Gin starts out life much like vodka: it is distilled from grains or malt, it is clear and (with a certain few exceptions) colorless, and light-bodied. What sets it apart is the assortment of botanicals that flavor this spirit, all revolving around one key ingredient: juniper.
You can tell a gin by a simple sniff: the juniper berry (which, fun fact, is not actually a berry but a highly unusual type of cone) smells like a conifer and is difficult to miss. While every gin uses juniper for flavor, each gin has its own unique set of botanicals that give them their particular tastes. The most common botanicals along with juniper are citrus (often lemon peel or lemon zest), corriander, fennel, anise, and the list does not end there.
When browsing our gin selections, there are a few things to look for to gauge what kind of gin you are looking for. The most recognizable style is a London Dry Gin. These are going to be your driest, least sweet, and most juniper-heavy gins. One step down in dryness is Plymouth gin which is its own style, has to come from Plymouth, England, and uses more root spices. One more step down and you get to Dutch genevers and Old Tom Gins (where the Tom Collins cocktail got its name). These gins are darker, sweeter, and highlight the juniper less than the London Dry style gins, opting more for the sweet and savory botanicals to produce a more complex and flavor-rich spirit. Lastly, you will find what are called International or New American Style gins. If you are familiar with Hendrick's (which features cucumber and rose), then you already know this style. These gins tend to be light on the juniper and highlight other botanicals to produce softer, more delicate gins with a layers of flavor.