So what is a London Dry Gin? Lots of bottles say they are London Dry but what does that mean and how did the term come into being? And how does it differ from regular gin? So why do we at Twelve and a Half Acres distillery follow London Dry processes?
Firstly, London Dry Gin has doesn’t mean the gin has to be made in London – it purely refers to the original location of the method of production; a replication of this method can be produced anywhere in the world. What it should mean is the gin was crafted following strict guidelines laid out in European Union law from 2008. These guidelines include:
- The base spirit must be distilled to a minimum of 96% ABV.
- No synthetic or artificial botanicals are allowed—only natural ingredients.
- All the botanicals must be added during the distillation process.
- Only water and a small amount of sweetener can be added after distillation.
So why did it come about? In the 1700s, during the gin craze in England, and specifically London, the gin industry was booming but lacked regulation. This resulted in some very untoward distillers using very crude methods that produced some very awful-tasting gin. To make matters worse, they would add various concoctions to make the spirit saleable after distillation, including chemicals and colorants -some even had the audacity to add toxic substances like methanol, which could be deadly!
That's when London Dry Gin was created to ensure gin drinkers could savour a high-quality spirit without toxic substances added post-distillation.
Because of the purity of production we, at Twelve and a Half Acres, hold true to the London Dry process for our Gins. We use premium grape based neutral spirit from South Australia. Only natural, and mainly organic, botanicals are added to flavour and sweeten the gin during the distillation process. Finally, we use filtered rainwater; and no sweetener or other supplement is added.
We pride ourselves of being true to the London Dry process and tradition.