On a basic level gin is spiced grain distillate primarily flavoured with juniper, citrus and often coriander. Then it’s up to the producer to go crazy with botanicals, spices and citrus for additional touch.
In 2016 I met Oscar Engedahl, bar manager at Ljunggren at Götgatan 36 in Stockholm for a chat about gin. As I entered the venue with it's Japanese interior design and contemporary art displayed on the walls I knew I made the right decision coming there and I placed my self at the bar counter and ordered a Shisotini; gin, sake, ginger, honey, lemon and shiso leaf. After that I had a cup of jasmine tea and furthermore I got a basic lecture on gin - and Oscar invited me to a little tasting of some brands of their collection which now reaches 70 different bottles, making Ljunggren an excellent choice for all gin lovers - without making it a thing really, since they’ve chosen not define themselves as a gin bar. They just happened to have a gin expert as bar manager back in the days!
Beefeater – a London Dry. In many bars in Stockholm it is used as ”house gin”. Maybe not the most pleasant one to bring neat, but perfect for a standard Gin & Tonic since it’s a Dry and not to sweet or mild.
Heyman Old Tom – In this one sugar is added after distilling which inevitably results in a sweetness that was appropriately made with lemon, sugar syrup and soda water that makes the real Tom Collins.
Bombay Sapphire – In the early 1900s the crowd had gone tired of this juniper schnapps and it was almosed abandoned completely and vodka was the new spirit of the people. Then Bombay Sapphire was created that is a very mild gin without a big pallet. It was created to be a vodka imitator to save the gin from extinguishment.
G-Vine – This is a french grape distill in which even the grapevine bloom is used and gives the gin it’s unique character. The natural sugar in the grape makes it a gin that is categorised as the sweeter ones. So it’s not preferably used in a Gin & Tonic for example but very nice to drink neat, to a cup of green tea as I did this time.
Tanqueray Rangpur – Infused with rangpur lime from India that basically is a mix between a mandarin and a lemon but still has a strong lime flavour. This gin has such a special character that I would recommend it strongly to be enjoyed ice cold, neat.
Monkey 47 Distillers Cut 2015 – A joy for all Monkey 47 lovers. 47%. 47 ingredients. From Black Forrest in the south of Germany. Distillers Cut 2015 is a tangy gin with green flavours, fronting the spignel grass (Meum Athmanticum). This one is a must try! One of the best i’ve tried but I’m a sucker for green flavours in high proof spirits.