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Know the Difference Between Vodka and Gin

Vodka and Gin | www.drinks.ng

Vodka vs Gin Comparison

Vodka and gin are two of the world’s most popular spirit drinks, most notable for their clarity of the liquor in the bottle as opposed to whisky and brandy.

Many alcohol lovers do not give a care about what each of these spirit drinks are made of, least of all the artistic excellence put into distilling these drinks.

Although all of these drinks, whether it is vodka, rum, tequila, gin, bourbon, whiskey or cognac, have a unique history, there is a striking difference between them. The difference notwithstanding, there is still some form of similarity between them, especially in terms of production.

The major difference between spirits is in the raw materials used in the production. However, no matter the basis of the liquid, all spirit drinks must go through a distillation, and later aging process to arrive at the finished product.

The same thing goes for vodka and gin, two spirit drinks that form the basis for most cocktail mixes in the world.

While you may not be a liquor connoisseur, it is important to know the difference between the two distilled spirits.

What is Vodka?

Linked with roots to 14th century Russia, vodka is a neutral spirit traditionally lacking a distinctive character, aroma, taste or colour. However, with recent evolving trends, most vodka brands now have products with fruits flavour and aroma.

Derived from Voda, the Russian word for water, vodka in Russian means ‘little stream’. It has the characteristics of a colorless liquid, clear and smooth. It is a pure spirit with a neutral taste. It is generally distilled from the mixtures of potatoes or grains. It can also be made from corn, wheat or even more unconventional items such as grapes.

This is one of the heaviest drink which has 40% of alcohol content. In the European Union, the standard is set to 37.5% but in Nigeria, the limit remains 40% and sometimes higher.

What is Gin?

Gin is flavoured spirit that is produced by re-distillation of a high proof neutral spirit with juniper berries and other flavouring agents. Its origin is traced back to 17th century Holland.

The history of gin dates back to the 11th century, where monks were known to flavor crude distilled drinks with juniper berries and it was also unsuccessfully used as remedy for the black plague. However, the origin of the drink is credited to Franciscus de la Boe (known as Doctor Sylvius); a seventeenth century physician and professor of medicine at the University of Leyden.

It was first named Genièvre by Boe in relation to the French word for Juniper berry, but English distillers shortened it to Gin in the late 17th century.

Gin gets its flavour from the whatever product it is re-distilled from, and is produced mostly in United Kingdom, Holland and the United States. The four distinct varieties of gin include London Dry, Old Tom, Plymouth and Dutch.

The Difference between Vodka and Gin

The major difference between vodka and gin lies in the raw materials used in the production of both spirits, aside from the countries of origin.

While vodka is made from by distillation of potatoes, rye or wheat, gin is made with the help of distillation of malt or grain and then mixed with the flavor of juniper berries. The main constituent of Vodka is water and ethanol while the central part of Gin is Juniper berries.

Taste

Evidently, both vodka and gin are clear, colorless spirits, but when it comes to taste, both drinks carry a huge difference. Vodka is virtually neutral and tasteless, while gin often has distinctive, herbal notes. What marks this distinct flavour between the two spirits is that while vodka is a water-based alcohol which lends itself to more of an unfettered, clean finish, gin comes with eight botanicals used to realise its unique, juniper-laden flavour.

How it is served

Vodka is best served chilled while gin can be served without ice or refrigeration. Drinking chilled vodka gives a better mouthfeel as the drink is viscous at ice-cold temperatures. Gin, on the other hand, is already comes with aromatic flavours that compensate for when it is not served chilled.

Cocktail and Mixes

While both drinks are specially good for making cocktails, vodka is the preferred choice for most mixologists. Vodka plays a main ingredient in many cocktails including Bloody Mary, Screwdriver, Sex on the Beach, Moscow Mule, White Russian, Black Russian, etc. It can also be consumed with soft drinks.

For gin, its complexity comes alive when mixed with straight flavours just as in gin and tonic cocktail the effervescence of the tonic, the hit of sweet quinine and a twist of citrus (lemon or lime) makes a deceptively basic drink come to life.Other cocktails popularly made with gin include Ramos Gin Fizz, Martinez, Gin Rickey, Red Snapper, Tom Collins, White Lady, Hanky Panky, Clover Club, etc.

Classification

While gin maybe classified as a flavoured vodka in many instances, vodka can never be seen as a gin. This is because gin can be re-distilled from vodka, only with added spice and herbal extracts.

Types of Gin

Juniper-Flavoured Spirit Drinks

They are the earliest class of gins distilled in pot stills from fermented grain mash, before being re-distilled with aromatic compounds. They are approximately 68% ABV in strength.

Gin

Also juniper flavoured, however the juniper or aromatic compounds are added later on.

Distilled gin

Distilled gin is made by exclusively the re-distillation of ethanol of agricultural origin and has an initial strength of 95% ABV. It is also added with additional juniper berries and other natural botanicals.

London gin

London gin comes exclusively from ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin along with a maximum methanol content of 5 grams per hectolitre of 100% ABV equivalent.

The flavour is added by  re-distilling in traditional stills of ethyl alcohol in the presence of all the natural plant materials used, resulting in a spirit of 70% ABV. London gin is sometimes referred to as ‘Dry’.

Popular Vodka and Gins in Nigeria and their Prices

Some of the popular vodka in Nigeria and prices

Product Size Amount in Carton

Unit Price (NGN)

Carton Price (NGN)
Absolut Original or Absolut Blue

1 Litre

 

12

3,870

 

41,055

 

Absolut Raspberri 1 Litre

12

4,095

 

43,500

 

Absolut Citron 1 Litre

12

4,095

 

43,500

 

Absolut Mango 1 Litre

12

4,095

43,500

 

Absolut Vanilla 1 Litre

12

4,095

43,500

 

Absolut Mandrin 1 Litre

12

4,095

43,500

 

Absolut Pear 1 Litre

12

4,095

43,500

 

Absolut Kurant 1 Litre

12

4,095

43,500

 

Absolut Apeach 1 Litre

12

4,095

43,500

 

Absolut Ruby Red 1 Litre

12

4,095

43,500

 

Absolut Elyx 1 Litre

12

10,920

58,000

 

Skyy Vodka

1 Litre

12

3,220

37,435

Skyy Vodka Infusions Citrus 1 Litre

6

3,620

19,210

Skyy Vodka Infusions Raspberry 1 Litre

6

3,620

19,210

Skyy Vodka Infusions Passion Fruit 1 Litre

6

3,620

19,210

Ciroc

1 Litre

12

16,494

163,013

Ciroc 6 Litres

1

148,922

148,922

Ciroc Red Berry 1 Litre

12

16,494

175,088

Ciroc Apple 1 Litre

12

16,494

175,088

Ciroc Peach 1 Litre

12

16,494

175,088

Ciroc Coconut 1 Litre

12

16,494

175,088

Ciroc Pineapple 1 Litre

12

16,494

175,088

Smirnoff Blue

70cl

6

3,230

34,080

Smirnoff Apple 70cl

6

3,180

33,500

Smirnoff Raspberry 70cl

6

3,180

33,500

Smirnoff Citrus 70cl

6

3,180

33,500

Smirnoff Orange

70cl

6

3,180

33,500

Smirnoff Red 70cl

6

2,900

30,610

Smirnoff Red 20cl

48

830

34,650

Belvedere Black Raspberry 1 Litre

6

16,630

87,780

Belvedere Citrus 1 Litre

6

14,660

77,390

Belvedere Grapefruit 1 Litre

6

14,660

77,390

Belvedere Intense 1 Litre

6

14,660

77,390

Belvedere Luminous 3 Litres

3

21,880

57,750

Belvedere Pure 1 Litre

6

14,660

77,390

Some of the popular gins in Nigeria and prices

Product Size Amount in Carton

Unit Price (NGN)

Carton Price (NGN)
Tanqueray Ten

1 Litre

 

12

3,870

 

41,055

 

Gordons 70cl

12

1,350

 

14,210

 

Beefeater 75cl

12

3,500

 

36,960

 

Bombay 70cl

6

3,310

17,470

 

Greenall’s 70cl

6

2,370

12,480

 

Gordons 20cl

48

1,130

47,360

 

Bombay Sapphire 75cl

12

4,800

50,590

 

Best 75cl

6

880

4,620

 

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Nigerian Ambassadors for Top Drink Brands

Campari 2 Face | www.drinks.ng

Nigerian Ambassadors for Top Drink Brands.

A lot of Nigerian companies have celebrities to represent their brand and connect with their consumers on a better level. Drink companies have not been left out of the rage and huge brands such as Bacardi Martini, and Nigerian Breweries have Nigerian superstars as the faces of their brands. Here is a list of some of these brands and their ambassadors.

 

Bacardi Martini – Bryan Okwara

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Bryan Okwara was crowned ‘Mr Nigeria’ in 2007, and has since worked hard at establishing himself as a reputable model and actor. He was unveiled on the 1st of August as the brand ambassador for Martini’s Begin Desire campaign as the Nigerian Martini Man.

 

Skyy Vodka- Patoranking

 

Nigeria’s dancehall sensation, Patoranking- real name Patrick Nnaemeka Okorie  is the brand ambassador for  Skyy Vodka. The singer was quoted saying that his nature and personality are in perfect alignment with the brand’s message of fun.  He said ‘ I am a great fan of SKYY Vodka and ‎aligning with a strong international brand that not only understands but also appreciates my artistry and is committed to supporting the growth of my music beyond the nigerian borders is a fantastic opportunity.

 

Smirnoff- Dj Spinall

 

Popular disc jockey, DJ Spinall is the first African brand ambassador for Diageo’s vodka brand Smirnoff. DJ Spinall, whose real name Sodamola Oluseye Desmond is the official DJ for Beat FM Ibadan. He is also the official DJ for the weekly Industry Nite.

 

Ciroc – Banky W

 

Ciroc Vodka has RnB crooner Banky W as its brand ambassador in Nigeria.  Described by many as the King of African Soul/R&B, Banky W combines global style with African rhythms and influences to create an entirely unique and impressive sound, which has catapulted him to continental and international acclaim. Aside from his musical success, Banky W is the king of Lagos’ vibrant nightlife scene, and is known as a staple on any exclusive guest list.

 

Orijin – Reminisce

Top Nigerian rapper Remilekun Safaru popularly known as Reminisce is the brand ambassador for Orijin Bitters. The company chose Reminisce as its brand ambassador in line with what Orijin represents, noting that Orijin comes from a special blend of the old with the new, the traditional with the modern and these same qualities are epitomised by Reminisce, whose quality and depth of work as an artist makes him a perfect fit as brand ambassador.

 

Life Continental Beer – Flavour

Award winning highlife musician who was previously an ambassador for Guinness Nigeria, recently announced as the Ambassador for  leading South-east beer brand, Life Continental Beer.The brand which has been for years the beer of preference for the people of the South-east, made this choice to further reinforce its commitment to the heritage, essence, connection and affinity with the people of South-east.

 

Johnnie Walker- Don Jazzy

 

The Mavin Boss joined the league of one of the Global ambassadors for Johnnie Walker, a brand of Scotch whisky owned by Diageo  in September 2015. He started off with the ‘Joy will take you further’ campaign which was a huge success.

 

Martell- Burna Boy

Damini Ogulu popularly known as Burna Boy is the Nigerian Brand Ambassador for Martell Cognac. He joined Jude Abaga (M.I) as a representative of the Cognac brand.

 

Campari- 2 face

2Face for Campari 1

In April 2016, the Legendary International RnB superstar, 2Face was announced as the brand ambassador for premium liqueur brand Campari, The brand explained its decision to partner with 2Face, saying he embodies the values that the Campari brand represents – originality, passion, maturity and universal appeal.

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Top 5 Best Loved Vodkas in Nigeria

Absolut, Grey Goose, Smirn off Vodkas | www.drinks.ng

A report by  the Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) has revealed that Nigeria’s spirits market is worth $2 billion and it is increasing at six per cent average yearly. Although the GAIN report noted that local spirits lead the market, they, however, do not meet the standards of the increasing high- and middle- class consumers preferred premium brands.

While there is a large number of local spirits, Vodka is quite popular among Nigerians and here are 5 of the best loved Vodka brands in Nigeria. 

1. Magic Moments Vodka 

Magic moments luxury vodka takes many Nigerians to a whole new Magical world. Launched in 2006, Magic Moments Vodka is top of its category and has won itself 36 international awards, not only for its standard variant, but also its six flavours. Blended with richest and finest grains Magic Moments is defined by its remarkable heritage and premium ingredients. The smooth triple distilled vodka is a certified favourite and can be found in various bars and the shelves of various supermarkets.

2. Ciroc Vodka

Ciroc is famous brand of ultra premium vodka that is manufactured and sold by Diageo. The product is highly unique from other brands of vodka in the sense that it uses grapes as a basic ingredient rather than wheat, potatoes, or corn. The vodka is 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof), and usually available in 750ml to 1.75L sized bottles. There are currently eight flavours for customers to choose from, and the variety that Ciroc provides makes it a highly sought after drink. Ciroc vodka is the choice for premium smooth tasting sweet vodka that is unlike any other on the market.

3. Skyy Vodka 

Skyy Vodka is a popular brand of vodka produced in the United States. It comes in over 20 flavours and its price is quite affordable, making it first choice for those who might not want to splurge on an expensive bottle of vodka, but still get high quality vodka. Although the price is low, the taste is not. The Skyy range is quadruple distilled and triple filtered for a clean taste. In 2008, Skyy expanded the Skyy Vodka line with seventeen new flavours, referred to as Skyy Infusions. These Skyy Infusions are made with real fruit. Some of the flavours currently sold include citrus, pineapple, blood orange, vodka infused with moscato grape, wild strawberry, Georgia peach, vanilla bean, cherry, dragon fruit, raspberry, passion fruit, coconut, and grape.

4. Absolut Vodka

Absolut is the third largest brand of alcoholic spirits in the world after Bacardi and Smirnoff. It is quite popular among Nigerians. Absolut Vodka has a rich flavor, is smooth and mellow with a distinct character of grain. Absolut Vodka is great neat and ice-cold, on the rocks or as a base for hundreds of drinks and cocktails.

5. Grey Goose Vodka

Grey Goose is one of the most popular luxury vodka brands known for its excellent quality. The vodka is clean and fresh, with a smooth, creamy texture.  Grey Goose comes in different exotic flavours and is  made up of 95% vodka and 5% Cognac. It is a top choice for many Nigerians.