Botanical: Almond

AlmondThe almond is native to the Middle East and Asia, but the largest almond producer in the 21st century is the United States with nearly two thirds of the world’s crop produced there. The almond is more closely related to peaches than other nuts; the nut we eat being part of the pit of the almond fruit.

There’s two kinds of almonds which have been historically used in gin. The first is the aforementioned sweet almond which you can purchase in stores and snack upon. The second kind of almond is the bitter almond, which is so called because of its relatively  high proportion of cyanide. In small amounts they were traditionally used to flavor amaretto. This kind has been largely replaced by apricot kernels in the modern day, though traditionally it’s likely that bitter almonds may have been the almond of choice.

Today your gin, if it contains almonds, is using the sweet almond which due to a genetic mutation contains none of the toxin of its ancestors. The flavor of almond in gin, albeit subtle, calls to mind the creamy, slightly vanilla tinged exotic flavor of almond syrup and orgeat.

Gins featuring Almond

Bulldog Gin

Bulldog Gin may be “English,” but the botanical blend and influence is from a vastly different part of the world:

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Beefeater Gin

When James Burrough bought out the Cale Street Distillery in Chelesea in the 1860’s, he essentially bought forty years. That

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Ferdinand’s Saar Dry Gin

Price:  $60 / 500 mLABV: 44%Origin: Germany, Europe or worldwide through Master of Malt Distiller:  Avadis DistilleryAvailability: Well executed and unusual,

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Ferdinand’s Saar Quince

Price:   £33 / 500 mLABV: 30% Distiller: Avadis DistilleryOrigin:  GermanyAvailability:  UK, GermanyRating:  Full of good ideas, but perhaps a bit too full.

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Star of Bombay London Dry Gin

Price: £32 / 750ml Proof: 95 Distiller: Bombay Sapphire Distillery at Laverstoke MillOrigin: UKAvailability: United Kingdom and Master of Malt.Rating: Take

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Gothenburg Gin

Price:  295 SEK (~$35) / 500 mLProof: 90 Distiller: Svenska EldvattenOrigin: SwedenAvailability: Sweden, UK and more widely through  Master of MaltRating: I

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