more than 70% alcohol.

Gin vs Vodka
- Only made from Juniper berries- Made from various main ingredients
- Processed with different methods- Processed with the same method
- Moderate alcohol content- May have higher alcohol content
- Popularly served as based for mixed drinks- Usually drink “neat”

To decide which suit your taste better, you should try each one of them first and see yourself which taste better. If you prefer drinking your alcohol neat, you may want to try Vodka, but if you love mixed drinks, then you should try Gin based mixed drinks.