Beefeater London Dry Gin is a gin brand distilled in Kennington, London. The brand, owned by Pernod Ricard, is distributed and bottled in the United Kingdom. Popularity has increased substantially and now record sales of over a million cases annually.
Beefeaters London Dry Gin derives its name from the nickname given to the ceremonial guardians of the Tower of London. The label on the Beefeaters Gin bottle depicts a Yeoman of the Guard in full regalia.
The Yeoman Warders have been guarding the Tower of London since Tudor times. The Beefeater nickname originated from the time when the Yeoman Warders at the Tower received chunks of beef as part of their salary.
History of Beefeater Gin
In 1862 pharmacist James Burrough bought the Cale Street-based Chelsea distillery from John Taylor for £400. The Cale street distillery had been in operation since 1820 and was one of 40 spirit producers in the London area
The distillery continued with the production of liqueurs started by the previous owners, further establishing its reputation and customer base. In addition, Burrough continued experimenting with using new processes.
He discovered that blending a particular recipe of botanicals produced a bold, full-flavored gin, which he named Beefeater Gin and introduced the brand in 1895. It quickly became the distillery’s best-selling label.
The Burrough Company expanded rapidly, creating the requirement to increase distilling capacity. As a result, in 1908, the distillery moved from Cale Street to the new larger Beefeater Distillery in the Lambeth Borough.
In 1958 the distillery relocated to Kennington, London taking over a space that was previously named “Haywards Military Pickle Factory. English still manufacturer John Dore was commissioned to create a new, more extensive set of copper stills mimicking the former Chelsea Distillery stills.
By the 1960s, Beefeater had vastly increased its popularity and reportedly made up 75% of the Gin imported to the United States. In 1987 the Whitbread Company purchased Beefeater and its distillery from the Burrough family.
In 2008 Beefeater was sold to Pernod-Ricard. In 2013 Pernod-Ricard announced that the company would begin constructing a visitor center at the existing Beefeater Distillery site.
How is Beefeater Gin Made
Gin is an alcoholic beverage of no less than 40% ABV ( bottled at not less than 80 proof) with a predominant juniper berries flavor. In the USA, Beefeater Gin is a 44% or 47% ABV (94 proof) product and a 40% ABV product throughout the rest of the world.
Beefeater Gin uses the Steep method of distillation to produce its Gin, utilizing a mixture of nine botanicals: juniper, angelica root, angelica seeds, coriander seeds, licorice, almonds, orris roots, Seville oranges, and lemon peel.
Making Beefeater Gin requires a two-stage process. First, a fermented wheat wash is distilled to produce a neutral base spirit.
Next, the nine botanicals are added and soaked for 24 hours to allow the herbs and ingredients to release their flavor and aroma.
This mixture is re-distilled in a pot still, producing a spirit full of the aromas and flavors of the botanicals. Finally, water is added to the distillate to reduce the Beefeater Gin to the required strength for bottling.
Beefeater Gin Prices, Variations, and Sizes
Beefeater London Dry Gin is made exclusively in London and is one of only nine gin producers with its distillery still in London, such as Sipsmith and The London Distillery. Beefeater Gin is sold in more than 100 countries with total annual sales of 21.6 million liters.
Beefeater Gin does not have a wide variety of products, with only four primary offerings catering to different tastes and at varying and relevant prices.
Beefeater London Dry Gin
Beefeater London Dry Gin is the original Gin of the Beefeater brand and still uses the same ingredients and production method developed by James Burrough; And first released in 1895. In 2020 Ricard Pernod reduced the alcohol content from 47%to 44% ABV.
Beefeater Dry Gin has a crystal clear color with a distinct aroma of juniper with citrus and coriander notes. This London Dry Gin has a sweet and spicy juniper and citrus flavor well balanced with floral and woody notes from the angelica and licorice root.
Beefeater London Dry Gin can be drunk straight on ice, makes a great martini, mixes well with many cocktails, and is perfect for the famous Gin & Tonic.
Beefeater 24 London Dry Gin
Beefeater 24, created by Master Distiller Desmond Payne, uses Japanese Sencha Tea, Chinese Green Tea, and grapefruit peel in addition to the regular blend of nine botanicals used in the original Beefeater London Dry Gin.
The ingredients are macerated for 24 hours in grain spirits before distillation in pot stills for seven hours. The inclusion of the two teas and grapefruit peel help to shape its unique aroma and smooth, full-bodied, subtle flavors with a light, lingering aftertaste of tea.
Beefeater 24 makes an excellent martini, blends well, and can be used to create unique cocktails. Beefeater 24 can be sipped neat on the rocks and works well with Tonic.
Beefeater Pink Strawberry Gin
Beefeater Pink Strawberry Gin is made using the original Beefeater London Dry Gin with the addition of natural strawberry flavoring to create a delicate and refreshing strawberry flavored Gin and bottled at 37.5% ABV
Beefeater Pink Gin has complex juniper and Seville orange flavors with sweet strawberry notes making it best served with quality tonic water over ice and garnished with fresh strawberries.
Beefeater Burrough’s Reserve
Distilled in a small historic copper still (Still Number 12) with a capacity of 268 liters, this still produces small batches of spirit with a unique character.
The spirit matures in ex-Bordeaux red and white wine oak casks. Each bottle of Burrough’s Reserve displays its batch and bottle number on the label.
Beefeater Burrough’s Reserve Gin has an initial juniper flavor followed by notes of oak and citrus with a long, smooth, and complex finish and should be sipped neat to appreciate this quality gin.
Beefeater London Garden
The Beefeater London Garden uses the same nine botanicals as the standard Beefeater Gin with the addition of lemon verbena and thyme.
Although initially only available to purchase personally at the Beefeater Distillery London, Garden Gin is now available in the USA.
The name London Garden refers to the Chelsea Physic Garden, which the founder John Burrough often frequented and would have served as an inspiration to the Beefeater’s original recipe.
Average Retail Prices for Beefeater Gin
|Beefeater London Dry Gin||750 ml||$19|
|Beefeater London Dry Gin||1000 ml||$26|
|Beefeater London Dry Gin||1750 ml||$39|
|Beefeater 24 London Dry Gin||750 ml||$26|
|Beefeater Pink Strawberry Gin||750 ml||$22|
|Beefeater Burrough’s Reserve||750 ml||$80|
|Beefeater London Garden Gin||750 ml||$115|
Alternatives/Comparisons of Beefeater Gin
The Gin liquor industry is becoming more diverse with each passing year. The following gins are some tried and tested favorites that you can rely on for a great Gin and Tonic, as well as many other cocktails:
- Tanqueray London Dry Gin
- Bombay Sapphire London Dry Gin
- Martin Miller’s London Dry Gin
- Hendrick’s Gin
- Plymouth Gin
How to Drink Beefeater Gin
Beefeater Gin works well with cocktails due to its dry, refreshing taste that is not too sugary.
So, when mixed with sweet fruit juices, a well-balanced cocktail is created. Beefeater Gin can be served neat at room temperature and sipped slowly or poured over ice.
The most popular Gin drinks are:
Gin and Tonic is a highball cocktail made by pouring Gin and Indian Tonic water over ice and garnishing with a slice of lime.
Gin Martini consists of 2 3/4oz Gin and 3/4oz Dry Vermouth. Combine the ingredients in an ice-filled shaker. Shake, strain contents into a martini glass, and garnish with olives.
Is Beefeater London Gin gluten-free?
The answer is YES because the distillation process used to make Beefeater distilled Gin removes impurities like gluten from the final product.
Are there carbs in Beefeater Gin?
Beefeater Gin contains 0g total carbs, 0g net carbs, 0g fat, 0g protein, and 65 calories.
In January 2021, Beefeater announced that the brand would embrace sustainable efforts.
Packaging was first on the list and featured a new bottle design, with the bottle being made entirely from recycled glass. In addition, an aluminum cap replaces the old plastic bottle cap.
Beefeater’s sustainable efforts saved 410 tons of plastic within the first few months of release.