Difference Between Gin and Vodka (With Table)

At the cocktail bar, while ordering a martini it is obvious that the question of whether gin or vodka has been asked. Gin and vodka are two of the spirits which look identical and are often used as a substitute for each other. In cocktails like the gimlet, the Collins, the martini, and with tonic.  

Both gin and vodka have plenty of things in common. After taking a sip from both of them there is no mistake to consider the same. Drinkers have stronger opinions on dividing both gin or vodka. 

Gin vs Vodka 

The main difference between spirit gin and vodka is that gin is a distilled alcoholic drink that has juniper berries as its predominant flavor. On the other hand, vodka is also a distant alcoholic drink with agricultural ingredients as its predominant. Gin is served without ice or refrigeration, while vodka is served chilled.  

In the 17th century, Gin was developed as a medical drink in holland. It is a flavored liquor made up by the re-distilling of neutral spirits with juniper berries. It also consists of flavoring agents such as botanicals and spices (citrus peel, black pepper, lavender, etc.). Juniper berries are a vital ingredient in every gin, but flavoring agents may vary.  

In the 14th century, vodka was originated in Russia. It is derived from the word Voda (water). It is a neutral spirit without a distinct color, taste, or aroma. It is distilled from potatoes or grains. Other items which can be included in it are rye, grapes, wheat, and corn. In the world, vodka is one of the heaviest drinks. 

Comparison Table Between Gin and Vodka 

Parameters of ComparisonGinVodka
InterpretationIt is a distilled alcoholic drink that has juniper berries as its predominant flavor. It is also a distilled alcoholic drink with agricultural ingredients as its predominant.
OriginHollandRussia
Main constituent Juniper berriesWater and ethanol
Alcohol concentration40 percent35 to 95 percent
ServedWithout ice or refregitationChilled

What is Gin? 

Gin is also a distant liqueur that is flavored, and it ranges from colorless to pale yellow. Gin is made from purified spirits generally obtained from a grain mash. Juniper Berry is its principal flavoring agent. It consists of the malty-flavored and Netherlands types as well as drier types. Where the distinct botanical flavor is its characteristic produced in the United States and Britain.  

The name of this liquor comes from the juniper berry’s French name, geniever, changed to Genever by Dutch and further by English shortened to gin. In the 17th century, professor Franciscus Sylvius of medicine in the holland’s University of Leiden. He produced an expensive medicine by distilling juniper berry with spirits.  

In today’s date, gin is produced in different ways and returns giving rise to several distinctive styles and brands. After juniper, gin is flavored with floral, botanical/herbal, fruit flavors, or spices. It is generally consumed with a mixture of tonic water. Often, gin is used as a base spirit for the production of flavored, gin-based liquors.  

Besides the main constituent juniper, gin often consists of popular flavoring or botanical agents including citrus elements, which may include bitter orange peel and lemon. It also includes a combination of spices, such as cinnamon, saffron, nutmeg, etc. Taste varies among gin with different concentrations and combinations of these botanicals. 

What is Vodka? 

Vodka is a distilled liquid that is clear and colorless. It does not have any definite taste, color, or aroma. During its processing, flavoring agents have been eliminated due to their high neutrality. Vodka can be made from the cheapest mash of any raw material which is suitable for fermentation.  

The name vodka is derived from Voda (water), but its origin is a matter of debate. According to some people, it originated in the early 18th or 19th century in either Russia or Poland. Regardless of its origin, this beverage in Russia was presented in the 14th century. This liquor was mainly dominated in Poland, Balkan States, and Russia. Later, vodka’s consumption increased in the United States and Europe after World War II.  

Traditionally cereal grains were employed in vodka by Russia and Poland. Later, the usage of potatoes was started increasing in vodka-producing countries. Previously, most producers purchased purified and distilled neutral spirits which are high in alcohol content with no flavoring agent.  

Vodka is generally consumed chilled, and unmixed in mainly small glasses with the accompaniment of appetizers. Due to its neutral character, it is popular in many countries for its mix-up with other drinks. They are sometimes flavored with ingredients such as lemon peel, caraway, buffalo grass, berries, and peppercorns. 

Main Differences Between Gin and Vodka 

  1. Gin is made up of juniper and other spices (dragon eye, cinnamon, star anise, etc.). For flavor agents, it often includes certain elements (lemon, or orange peel). Whereas vodka is made up of some common basis such as wheat, potato, sugar beets, corn, rye, and grapes.  
  2. In terms of classification, gin can be categorized as flavor vodka due to re-distillation from vodka to botanicals and spices. But vodka cannot be described as a type of gin.  
  3. Gin plays the main ingredient in cocktails such as Martinez, Tom Collins, Hanky Panky, Ramos Gin Fizz, Red Snapper, etc. On the other hand, cocktails made with vodka include Moscow Mule, Black Russia, Sex on the beach, Bloody Mary, etc.  
  4. When it comes to taste, gin is made up of eight botanicals which makes it a unique and distinctive, juniper-laden flavor. While vodka is neutral and tasteless because it is completely water-based alcohol.  
  5. Gin helps to fight against heart disease, infection, plague, kidney and liver diseases. On the flip side, vodka benefits by increasing blood flow to prevent strokes, blood clots, and other heart diseases. 

Conclusion 

So, it can be concluded that both gin and vodka are two of the spirits which are used as a substitute for each other. They even look identical to each other. In cocktails like the gimlet, the Collins, the martini, and with tonic they both are used as a substitute.  

The main constituent while preparing gin is juniper berries, but water and ethanol are two of the main constituents of vodka. Eight botanicals are used in a gin which makes it unique and distinctive. But vodka is water-based alcohol and has neutral and no taste. Thus, they both are preferred by different drinkers based on their taste which makes them two of the popular spirits. 

References 

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Christian-Meyer-19/publication/8132181_Editorial_Gin_tonic_revisited/links/5aeb3037aca2725dabb6924c/Editorial-Gin-tonic-revisited.pdf
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=esHVFxS0F8YC&oi=fnd&pg=PR8&dq=vodka&ots=GfemOzDmTV&sig=JAarFz6KIVYsB8oH5iT29MCnxoA
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