Gin vs Vodka: What’s the Difference?

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The differences between vodka and gin are many but both of them are very popular alcoholic beverages. You can enjoy both gin and vodka by themselves with a few ice cubes but you can mix them in more complex cocktails as well. But before you start using these drinks as part of your cocktails, it is essential to understand their features.

Gin has different flavors, usually pine and herbal ones while vodka has a neutral flavor. However, they both come in a clear color which makes them easily mistaken for each other. Also, the alcohol level of gin varies from 35% to 55% while vodka contains in average 40% alcohol.   

Gin vs Vodka

Characteristics Gin Vodka
Ingredients Grains, juniper berries Grains, potatoes
Alcohol level 35%-55% 40%
Taste Predominant juniper Neutral taste
Smell Herbal, citrus scent Odorless
Color Clear clear
Origin Holland Russia
Uses Drinks, cleaning, scent, unpleasant odor remover Drinks, cleaning, unpleasant odor remover

Gin vs vodka, which is stronger

One of the most frequent questions people have is which is stronger, gin or vodka? The truth is that there is not much difference when it comes to the alcohol level. With gin containing anywhere from 35% to 55% alcohol by volume and vodka containing in average 40% alcohol by volume, you can easily get intoxicating from both these drinks.

However, since gin has flavor and tends to be more pleasant to the taste, consumers might find it easier to drink more of it compared to vodka. This feature of gin also leads to the fact that it is preferred by people who like to consume it plain, thanks to its flavor.

How does gin taste compared to vodka?

The difference in the taste of these two drinks is maybe the most potent difference.

Vodka has no taste or particular flavor. Being made of grains and potatoes, vodka maintains its water like color and its neutral taste even once it acquires alcohol content. On the other hand, gin is coming with a rich herbal flavor. The most predominant taste of gin is the one of Juniper berries or pine, according to the recipe followed.

If you like this type of flavor, gin will most likely be the drink of choice for you or the best ingredient for your cocktails. Juniper berries is the main ingredient that you will find in all types of gin which is why it is representative for its flavor as well. Besides the juniper flavor, your gin might also have a citrus and even spicy taste.

We will mention that due to the great flavor that gin has, many people prefer to consume it at room temperature. When it comes to vodka, this is almost all the time preferred in a cold state and mixed with some other drinks in order to obtain the desired taste. But ultimately, the way you prefer to have your drink will be up to your personal taste as there are no wrong ways when it comes to enjoying your gin or vodka.



Is gin the same strength as vodka?

In terms of alcoholic content, gin is comparable to vodka even if they don’t necessarily have the same strength. Gin can be weaker or stronger than vodka as different brands will give it different alcoholic levels. But usually, the average gin doesn’t have more than 55% ABV while the average vodka is around 40%.

You can also find vodka and gin at the same alcoholic levels which means they have the same strength.

How is vodka made

Vodka is traditionally made of grains and potatoes, sometimes both while other times just one of these ingredients. The most common type of grain used to make vodka is rye.

The ingredients are combined with water and cooked before yeast is added in order to launch the process of fermentation. During this process, sugar is transformed into alcohol. The future vodka is ready to be distilled now.

The vodka has to pass the fire test before it is decided if it meets the requirements of strength. If the beverage catches on fire, it means it is strong enough and the distillation process is over. On the contrary, if it doesn’t catch fire, it will need to be distilled again and re-checked.

Besides this type of plain vodka though, there is also flavored vodka on the market that started to gain popularity very fast. Flavored vodka is infused with different spices and aromas. Vodkas are not let to age and they can be bottled as soon as the production process is complete.

How is gin made

Gin also contains grains that are fermented and distilled in order to create a neutral type of alcohol. These grains could be barley, wheat or rye. But the basis of gin can also be obtained from potatoes or grapes, through a distillation process. Then, juniper berries are added along with other optional herbs and spices, in order to flavor the final gin beverage.

Note that if the strongest taste of gin is not the one of juniper, the beverage can’t be labeled as gin according to the law. Gin has to contain minimum 37.3% alcohol per volume at the end of the production process but you will also find types of gin on the market with 35% ABV.

There are three types of gin that follow the traditional recipe: Plymouth Gin, London Dry, and the Old Tom gin.

Vodka uses

Vodka is a more versatile alcoholic drink than it is thought. Its main quality remains being used as a beverage plain or in different cocktail combinations.

But you can also use vodka to scrub chrome objects and bring their shine back. It is also very efficient at getting rid of rust from different metals as long as you use it along with an abrasive sponge.

Another great use of vodka is in the water of cut flowers to preserve their life. You will only need a few drops of vodka and you will notice how your flowers last for a longer period of time in the vase.

Spraying vodka over areas affected by mildew and mold will also help you eliminate it and have cleaner surfaces. All you have to do is use it in a sprayer and rub with a sponge on the affected surface. It will not leave much of a smell either, when you are done with this unusual but efficient cleaning process.

And last but not least, if your shoes develop an unpleasant odor, simply spray some vodka inside of them. You will notice that they have no more odor once the vodka dries out.

Gin uses

Just as vodka, gin is mainly used for personal consumption. It can be great by itself but also as an ingredient in different other drinks. But can you use gin in other purposes but as a drink? You might be surprised to discover that you actually can!

Gin mixed with water can form a great cleaner for jewelry such as diamonds. Rumours say that this is a strategy used by the Queen Elizabeth herself. Try it and your diamonds will sparkle again like they used to!.

London gin in particular is well-known for its citrusy scent that many love as a room perfume. You can add some of this gin in a sprayer and give a few puffs in your house. Don’t worry about the alcohol in it as this will evaporate fast, leaving just a pleasant scent all around.

You can also spray your shoes with gin in the same fashion you can spray them with vodka. It will get rid of any unpleasant smell but it will also kill any bacteria inside of them.

Just like vodka, gin can be efficiently used as a cleaner for different surfaces. It reduces germs and leaves your house shining. It is especially efficient on mirrors, windows and glasses but you can use it to get rid of mold and mildew as well.

A rather unusual use of gin is instead of an aftershave. You can use it after shaving and even if it will leave an alcoholic scent, this will disappear with the first shower.

Also Check: Daiquiri vs Margarita: What’s the Difference?

Final thoughts

Now that you know everything you need about gin and vodka, you will most likely find it easier to choose between them. It is best to give them a try plain in order to get familiar with their taste and alcohol level. Once you know how they taste plain, you can decide to enjoy them in your cocktails or simply with a few ice cubes.

Both vodka and gin have a significant alcohol content so keep that into mind when you are adding them in various combinations. The alcohol level might not be so obvious in your drink, especially if you mix them with fruity drinks or other strong flavors that take over the final cocktail. Bottom line is that you will not regret having both a bottle of gin and vodka in your fridge for special occasions or simply for when you need a drink to relax after a long day!

Chad Smith

Meet Chad Smith, a seasoned bartender with a passion for mixology. He's the founder of Tin Roof Drink Community, a blog where he shares expert tips, creative recipes, and fosters a vibrant community of cocktail enthusiasts and aspiring bartenders. Join Chad as he takes you on a flavorful journey through the world of drinks. Cheers!

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