Is Gin Flavoured Vodka?
Yes, in theory gin can be seen as vodka flavoured with particular ingredients. Gin is essentially a neutral spirit that’s been flavoured with juniper berries – Vodka being a neutral spirit.
One of the defining characteristics of gin, which all traditional gins must have to be classed as such by law, is a predominant flavour of juniper. In addition to this, both gin and vodka must have an ABV (alcohol by volume) content of 37.5% or more, as is the case with all spirits.
Therefore, if you flavour some vodka with juniper and other botanicals, you’ll have made gin. This is something that many gin-lovers will try out for themselves, with a whole host of fantastic online homemade gin recipes to try out.
What Is Gin Made From?
Gin is made from a neutral grain alcohol, which is then distilled with juniper berries and a range of other botanicals.
While it’s illegal to distil alcohol in the U.K. without a licence, you can still make your own homemade gin without needing this process. You can simply steep your chosen botanicals in a good-quality vodka, which will be explored later on in this guide.
Gin vs Vodka: Which Is Stronger?
In the U.K., both spirits must have an ABV of at least 37.5%. Whether one is stronger than the other will depend upon the specific bottle of vodka and gin in question. For example, the HMS Spirits Company Dreadnought Gin holds an ABV of 57.5%, whereas Masons Original Yorkshire Gin has an ABV of 42%.
You’ll typically find that the strength of both gins and vodkas will vary. However, in the U.K. none will be lower than 37.5%, as is the minimal ABV required for all spirits in the country.
Is Gin Healthier Than Vodka?
Gin holds a low-calorie count and considerably less sugar than some of the other types of alcoholic beverages out there.
However, whether a bottle of gin will offer fewer calories and sugar than a bottle of vodka, as with the strength of these two spirits, will vary depending on the product. For example, there are some flavoured gins that will hold more sugar than traditional gins, or those with zero sugar.
While the sugar and calorie content of gins and vodkas will vary, some being lower than others, it’s important to note that this does not mean they are “healthy” options but may simply be a better alcoholic beverage to opt for when wanting to cut down on your sugar and caloric intake.
How To Make Gin from Vodka
You can create your own homemade gin by steeping a selection of chosen botanicals in vodka. This creates something known as compound gin.
BBC Good Food have a brilliant recipe for compound gin (https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/how-make-gin). To make this, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 700ml bottle of vodka
- 6 cardamom pods
- 2 tbsp juniper berries
- Dried rose petals (a pinch)
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- A strip of lemon peel
To make the compound gin, you’ll simply have to open the bottle of vodka and add the rest of the ingredients to it. Once you’ve added these together, pop the lid back on the vodka and store in a cool, dark place for 24 hours.
Once the 24 hours is up, you’ll then have the strain the vodka with the ingredients through a sieve that’s been lined with coffee filter paper, pouring the strained liquid into a jug – this liquid is your new homemade gin!
The BBC Good Food recipe then says to put the filtered liquid/gin back into its original bottle. However, if you’re making this as a gift it might be nice to have a pre-made decorated glass bottle or similar to present the gin in.