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What is dry gin?

Gin is the overarching name for a distilled alcohol made from grain and botanicals. But just like other spirits, there’s many different types of gin


Pink gin, sloe, Navy Strength and Old Tom, there’s plenty to choose from. But one of the most popular – and the one we’re going to delve into here – is dry gin, or London Dry Gin as it’s officially called.


This quality gin is a favourite for most gin drinkers due to its natural flavourings and clean taste. But what sets dry gin apart from other gins?


Read on to learn more about what makes a dry gin dry and how best to enjoy it.


what is the difference between gin and dry gin?

Gin is a distilled spirit made from a grain such as barley, water and juniper berries. It’s then often flavoured with other botanicals such as spices, fruits, roots and herbs. 


The difference between most other gins and dry gin is that other gins also contain a sweetener such as sugar or syrup that’s added after distillation. Whereas dry gins are not sweetened and therefore have a cleaner, more herbal flavour, perfect for those who don’t like overly sweet spirits.


Dry gins are most commonly found in bars and restaurants, particularly in the UK. If you’ve ever ordered a G&T or Gin Martini, you’ve likely had a sip.

what is london dry gin?

London Dry Gin is the official name for all dry gins. Like the name suggests, it’s a type of gin that originated in London however these days it can be made anywhere, as long as it adheres to strict production regulations.


London Dry Gin must be distilled to a high level of purity and must not have any artificial sweeteners. Every flavour you identify in a dry gin is from natural botanicals. 


Beefeater London Dry Gin is the only historic dry gin that is still distilled in London, under the supervision of the world’s most experienced Master Distiller Emeritus, Desmond Payne. Bold juniper flavours, strong citrus notes and botanicals such as almond, angelica root and liquorice root are steeped for 24 hours before distillation. A complex but rewarding process that results in the same delicious taste as the original 19th century recipe. We’re proud to be The World’s Most Awarded Gin and original London Dry.

can you drink dry gin straight?

Dry gin can be enjoyed any way you like it, but if you want to sample the spirit’s individual flavours, we recommend drinking it straight before mixing. 


Serve dry gin chilled or pour over ice to cool the liquid and soften the alcoholic taste. Take your time with every sip and notice the subtle notes of the natural botanicals. You could also add a twist of citrus peel to elevate the gin’s lemon and orange notes.

how to drink dry gin

Dry gin is less sweet than other types of gin, making it the easiest spirit to combine with other ingredients. 


The most popular way to drink dry gin is in the classic gin mixer, Gin and Tonic. Stick to a clean, original recipe by mixing one part Beefeater London Dry Gin with two parts quality tonic water into a highball glass with ice. garnish with a slice of lemon and a slice of orange, just as Desmond Payne suggests. Or mix up the recipe by using flavoured tonics like elderflower, ginger and citrus. You can even make a Frozen Gin and Tonic by blending the ingredients with ice, perfect for sweltering summer days. 


Other mixers that work well with dry gin include soda water, lemonade, ginger ale and fruit juice. Or add a dash to other alcohols like white wine and Prosecco.


When it comes to cocktails, dry gin is a go to spirit. The opportunities are endless with everything from classic gin recipes to fruity concoctions. Here’s some of our favourites.

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The Negroni is a classic drink, enjoyed all over the world. Perfectly balanced with bitter and sweet flavours, it’s the ultimate gin cocktail. Equal parts London Dry Gin, Campari and sweet vermouth are stirred together over ice and garnished with an orange twist. Simplicity at its best.

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gin fizz

For a sharper, sweeter take on the G&T, make sure to try a Gin Fizz, This fun looking cocktail is surprisingly easy to make, clashing a smooth frothy top with a sparkling fizz finish. London Dry mixes with lemon juice and sugar syrup for a citrusy taste that’s light and refreshing. 


You can easily mix up a Gin Fizz with extra fruity flavours like our Pomegranate Gin Fizz that uses fresh pomegranate juice and seeds for a fun, pink finish.

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The Gin Basil Smash is a simple recipe that combines the best of London and Italy. Dry Gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup and extra virgin olive oil combine to create a silky smooth drink that goes down a treat. Garnished with basil for extra freshness.

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gin sour

A Gin Sour is a short, frothy cocktail that brings together London Dry Gin, lemon sugar and simple syrup, with a foamy egg white finish. Like the Gin Fizz, it’s a great drink for making your own with your favourite flavours.

Our Coconut and Pineapple Gin Sour is a winner for tropical summer nights. Or try our Berry Gin Sour for a rich, red cocktail that’s berry, berry good.

beefeater gin bramble cocktail recipe


A quintessential British drink for spring and summer – meet the Gin Bramble. Seasonal blackberries, fresh lemon juice and a dash of pomegranate are shaken with London Dry Gin to create a silky, smooth drink that’s made for sipping in the sunshine.


Now you’ve learnt all about dry gin, why not find out more about what gin is made from or the history of the Gin and Tonic.


There’s also plenty more gin cocktail recipes to try with Beefeater from gin aperitifs to variations of the Martini.

Blood Orange Gin & Tonic cocktail recipe - Beefeater Gin


Blood Orange Gin & Tonic

Beginner Cocktails

Bitter Cocktails

Pink Lady cocktail recipe - Beefeater Pink Gin


Pink Lady

Intermediate Cocktails

Sweet Cocktails

pink 75 cocktail


Pink French 75

Beginner Cocktails

Sweet Cocktails

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Beefeater Gin & Tonic

Beginner Cocktails

Bitter Cocktails

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Beefeater Negroni

Beginner Cocktails

Bitter Cocktails