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You’ve probably stood in front of a gin shelf in a store or perused the menu at a bar with a bewilderingly wide selection. What’s the difference between various styles like “distilled gin” and “London dry gin,” not to mention the term “navy strength gin”?

Gin is one of the few strong alcoholic beverages regulated by a specific law in the European Union. To bear the name “gin,” the drink must typically be based on rectified spirit and derive its characteristic flavor and aroma from juniper berries. The minimum alcohol content for gin is 37.5% vol.

The word “gin” comes from the French word “genièvr,” the Dutch counterpart “jenever,” and likely the Italian “ginepro”—all of which mean juniper.

London Dry Gin

This designation can be used for gins whose base is solely agricultural ethyl alcohol. The taste is achieved by repeatedly distilling ethyl alcohol in traditional stills with natural botanicals, herbs, or berries. It’s crucial to note that London Dry Gin must not contain sugar exceeding 0.1g per liter or synthetic colorants or flavorings. Thus, it can be generalized that London Dry Gin is always the driest style of gin. The alcohol content, again, is a minimum of 37.5% vol. The dry style of gin allows different herbs and spices to shine, which sugar could otherwise “kill.” By the way, this gin can be made anywhere globally, not just in London! By the way, in Kohila – Tohi, we have Tohi London Dry Gin Ginger & Sichuan Pepper in this category.

Distilled Gin

This gin also has a base of solely agricultural ethyl alcohol. The taste is achieved through the repeated distillation of ethyl alcohol in traditional stills with natural botanicals, herbs, or berries. A mandatory component of distilled gin is juniper berries! Along with other herbs or spices according to the recipe author (often referred to as the “Master Gin Distiller”). According to their instructions, the strength of the gin is determined, with a minimum of 37.5% vol. However, each additional degree can add new nuances. At Tohi, master distiller Priit Palk oversees the process, and for instance, Tohi Cloudberry Mist Gin has a strength of 43% vol. According to him, this number best balances the flavors of juniper berries, blackberries, and other herbs.

Navy Strength Gin

Perhaps the most legendary of gins! It’s actually the strongest type of distilled gin, with a minimum strength of 57% vol—likely responsible for many stories and legends. Some of which are rooted in truth. Navy Strength gin combines concentrated flavors, making it ideal for more unique gin cocktails, such as the Gimlet.

Among Tohi Distillery’s gins, the distilled gins include Tohi Cloudberry Mist Gin, recognized as the best in Estonia, and Aronia Infused Gin. The equivalent of London Dry is Tohi London Dry Gin, featuring 13 different spices. The gunpowder-proof Navy Strength gin is Admiral’s Reserve Navy Strength Gin.