Is it the manufacturing? Is it the distilling process? Is it the botanicals? Is it the story behind the gin?
Gin has been experiencing a renaissance in recent years that has taken it out of the corner of mere cocktail ingredient. New exotic botanicals have long since over thrown the image of the simple juniper spirit and added many times more different gins to the repertoire.
Gin lovers particularly appreciate so-called craft gins. The spirits are considered noble products and exquisite in taste. But what exactly is a Craft Gin?
A gin that has all the characteristics of a craft gin is, for example, INVERROCHE GIN. This originates from South Africa and was even the first Craft Gin of the African country.
Craft Beer as a role model
Craft Gin is still a new term, derived from the term Craft Beer. The term craft beer was coined in the US after Prohibition caused the brewing tradition to die out in the country, with a few exceptions. The beers from the remaining breweries tasted largely the same. During this time, numerous private individuals decided to start their own small breweries and sell their handcrafted and often experimental recipes. A whole new beer landscape was established, with diverse varieties and also a strong connection to the producer.
The history of gin has some parallels. Gin is an English interpretation of the Dutch juniper brandy genever, which has been produced for about 500 years. At first, it was considered primarily alcohol for the poor. It wasn't until the Victorian era that the zeitgeist changed and gin experienced its first heyday. It found its way into numerous cocktails and long drinks, which were also consumed too readily by the aristocracy. Nevertheless, it could never completely shake off its reputation as a "flavoured liquor" and slowly fell into oblivion.
It was not until the middle of the twentieth century that some small breweries began to pay more attention to the drink again and gin also became more popular with customers. Little by little, new varieties developed. New distilleries were founded and existing ones included gin in their product range. Finally, more and more companies jumped on the trend. The age of mass production had reached gin.
The Craft Gin Movement
CraftGin is a counter design, towards more individuality. Small distilleries produce so-called small batches, which leave room for new creations. The single batch process ensures that gin from one distillation process is not blended with another batch to create a uniformly uniform product. On the contrary, it is the subtle differences in taste and colour that are considered a mark of quality for a good craft gin and give it its distinctive character.
The Craft Gin movement focuses on variety instead of mass. This is reflected in particularly sophisticated recipes, high-quality botanicals and often complex distillation processes. Neutral alcohol and juniper berries meet spices that either originate from the classic gin tradition, such as coriander seeds, cardamom and citrus fruits, or they are combined with exotic botanicals in a new way. This, of course, limits the amount available. Many craft gins can only be purchased from the producer himself or from selected retailers and they are limited in quantity.
INVERROCHE GIN is a composition of more than 15 botanicals, distilled in a complex one-shot process to extract the pure and subtle flavours - richly textured and the hand-harvested African Botanicals blend in smoothly.
Another feature is personalisation. Who is the brains behind the gin? Where does it come from? Which master distiller is responsible for the recipe and which people are involved in the production? A good craft gin has a story to tell that is more than the distilling process. Craft gin embodies an idea behind the spirit and shows the faces behind the distillery.
Many craft gins are created with love and passion from a hobby, not because a product is being created for the mass market. The brewmasters experiment with ingredients, use completely new approaches and often find outstanding combinations of flavours and aromas rather by chance. The focus is on the product and the ambition to perfect the flavour in every sip of gin.
Is Craft Gin the same as Manufaktur Gin?
A Manufaktur Gin, as the name suggests, is characterised by craftsmanship. This can be the selection of botanicals, the firing of a wood still, or the bottling and labeling of the bottles. With a Manufaktur Gin, very little happens automatically.
Of course, this is only possible for small distilleries with manageable volumes and quantities. Therefore, Manufaktur Gins are almost always Craft Gins, but not every Craft Gin is a handmade Manufaktur Gin.
Does craft gin have a better quality?
A good craft gin is distinguished above all by its quality. Artificial flavours and colourings are not used. The spirits are distilled in copper stills and the botanicals convince with their full-bodied bouquet, which is skillfully worked out in all nuances.
In the mouth, the gin has a mild taste with balanced sharpness. The aroma of the botanicals starts at the tip of the tongue and changes there continuously until a round finish on the palate.
Therefore, good Craft Gin also tastes pure, on ice or only refined with a citrus zest. The aromatic spirit is also convincing in a cocktail or the classic gin & tonic.
Admittedly, there are also some high-quality "non-craft gins" on the market. However, gin connoisseurs will prefer craft gins in most cases.
Inverroche the Craft Gin pioneer from South Africa
INVERROCHE GIN was the first gin to use the unique Fynbos Botanicals. Fynbos are plants found only at the tip of Africa and thus have a strong local connection. Master distiller Lorna Scott developed the refined recipes with her son Rohan at their home kitchen table.
Today she hand distills Inverroche in a specially designed copper still using the small batch method.
From the hand collection of the botanicals to the distillation process and the filling of the bottle, Inverroche is a craft gin that is now enjoying great popularity internationally beyond the borders of South Africa.
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