Gin is a distilled alcoholic beverage that gets most of its flavor from juniper berries. Gin is also flavored with spices, floral fruit flavors, botanicals, herbs, or a combination of the aforementioned.
Gin first originated in the 13th century, then known as jenever which is the Dutch translation of the original Latin word Juniperus, derived from juniper.
Two popular brands of gin are Beefeater and Tanqueray. While these are the same beverage in terms of classification, each is distinct and unique.
Both brands are respected as traditional and established gin brands and are well-known worldwide.
Beefeater vs Tanqueray
When comparing London Dry Gins, the often-made comparison is Tanqueray vs Beefeater. London Dry Gins are made in a specific fashion with strict directions and expectations.
London Dry gins are not necessarily produced in London but are rather made in a style of production that is juniper-based and has no artificial ingredients added to the beverage.
The gin is rather infused with botanical flavor through re-distillation. No artificial ingredients can be added and no color of flavor can be introduced after distillations.
Tanqueray is a London Dry Gin that originated in Bloomsbury, London in 1830. The brand is now owned by Diageo, a multinational company that specializes in beverage alcohol.
The founder, Charles Tanqueray, established the distillery in London before it was passed on to his son Charles Waugh Tanqueray in 1868 following Charles Senior’s death. In 2016 Tanqueray overtook Beefeater Gin as the brand with the highest sales volume worldwide.
Beefeater Gin is a Dry London Gin owned by Pernod Ricard. Beefeater is bottled and distributed in the UK by James Burrough Ltd. The brand was introduced in 1876 by the Burrough family.
The name Beefeater refers to the nickname for the bodyguards of the British Monarch, the Yeoman of the Guard. Between 2006 and 2012 Beefeater earned double gold, two gold, two silver, and two bronze medals from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
In 2022, Beefeater was ranked as the first finalist for Best Class of Gin.
How Are They Made?
Gin is made by distilling grain alcohol with juniper berries and other botanical ingredients. The botanicals are steeped for a certain period before they are infused with the raw spirit. The grain used to produce the grain alcohol is generally wheat or barley which is distilled to create the alcohol base.
The predominant flavor in gin has to be juniper for it to be called ‘gin’. The spirits can be infused with other forms of herbs, spices, and botanicals to create an ideal recipe.
However, for it to be a London Dry Gin like Tanqueray and Beefeaters, no flavor or color can be added after the distillations.
Tanqueray is made by double distilling the grain, with specific botanicals added to the mixture during the second distillation. The four-step distillation process results in a gin with only the flavors from the botanicals.
Beefeater Gin is produced using a single distillation process. The botanicals used are steeped for 24 hours, allowing the maximum amount of flavor of the botanicals to be extracted.
What Are They Made of?
The four botanicals added to Tanqueray are juniper, coriander, licorice, and angelica root. The number of botanicals used to produce Tanqueray is limited to four botanicals, allowing the distinct juniper taste to come through.
Beefeater Gin contains nine botanicals, namely, angelica root, juniper, licorice, coriander seeds, almonds, Seville oranges, lemon peel, and orris root.
Beefeater is made of 100% grain spirit, with the grain being wheat. A super-premium version of the Beefeater gin was released in 2009.
The Beefeater 24 London Dry Gin is made with the same 9 original botanicals, as well as Japanese Sencha tea, Chinese Green tea, and grapefruit.
How Are They Similar?
Both gins are made of primarily juniper as most gins are. Both gins incorporate licorice which is used as a sweetening agent in early gins. This addition has been used by both brands for years in the production of the gins.
Licorice has a distinctive flavor that is similar to fennel or anise. Tanqueray and Beefeater Gin are both London Dry Gins, promising a pure and refined taste.
Tanqueray vs Beefeater Comparison
|Item||Beefeater Gin||Tanqueray Gin|
|Production Area||London, United Kingdom||Scotland|
|Raw Materials||Wheat grain spirit, angelica root, juniper, licorice, coriander seeds, almonds, Seville oranges, lemon peel, orris root||Juniper, coriander, licorice, and angelica root|
|ABV||44% (88 proof)||47.3% (94.6 proof)|
|Taste||Juniper and Citrus flavor profile.||Flavor profile: Piney Juniper, feint lemon zest|
|Average Price (per Liter)||$22,99 – $29,99||$31,99 – $35,99|
|Number of Botanicals||9||4|
Beefeater London Dry Gin Variations
|Beefeater London Dry Gin||750ml||$17,99 – $19,99||96|
|1 Liter||$22,99 – $29,99||96|
|1.75 Liter||$32,99 – $44,99||96|
|Beefeater 24||750ml||$22,99 – $29,99||90|
|Beefeater Burrough’s Reserve||750ml||$69,99 – $89,99||86|
|Beefeater London Garden||750ml||$98,99 – $128,99||80|
|Beefeater London Pink||750ml||$19,99 – $22,99||63|
The Beefeater Gin brand states that their gin is at the middle price point of the gin market. Beefeater’s London Dry Gin has a flavor profile of juniper and citrus and is available worldwide.
Beefeater’s Reserve Edition 2, however, is a limited variety with a flavor profile of juniper and dried fruit. The simplistic recipe used to produce Beefeater Gin allows the brand to focus on a standard quality across its gin.
Tanqueray London Dry Gin Variations
|Tanqueray London Dry Gin||750ml||$22,99 – $25,99||94.6|
|1 liter||$31,99 – $35,99||94.6|
|1.75 liter||$32,99 – $44,99||94.6|
|Tanqueray No. Ten Gin||750ml||$36,99 – $39,99||94.6|
|Tanqueray Rangpur Gin||750ml||$25,99 – $27,99||82.6|
Tanqueray used to offer several flavors which are no longer available. These include Tanqueray Orange Gin, Lemon Gin, Malacca Gin (hint of grapefruit, and Rangpur Gin (citrus flavor).
Tanqueray No. Ten Gin contains an additional four ingredients to the original recipe, including fresh white grapefruit, orangs, chamomile flowers, and fresh lime. This gin is seen as the elite version of the original recipe, a fact reflected in its price.
How To Drink Beefeater and Tanqueray Gin?
Beefeater can be drunk ‘neat’ (Beefeater Burrough’s Reserve Edition 2 should be used), or in a cocktail. Using 1 ounce of Beefeater London Dry Gin, combined with 1 ounce of banana liqueur, ½ an ounce of dry vermouth, 1 ounce of passion fruit juice, and 1/3 of an ounce of egg white.
Place the previous ingredients in a shaker with ice, then strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish the glass with a slice of lemon and a lime slice and enjoy. This cocktail is known as a Yeoman Warder Passion.
Tanqueray is ideal for creating a gin and juice beverage. Combine 1,5 ounces of Tanqueray Gin, 3 ounces of orange juice, and 3 ounces of pineapple juice in a shaker filled with ice.
Shake the mixture then strain over ice in a low-ball glass. Finish off the drink with a squeeze of lime, and garnish with pineapple and orange slices. This gin and juice is the perfect drink for the summer.
An old-fashioned gin can be made by combining 1,5 ounces of Tanqueray gin, 1 ounce of Italian aperitif bitters, and 1 ounce of sweet vermouth over ice in a low-ball glass. Garnish with an orange twist and enjoy.
Alternatives to Beefeater vs Tanqueray
There are many alternatives to Beefeater and Tanqueray if you are looking for something a little different.
For something at a similar strength to Tanqueray, Bombay Sapphire London Dry Gin is a good alternative. The gin is produced using grains of paradise, almond, and cubeb berries which are not common gin ingredients, making this gin stand out on the market. The gin is bottled at 94 proof (47 ABV) and is sold at $16,99 for 750ml.
For a gin ideal for cocktails comparable to Tanqueray, Martin Miller’s Gin is a good choice. At 40 ABV, this gin is double distilled much like Tanqueray, and is sold at $30 for 750ml. This gin has the same four botanicals that Tanqueray has, as well as cassia bark, Florentine iris, and lime peel.
For a slightly spicy alternative to Beefeater, Aviation American Gin would be a good alternative. At 42 ABV, this gin has a flavor profile of juniper and citrus, similar to Beefeater, with a spicy undernote. This gin sells for $27 per 750ml.
For an old-school gin alternative to Beefeaters, Genever is a Dutch gin with a 42 ABV. The recipe is a balance of sweet malt and subdued juniper and citrus and sells for $35 per 750ml.
Beefeater vs Tanqueray FAQs
Which came first?
Tanqueray Gin was established 46 years before Beefeater, in 1830, compared to 1876.
Which is stronger?
Tanqueray Gin is stronger than Beefeater at 47,3% ABV, compared to Beefeater’s 44% ABV.
Which is the most popular?
According to the website Delish, the best gin for martinis is Beefeater London Dry Gin, whereas Tanqueray was rated as the overall best London Dry Gin.