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Gin categories and legal definitions

Nicholas Cook

Nicholas Cook is a qualified Solicitor and Notary Public. He specialised in commercial property including licensed and leisure property. He acted in many new licensed and varied leisure property licence grants and transfers, including pubs, private members clubs, restaurants, theatres, hotels…. and a nudist resort. The latter purchase completed one February in very thick snow, fully justifying the need for a bar – but the magistrates did not inspect!

Having been weaned off soliciting and “called to the bar” he now runs the Gin Guild on a day-to-day basis for the Board of that company.

Gin – This is a juniper-flavoured spirit made not via the re-distillation of botanicals, but by simply adding approved natural flavouring substances to a neutral spirit of agricultural origin. The predominant flavour must be juniper.

Distilled gin – Distilled gin is produced exclusively by redistilling ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin with an initial strength of 96% ABV in stills traditionally used for gin, in the presence of juniper berries and of other natural botanicals, provided that the juniper taste is predominant.

London Dry gin – London gin is obtained exclusively from ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin with a maximum methanol content of 5 grams per hectolitre of 100% ABV equivalent, whose flavour is introduced exclusively through the re-distillation in traditional stills of ethyl alcohol in the presence of all the natural plant materials used, the resultant distillate of which is at least 70% ABV. London gin may not contain added sweetening, exceeding 0.1 gram of sugars per litre of the final product, nor colorants, nor any added ingredients other than water.

Extract

Regulation (EC) No 110/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council in January 2008 covered the definition, description, presentation, labelling and the protection of geographical indications of spirit drinks and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 1576/89

Annex II

Spirit Drinks Categories of spirit drinks
20. Gin
(a) Gin is a juniper-flavoured spirit drink produced by flavouring organoleptically suitable ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin with juniper berries (Juniperus communis L.).
(b) The minimum alcoholic strength by volume of gin shall be 37.5 %.
(c) Only natural and/or nature-identical flavouring substances as defined in Article 1(2)(b)(i) and (ii) of Directive 88/388/EEC and/or flavouring preparations as defined in Article 1(2)(c) of that Directive shall be used for the production of gin so that the taste is predominantly that of juniper.

21. Distilled gin
(a) Distilled gin is:
(i) a juniper-flavoured spirit drink produced exclusively by redistilling organoleptically suitable ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin of an appropriate quality with an initial alcoholic strength of at least 96 % vol. in stills traditionally used for gin, in the presence of juniper berries (Juniperus communis) and of other natural botanicals provided that the juniper taste is predominant, or (ii) the mixture of the product of such distillation and ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin with the same composition, purity and alcoholic strength; natural and/or nature-identical flavouring substances and/or flavouring preparations as specified in category 20(c) may also be used to flavour distilled gin.
(b) The minimum alcoholic strength by volume of distilled gin shall be 37.5 %.
(c) Gin obtained simply by adding essences or flavourings to ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin is not distilled gin.

22. London gin
(a) London gin is a type of distilled gin:
(i) obtained exclusively from ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin, with a maximum methanol content of 5 grams per hectolitre of 100 % vol. alcohol, whose flavour is introduced exclusively through the re-distillation in traditional stills of ethyl alcohol in the presence of all the natural plant materials used,
(ii) the resultant distillate of which contains at least 70 % alcohol by vol.,
(iii) where any further ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin is added it must be consistent with the characteristics listed in Annex I(1), but with a maximum methanol content of 5 grams per
hectolitre of 100 % vol. alcohol,
(iv) which does not contain added sweetening exceeding 0,1 gram of sugars per litre of the final product nor colorants,
(v) which does not contain any other added ingredients other than water.
(b) The minimum alcoholic strength by volume of London gin shall be 37.5 %.
(c) The term London gin may be supplemented by the term “dry”. as amended by, Regulation (EC) No 1334/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on flavourings and certain food ingredients with flavouring properties for use in and on foods.