What Gin Types Are There?

When gin experienced a revival a few years ago, the market literally exploded. Nowadays, you can find a considerable number of interesting gins on the shelves of well-assorted retailers and in the bars. One bottle is designed more creatively than the other and the labels are also in competition for the attention of gin lovers and those who have become curious. With this GINtastic selection, it is difficult to keep track and to know the exact differences between the different types of gin.


But let’s start from scratch! What is gin? The EU’s spirits regulation states that gin is a “juniper-flavoured spirit drink”, “obtained by flavouring ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin […]”. The minimum alcohol content of gin is 37.5 % vol.


So far so good. But what does Old Tom mean, for example? Does the London dry gin really come from London? And why is sloe gin red? We have summarized the most important types of gin for you:

Official gin types

In the spirit drink regulation of the EU there are only 3 types of gin. We’ll tell you about these first.

1. London Dry Gin

The London Dry Gin or London Gin is one of the most common types of gin. However, the name does not describe the origin of the gin, as one might assume, but rather how it is produced. The base is ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin that is flavoured with natural ingredients. These ingredients are simultaneously added to the alcohol (maceration). It then has to be distilled at least once. No additional flavourings or other ingredients may be added afterwards. Furthermore, the sugar content of a London Dry Gin must not exceed 0.1 gram.

2. Dry Gin

A dry gin is very similar to London dry gin. The main difference is that the ingredients of a dry gin can be added at different times. In addition to natural ingredients, “nature-identical” colourings and flavours can also be used, which is strictly forbidden with a London Dry Gin. And just like the London dry gin sweetening the gin is not permitted afterwards.

3. Sloe Gin

In the EU spirits regulation “Sloe Gin” is found amongst the liqueurs. Sloe gin is not distilled; instead, the berries of the blackthorn (sloe) are soaked in distilled gin together with sugar (maceration) – hence the typical red colour.

Unofficial types of gin

In addition to these 3 types of gin, there are several other types of gin which are not defined in the EU spirits regulation, but which have already established themselves internationally.

4. Old Tom Gin

Old Tom is one of the oldest types of gin. At the time of the “Gin Craze” in England, the quality of most gins was very bad. Gin was especially bitter and sometimes hardly drinkable. Therefore, sugar was added to it. When dry gin began its triumphal march, Old Tom Gin was increasingly forgotten. Today, however, there are some gin producers that have an Old Tom in their assortment.

5. New Western Dry Gin

Traditionally, the juniper aroma is the main component of gin. New Western Dry Gins, however, are characterized by the fact that they push the juniper aroma into the background and rather emphasize other botanicals. Resulting from this are numerous new creations, which may be appreciated by people who are not huge fans of juniper.

6. Genever

Genever is a juniper spirit of Dutch or Belgian origin and is the direct predecessor of gin. Even today it is still produced according to the original recipe from 1575 and is drunk mainly in the Netherlands and Belgium. The difference between genever and gin lies in the production process: the base for the production of genever is grain mixture, also known as “malt wine”. After a long storage period a distillate is added to the mixture. To flavour the distillate, juniper berries, but also caraway, aniseed or coriander are used.

Geographical gin names

7. Plymouth Gin

Unlike the term “London Gin”, “Plymouth Gin” indicates the origin of the gin. Plymouth Gin is produced in the city of Plymouth in the south of England. The term was protected until 2015, but is no longer protected. Anyway, there is only one distillery left in the city today that produces gin.

8. Munich Dry Gin

When the founders of THE DUKE Distillery Max and Daniel launched their first gin in 2008, they were celebrating the 850th anniversary of their hometown Munich. Since the two are very interested in history and have a close connection to their hometown, that is what inspired the name and design the logo for their gin. The distillery was named after the city’s founder Duke Heinrich der Löwe (Henry the Lion), the label is decorated with a juniper-entwined Bavarian coat of arms and the gin was given the name Munich Dry Gin. This name is not trademarked.

Here you can find more information about the production of our gins and in our online shop you can order our three types of gin.