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Booze Education: Understanding the different types of gin

If you’re new to the world of gin, you’re in for a treat. This versatile and aromatic spirit has been capturing hearts and palates for centuries, offering a wide range of flavours and styles to suit every taste. In this guide, we’ll take you through the wonderful world of gin, exploring its different types and offering insights into some popular varieties. So grab your favourite cocktail glass, and let’s dive in!

What is Gin and where did it come from?

Gin is a distilled spirit that derives its predominant flavour from juniper berries. Essentially, if it has been distilled with juniper berry, it’s considered a gin. However, brands will diversify their gin by adding loads more modern and traditional botanicals – meaning gin as a category is very diverse. 

Its history dates back to the Middle Ages when it was first produced in Holland for medicinal purposes. However, it was during the 17th-century Anglo-Dutch wars that gin’s popularity surged in England. Soldiers returning from battle brought back a taste for genever, and soon, English distillers began producing their own version, known as English gin or London dry gin. This period saw a proliferation of small-scale gin distilleries, with gin becoming known as “mother’s ruin” due to its association with social problems and excess consumption.

The 18th century marked a pivotal moment in gin’s history with the Gin Craze in London. Cheap and readily available, gin became the drink of choice for all social classes, leading to widespread drunkenness and social unrest. The government responded with a series of laws and regulations, such as the Gin Acts, attempting to curb consumption and regulate production.

By the 19th century, gin had undergone a transformation, shedding its negative reputation and emerging as a refined spirit associated with cocktail culture and British colonialism. The introduction of the column still revolutionised production, leading to the creation of smoother and more aromatic gins.

Types of Gin

Gin has several distinct styles, each with unique characteristics and production methods. 

London Dry Gin

London Dry Gin is perhaps the most well-known style of gin. It is characterised by its juniper-forward flavour profile and dry finish. Contrary to popular belief, London Dry Gin doesn’t have to be made in London. Instead, it refers to a specific production method that involves distilling botanicals with neutral grain spirit and water. Our Melbourne Dry Gin offers a fresh twist on this classic style, offering a crisp and refreshing gin perfect for classic cocktails like the Gin and Tonic or Martini.

Flavoured Gin

Flavoured gins have surged in popularity in recent years, offering a modern twist on traditional gin. These gins are infused with additional botanicals or fruits during distillation, resulting in enticing flavours. Our Rogue Barrel Gin is a prime example, featuring notes of lemon, thyme, tonka bean, and oak imparted by ageing in barrels. It’s a versatile spirit that adds depth and complexity to cocktails or can be enjoyed on its own over ice. Our Pinot Noir Gin, another great example of a flavoured gin. We steep our Melbourne Dry Gin with 6ft6 Pinot Noir grapes for around 3-6 months and we’re left with a naturally sweet, beautiful desert gin, perfect for cocktails or on ice.

Old Tom Gin

Old Tom Gin is a sweeter style of gin that bridges the gap between London Dry and the more juniper-forward Dutch genever. It was popular in the 18th and 19th centuries and has experienced a resurgence in recent years. In terms of flavour, Old Tom gin typically has a subtle sweetness derived from the addition of sugar or other sweetening agents during distillation. This sweetness helps to balance the bold botanical flavours, which often include juniper, coriander, citrus peel, and other traditional gin botanicals.

Sloe Gin

Sloe gin is a traditional flavoured gin that originated in England during the 17th century. For centuries, it has been made with a significant amount of sugar to balance the bitterness and tartness of the sloe berries it is infused with. This method persisted until we began using Australia’s (and arguably the world’s) finest sloe berries for our Blackthorn Gin.

Historically, sloe gin was overly sweet and thick. Many bartenders have noted that once sugar is added, you can’t remove it. This made it more of a liqueur than a gin, and as a result, it typically had a low alcohol content (around 25% ABV). However, that wasn’t our approach. We reinvented it to create a modern Australian version. Our goal was to craft the world’s best flavoured gin, and starting with fresh, plump sloe berries from Northern Tasmania gave us a great advantage. The berries are handpicked and transported across the Bass Strait to our distillery. They are lightly pressed to split the skins before being steeped in Melbourne Dry Gin for up to four months. Afterward, we lightly sweeten the mixture by adding just 1 gram of sugar per 100 mL of gin, which is about 90% less than traditional sloe gins, and release it at 35% ABV. With numerous awards to our name, we have created the finest flavoured gin you are likely to find.

Low sugar, big flavour. This is how sloe gin should taste.

New World Gin

New World Gin is a contemporary style that puts a modern twist on traditional gin. It often features non-traditional botanicals and emphasises flavours other than juniper. Take a look at our Pink Lake Gin, a savoury gin with hints of salt, orange, and a sweet finish, inspired by Australia’s iconic pink salt lakes, for something unique for your next cocktail evening. 

Popular Gin Cocktails

Now that we’ve explored the different types of gin, let’s talk about some classic gin cocktails that you can enjoy with your favourite gin:

Gin and Tonic

A timeless classic, the Gin and Tonic is simple yet sophisticated.


  • Premium Tonic (we like Fevertree, CAPI, Strangelove or Longrays)
  • Ruby Grapefruit slice
  • Rosemary


  1. Place ice in a highball glass.
  2. Pour ingredients over ice.
  3. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge and a sprig of rosemary.


The Negroni is a bold and bittersweet cocktail perfect for sipping on a warm evening. 


  • 30ml Maidenii Sweet Vermouth
  • 30ml Campari
  • Ruby Grapefruit


  1. Add ingredients to a mixing glass
  2. Stir briefly with loads of ice ice
  3. Strain over a large block of ice
  4. Garnish with a ruby grapefruit twist.

Alternatively, if you are in a rush and don’t have time to mix your own, try our pre-mixed Sir Andrew Davis’ Negroni, developed in collaboration with the Conductor Laureate of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra himself, for a twist on the classic.


The Martini is the epitome of elegance and refinement. 


  • 10 ml Dry Vermouth
  • Ruby Grapefruit


  1. Add ingredients to a mixing glass
  2. Stir with ice until diluted to taste
  3. Strain into a chilled martini glass
  4. Garnish with ruby grapefruit twist

Enhance Your Gin Knowledge and Enjoyment

Gin is a versatile and exciting spirit that offers something for everyone. Whether you prefer the classic juniper-forward profile of London Dry Gin or the innovative flavours of New World Gin, there’s a gin out there waiting to be discovered. We at Patient Wolf have many different types of gins for you to experiment with, and don’t be afraid to get creative with your cocktails. With a little knowledge and a dash of imagination, the world of gin is yours to explore and enjoy!

So raise your glass and toast to the wonderful world of gin. Here’s to good times and only the best gin cocktails.


cocktail recipes