Is Gin Made Out of Vodka?
Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward answer to this question. The truth is, it is possible to prepare gin using vodka but only if you’re making your own gin from the confines of your home.
As explained later in the article, the main compound in gin is juniper, which forms the foundation of the spirit’s flavour. Additional botanicals that the majority of gin manufacturers incorporate are lemon, angelica root, cardamom among others.
Vodka is a distinct alcoholic beverage, with its own composition and flavour profile. In the following post, we’ll look at what each of these beverages constitutes and the differences between the two.
What is Gin?
Gin is a spirit that’s manufactured using juniper berries as the primary ingredient. However, manufacturers have the freedom to incorporate other aromatics or extracts.
This spirit can be classified into five basic styles. London Dry is gin that doesn’t have any sweet notes. Plymouth gin is one that’s prepared specifically in Plymouth, England.
The Old Tom gin is distinguished using its sweet flavour while the Navy Strength contains at least 57% Abv. The last style is the American or West Coast gin, and it constitutes herbal elements.
What is Vodka?
The easiest way to define vodka is that it’s a clear and flavourless spirit that’s not been aged.
Unlike gin, which has a very specific ingredient, vodka can be prepared using any element as long as it contains fermentable sugars. From cereal grains like barley, rye and wheat to other products like potatoes, sugar beets and grapes, these are all ingredients that are used to produce vodka.
For nearly five decades now, vodka has been one of the most consumed liquors globally. As a matter of fact, this spirit takes up 32% of the spirit market. In the U.S., the average American takes no less than 3.5 shots of vodka monthly. In Eastern Europe and Russia, individuals consume up to three times more than that!
Differences between Gin and Vodka
Gin and vodka share several similarities. This explains why most individuals use it as a base to prepare homemade gin. However, there are also several things that differentiate these alcoholic beverages.
The most obvious difference between gin and vodka is their flavour profiles. Vodka is a neutral/ flavourless spirit while gin has a distinct flavour, which comes from juniper berries. Vodka is primarily a water-based alcohol while gin can have up to eight botanicals to achieve the perfect juniper-based flavour.
How they are served
Gin and vodka may both be classified as neutral spirits, but they’re served differently. Often, vodka is served chilled. However, gin tastes great whether it’s served chilled or at room temperature.
Both gin and vodka make good foundations for making cocktails. However, vodka is the go-to beverage for the majority of mixologists. Most cocktails including Screwdriver, Sex on the Beach, Black Russian all use vodka as the core ingredient.
Although vodka can be used as an ingredient to prepare gin, it’s not the main constituent that defines this spirit. The primary ingredient in gin is juniper. Other botanicals that are used alongside juniper berries include angelica root, lemon, coriander, cardamom and more. Vodka is a popular beverage on its own, and it’s usually flavourless and odorless.