How do they make gin?
Gin starts out as a neutral spirit made from grain, and acquires its main flavor from re-distilled juniper berries and other botanicals, such as anise, licorice root, citrus, coriander, and more. Some gins are aged in wooden barrels and, like whisky or rum, turn a light amber color as a result. Today, there are three main ways gin is made: pot distillation, column distillation, and the compound method:
Compound method gin is made by simply adding botanicals to a neutral grain spirit (like vodka) and letting them steep in a sealed container for a couple of weeks. Filter out the botanicals and, presto, you have gin.
Pot distilled gin typically yields a fuller-bodied product. It starts with neutral grain spirit, which is distilled a second time with juniper and other botanicals.
Column distilled gin is the most prevalent current method, whereby the aromatics are suspended above the liquid and then infused into the vapors that result from distillation.