Gin: A Versatile Spirit for Mixing and Sipping

The distilled alcohol beverage market in New Zealand is projected to continue growing in the coming years, driven by increasing disposable incomes, changing consumer preferences, and the growing tourism industry. According to a report, the New Zealand distilled spirits market size was valued at approximately 92.7 million New Zealand dollars in 2019. The market was projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.4% from 2020 to 2025. Meanwhile, distilled alcoholic beverages are versatile and complex spirits enjoyed for centuries. Originally made from juniper berries, the gin has evolved to include a wide range of botanicals that give it a unique flavour. So the beverage is perfect whether you prefer it mixed in a cocktail or sipped neat. And in this blog post, you will explore the history, the different types of available, and some popular cocktails you can make at home. So, let’s dive in and discover the world of the NZ gin and find your perfect match!

The History 

  • The origins can be discovered back to the 17th century in the Netherlands. Dutch distillers would add juniper berries to malted barley mash to create a spirit called genever. 
  • Genever was used for medicinal purposes and was believed to have healing properties. The English, fighting the Dutch in the Thirty Years’ War, discovered genever and brought it back to England.
  • In England, the beverage became popular due to its low cost and high alcohol content. The poor working class could afford the drink, known as the “drink of the masses”. 
  • Its popularity led to excessive drinking and social problems, known as the Gin Craze
  • The government attempted to control consumption by introducing the Gin Act of 1751, which made the drink more expensive and restricted its sale. 
  • This led to the rise of the gin palace, where people could drink in a more respectable setting.


Several different types of beverages are available, each with its unique flavour profile. Here are some of the most famous types:

  1. London Dry is a classic gin known for its dry and juniper-forward flavour profile. It’s made by redistilling neutral grain spirit with botanicals, including juniper berries, coriander, and citrus peel.
  2. Old Tom is a slightly sweeter drink popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. It’s slightly sweeter than London Dry and is often used in classic cocktails like the Tom Collins.
  3. Plymouth is a spirit that is made in the city of Plymouth, England. It has a slightly sweeter flavour profile than London Dry and is made with less juniper.
  4. Genever is a Dutch-style beverage that is made from a malted barley mash. It has a malty flavour profile and is often used in classic cocktails like the Martinez.

Popular Cocktails

Distilled alcoholic beverage is a popular spirits for mixing in cocktails. Here are some popular cocktails that you can make at home:

  1. Gin and Tonic is a classic cocktail that is easy to make. Mix the spirit with tonic water and garnish with a lime wedge.
  2. Negroni is a classic cocktail made with the spirit, Campari, and sweet vermouth. It has a bitter and complex flavour profile.
  3. Martini is a classic cocktail made with distilled alcoholic drinks and dry vermouth. It can be served with a twist of lemon or an olive garnish.
  4. Tom Collins is a refreshing cocktail with spirit, lemon juice, simple syrup, and soda water. It’s perfect for a hot summer day.

NZ gin is a versatile and complex spirit perfect for mixing cocktails or sipping neat. Whether you prefer the classic London Dry or the sweeter Old Tom, there’s a drink out there that’s perfect for you. So, why not try a new cocktail or experiment with different types to find your perfect match? With its rich history and unique flavour profile, The drink is a spirit that will impress. So, the next time you’re trying for a new drink to try, consider reaching for a bottle of distilled beverage and see what creative cocktail you can come up with.

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