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Vodka Vs Gin: Which To Choose?

vodka gin

Don’t feel bad if you’ve wondered if you should use vodka vs gin in a certain beverage. I’m a professional bartender who competes in cocktail competitions, and I think about this subject all the time. These spirits are sophisticated, fascinating, and enjoyable, much like the vodka vs gin argument.

If pressed, you’d probably be able to name many gin and vodka brands, as well as popular drinks that use both. But, aside from the well-known brands, what precisely are vodka and gin?

Let’s compare and contrast the definitions of vodka and gin.

What Exactly Is Vodka?

Vodka is a sort of neutral grain spirit that is defined as follows:

  • A neutral grain spirit is created from any fermentable material.
  • Distilled to at least 95% alcohol by volume (ABV) and bottled at 40% ABV (80 proof) or higher.
  • Filtered to remove any distinguishing characteristics, aromas, tastes, or colors.

Number three never made sense to me because vodka has a distinct flavor and aroma that varies according to the mash bill, still type, and distillation process used.

Now that vodka is permitted to have “character,” it is no longer obliged to be an odorless, flavorless, or colorless neutral base spirit, freeing distillers of the burden of generating a neutral taste and odor.

What Exactly Is Gin?

Gin is defined as a spirit that possesses the following characteristics:

  • Juniper berries provide the majority of the taste characteristics.
  • Distillation or blending of spirits with juniper berries and other aromatics or extracts as the principal components is required for production.
  • At least 40% alcohol by volume is used in bottling (80 proof).

Let’s have a look at the similarities and differences. Vodka vs gin now.

Gin And Vodka Are Similar In Many Ways

Both popular spirits have the following characteristics:

  • White spirits – Neither of these spirits have traditionally spent time in a barrel. Both are referred to as white or colorless spirits.
  • It’s possible to make it everywhere – In contrast to many other spirits and wines, neither alcoholic spirit has a geographical designation.
  • Infusion and maceration are common methods for extracting flavors from botanicals, herbs, and spices in flavored vodka and gin.

As a result, small and big distilleries all over the world produce vodka and gin since they are very easy to produce. 

Gin and vodka are commonly used interchangeably due to their similarities, particularly in martinis (although a traditional martini is indeed made with gin). A number of drinks can be substituted for one another:

  • Gin & Tonic = Vodka Tonic
  • Gin Rickey = Vodka Soda with Lime
  • Gimlet = Vodka Gimlet

What Is The Distinction Between Vodka And Gin?

The flavor, filtration, and function of gin and vodka are all different.

  1. Gin is distinguished by its use of juniper berries, as well as other natural botanicals, aromatics, and spices, to impart taste. The precise basket of flavoring components used by each gin maker is kept a secret.
  2. Filtration is the key to removing flavor, fragrance, and taste from vodka. Of course, a small amount remains, but these aren’t the first things that come to mind when you think of vodka (not including flavored vodka, which is a whole different conversation).

Because of the distinctions between these two spirits, the way they operate in a cocktail is the most crucial factor to consider when determining which to utilize. Which ingredient will be the cocktail’s star?

  • Other ingredients will be able to shine thanks to the vodka. Gin, on the other hand, may try to take over a cocktail if the tastes aren’t balanced due to its botanical flavor.
  • Knowing how the two liquors are similar and different helps you to select the appropriate one at the appropriate moment to create a satisfying drink.

Is Gin Exactly The Same As Vodka?

“Yes and no,” says the response. The first is the word “no.” The choices and procedures used by a distiller to manufacture vodka vs gin result in two quite distinct spirits.

However, absolutely. The base spirit is the same whether gin is prepared by steeping or macerating juniper berries and other flavoring components in neutral grain alcohol (vodka) and then redistilling. The flavor, on the other hand, is the distinction.

Try it out for yourself and see what you think.


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