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vodka or gin, Vodka or Gin: The Differences You Should Know

Vodka or Gin: The Differences You Should Know

Vodka and Gin are two of the most popular spirits used to make cocktails. Both spirits are known for their clarity, mixability, and flavour or no flavour, yet they have some notable differences you should be aware of in order to appreciate the finer aspects of each.

As a neutral, odourless, and colourless spirit, vodka is among the most consumed spirits in the United States by volume since 1970. Also known as America’s official spirit, vodka is a heavy drink composed of 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof).

Gin is a liquor with some level of juniper flavour that’s bottled at least 40 percent alcohol by volume. The U.S. government defines gin as a liquid “produced by distillation or mixing of spirits with juniper berries and other aromatics or extracts.”

It’s easy to think of gin as essentially a flavoured vodka, but several intricacies distinguish the two. Here is a primer outlining the differences between vodka and gin.

Base Constituent or Raw Materials Used

Vodka derived its name from ‘Voda’- the Russian word that means water. Being as clear as water, and flavourless, vodka can be made from many different things with water and ethanol as the main constituents. The flavour of vodka can be altered by adding things to it like orange soda, cranberry, or other flavours.

Gin is primarily distilled from malt and grain and then mixed with Juniper berries. This gives gin the distinctive flavour of Juniper. Originally it was named Genièvre – the French word for Juniper berries, later shortened by English to be said as Gin.

Great Difference in Taste

Vodka is a neutral spirit essentially containing water and alcohol, that is tasteless while Gin offers distinguishing herbal note that comes from the eight herbs used to realize its predominantly Juniper-led flavour as a central part of the spirit.

Different Processes for Serving Both

Vodka lovers prefer chilled Vodka that has a nice mouthfeel and is viscous at freezing temperatures and can help them unwind. In contrast, Gin comes with a unique flavour that can compensate for the desired flavour when it is not served chilled.

Variety of Mixability for Preparing Cocktails

Being flavourless and odourless, Vodka is one of the most preferred spirit choices for preparing a wide variety of cocktails while gin is the second best as it may not go well with different types of ingredients that risk conflict with its flavour. Gin can be best mixed with straight flavours like in the Gin and Tonic.

Some of the popular cocktails of vodka are Moscow Mule, White Russian, Bloody Mary, Vesper Martini, Screwdriver, Black Russian etc. Popular gin cocktails are the classic Martini, Negroni, Hanky Panky, Ramos Gin Fizz, Red Snapper, White Lady, Tom Collins, and Clover Club, etc.

Why Not Have Both?

Thankfully, you don’t actually have to pit vodka against gin in real life; everyone can enjoy the fruits of each liquor simultaneously. Mix them together in a powerful cocktail or have two separate drinks back-to-back – either way, gin and vodka is certainly here to stay.

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