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Portuguese London Dry Gin

Portugal, a country with a rich history in winemaking and fortified wines, has recently ventured into the world of gin with remarkable success. The emergence of London Dry Gin from this region is a testament to the country's versatility and innovative spirit in alcohol production. Despite being traditionally associated with the United Kingdom, London Dry Gin is not geographically restricted to London and refers instead to a specific production process. Portuguese producers have embraced this method, infusing the spirit with an array of botanicals that reflect the nation's diverse flora and historical spice routes.

The process of creating London Dry Gin is defined by stringent regulations. The base spirit must be distilled to an ethanol content of 96% ABV, and the final spirit must be a minimum of 37.5% ABV for the European market. All flavours must be introduced through the distillation process, with no artificial ingredients or additional flavouring or colouring agents allowed post-distillation and only a minimal amount of sweetener is permissible. These regulations ensure the purity and quality of the gin, characteristics that are evident in the Portuguese versions of London Dry Gin.

Portuguese gins are often distinguished by the use of native botanicals, which introduce unique flavours and aromas not found in traditional recipes. Alongside classic gin botanicals like juniper berries, coriander seeds, and citrus peels, Portuguese gin makers may incorporate cinnamon from the country's historic trading, rockrose (cistus ladanifer), lavender, or the well-known Portuguese lemon. Some producers even explore botanicals from Portugal's overseas territories, such as spices from Goa or herbs from the Azores, embracing their rich maritime heritage.

This use of diverse, locally sourced ingredients not only contributes to a distinct flavour profile but also ties the product to its land, reflecting the local terroir in a way that's typically associated with wines. The result is a London Dry Gin that, while adhering to the strict production methods, carries a hint of the Portuguese landscape and history in each bottle.

In the global gin market, Portuguese London Dry Gins have started making a name for themselves, appreciated for their quality, complexity, and the innovative use of Portuguese botanicals. They are typically smooth and aromatic, with a balance between the earthy flavours of juniper and the various notes introduced by the additional botanicals. These gins are excellent for consumption in classic gin cocktails like the Gin & Tonic or Martini, but they're also complex enough to be enjoyed neat, offering a full experience of their rich bouquet.

Furthermore, the rise of Portuguese London Dry Gin has coincided with a growing global interest in artisanal and craft spirits. Consumers today are more interested in the story behind their spirits, the production methods, and the origin of the ingredients. Portuguese producers have tapped into this trend, often providing extensive background on the botanicals used, the distillation process, and the history of the company, connecting with consumers who value transparency and authenticity.

The advent of Portuguese London Dry Gin marks an exciting development in the world of spirits. It showcases the versatility and innovation of Portuguese producers, their respect for tradition coupled with a willingness to experiment and push boundaries. For anyone looking to explore beyond the traditional realms of gin, Portuguese London Dry Gin offers a rich, unique experience grounded in the flavours of its heritage and the spirit of innovation.

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