Welcome to the era of the modern gin revolution. Right now, we’re seeing an explosion of new gins entering the market, and as more and more people are discovering the tantalising delights of this delectable spirit we’re seeing more gin distilleries popping up and creative new cocktail combinations arise.
The story of gin is a fascinating one, steeped in history that dates back through the centuries and involves trials, tribulations and celebrations of all kinds. Gin has one ingredient at the very core of its being - juniper.
Gin originated in Holland and its name stems from the Dutch word for juniper, which translates to genever. It’s the addition of juniper berries that sets gin apart from all other types of liquor, and it must be the prevailing aroma and flavour for gin to be classified as such. Apart from the essential juniper, anything goes! Different botanicals are added to create distinct flavours and fragrances to give each gin its own special touch.
The gin process:
Gin is a spirit that sits at approximately 40 percent alcohol by volume and is obtained by distilling wheat or barley to create a neutral-based spirit. Different combinations of herbs, fruits and spices (known as botanicals) as well as juniper berries are added along with water until the desired aromatic flavour profile is achieved. This process can be carried out in various methods, such as the steep method in which botanicals are placed in a ‘pot still’ with the base spirit for roughly 48 hours, or a vapour method which infuses the botanicals and creates a subtler flavour.
Fun Fact: Gin was first created for its medicinal properties and was produced by monks and alchemists. The liquor was distributed by chemists for the treatment of ailments such as indigestion and gout.
Sydney’s Best Gin Bars
Sydney is home to some of the best gin bars in the game. With these beauties just on our doorstep, it’d be a crime not to go check them out. Here are a couple of our favourites:
Poor Toms Gin Bar
6 Chalder Avenue, Marrickville
In a warehouse joint in Sydney’s inner west sits the bar-baby of Poor Toms gin distillery. Poor Toms menu is stocked full of their own signature gin blends and curated cocktails all within an artsy, open and beautifully simplistic understated space. With Marrickville already being home to a plethora of different breweries, this makes for the perfect location to spice up the suburb’s already thriving craft beer culture with the addition of a specialised gin bar like Poor Toms. Even better? It’s pup friendly too.
The Barber Shop
89 York St, Sydney
Hidden away in the heart of the city and disguised as your average barber shop is an old-school speakeasy gin bar which patrons must venture through the barber shop to get to. Once entering the doors you’re met with vintage charm, skilled bartenders and a spectacular menu which features over 700 different gins from around the globe. Being crowned as Australia’s best gin bar for four years running, it’s simply a place that’s a must-see.
So, hopefully this has inspired you to pour yourself a gin and tonic, ponder the process behind the bottle and to think about all the carefully sourced individual botanicals that have made it into your glass. Cheers to that!