Welcome to your cheat sheet for how gin is made. Buckle up, and let’s dive (g)in. Beefeater has long been a pioneer of gin- and as the World’s Most Awarded Gin*, we know a thing or two about making a great bottle. 


We’ve detailed the process of making gin here. If you’re ever in London, pop by for our award-winning Distillery Tour and see how we make gin up close.


WHAT is gin?

Gin, by definition, is a neutral spirit that has been redistilled with a variety of botanicals (flavours, aromas, spices, you get the idea).


There are multiple ‘styles’ of gin- from compound to Genever- that refer to the specific rules governing the production of that style gin.


Beefeater is a ‘London Dry’ Gin, meaning we produce a gin that follows specific gin distillation methods.

  • The base spirit must be first distilled to 96% ABV
  • We only add water after the distillation process is complete
  • Our botanicals are therefore added during distillation- giving us a distinctive character
  • We only use natural botanicals

DO ‘LONDON DRY’ Gins have to be made in london?

Beefeater distils all of our gin in the urban heart of London at our home in Kennington. We are The Spirit of London, after all.

That being said, there is no rule that says London Dry gins have to be made here in London.

What is gin made of?

To make a gin, you need four key ingredients.


  • ALCOHOL: To make Beefeater, we use a neutral distilled spirit from grains as the base for our gin.
  • WATER: Pure, demineralised water give the botanicals space to shine.
  • JUNIPERGin without juniper is a lot like London without Beefeater… well, it’s just not right. In order to be classed as a gin, juniper must be added. The rest of the botanicals depend on each distiller.
  • BOTANICALS: From fruits, flowers and seeds, to herbs, spice­s and roots, these add unique character to the gin.


Here at Beefeater, we use a total of nine botanicals to make our iconic London Dry Gin. In addition to our specially selected juniper, you can also find citrusy coriander seed, earthy angelica root and florally spiced angelica seed, as well as smooth almond, sweet liquorice and essential orris root. Now, it wouldn’t be Beefeater without citrus, so we add sweet lemon peel and bitter Sevillian orange peel for that extra oomph.


The process: Gin-erating magic

There are several methods used to produce gin, but at Beefeater, we think our method is best. In order to make our wonderful gin there are a few steps.


  1. MACERATING THE BOTANICALS  Like steeping a bag of English Breakfast tea, but with Beefeater gin so even better. Our chosen botanicals are soaked for 24 hours.
  2. DISTILLATIONThings are starting to heat up. Our botanical-rich liquid heats up and the alcohol evaporates and is collected. 
  3. THE CUT: Like Goldilocks, our stillmen look for the cut of gin that is just right, so they check on the gin several times until they find the perfect balance of botanicals.
  4. DILUTIONWhere the alcohol by volume levels (ABV%) are adjusted to make the gin palatable (or drinkable to you and me).


Once the gin has been checked for quality, it is bottled and shipped all around the world. 

Bish, bash, bosh. That’s the basics of making gin, but let’s be honest, Beefeater is anything but basic.




Gin is not made from vodka. Gin is made from a neutral base spirit with the crucial addition of botanicals. The most important botanical added is juniper- without juniper, it isn’t gin!


Vodka is also made with neutral base spirit, usually from potato or grain. This is where the ingredient similarity to gin ends- vodka has no juniper.


We do have some great gin + vodka cocktails, for those interested in mixing the two up together.



Gin can be made quickly. Very quickly, in fact. It doesn’t require any ‘resting’ time in barrels, like a whisky might.


However, at Beefeater we believe good things take time, and we’re in no hurry. So, rather than rush things, we let our botanicals steep for 24 hours during the distillation process.


Sure, that’s unheard of. Sure, we could cut corners to make even more gin. But patience is a virtue, and our awards shelf agrees.


We do have a wonderful cask-aged gin- Burroughs Reserve- available exclusively at our distillery.


We love visitors! Head down to our home in Kennington, London, to get up close and personal with our processes. We offer tours, tastings and a great gin and tonic.



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Experience The Spirit of London at the home of Beefeater Gin.

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Mix up The Spirit of London with our cocktail recipes.