What, pray tell, is gin, old chap?

What, pray tell, is gin, old chap?
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

So what, old chap, is gin?

Simply put, gin, like all alcoholic beverages, is boiled yeast excrement.

Gin generally starts out as wheat, which is ground up, mixed with water and heated to release the sugar. That’s where the yeast comes in — it digests all the sugar and poops out alcohol at about the strength of beer.

That brew is flavored with juniper berries and then boiled. The resulting steam recondenses as a booze that’s 40- to 50-percent alcohol.

Juniper is essential, but gin makers typically add in all manner of “botanicals,” including orange peel, anise, and other herbals to flavor the resulting distillate.

New York Distilling will use cardamom, orange, lemon, hibiscus, and elderberry to complement the distinctive juniper.— Aaron Short