With all of the discussions online regarding ‘is it or isn’t it’ “Gin” I personally would prefer to purely point out regulations in order to inform rather than appearing rude and stating that what they are selling may not be legal.
Trawling through the regulations going back and forth is also time consuming. So I decided to put a few basic rules down in a flow chart with the relevant paragraphs highlighted.
The purpose is that if you see something labelled as “Gin” and you don’t think it is follow the flow and see what conclusion you arrive at. If you don’t think it should be labelled as Gin then you could respond with a link to this page or respond with the diagram or link to the PDF – no need to enter into a twitter war or incite any unnecessary ill feeling. Some of these rules are not as well known as they should be.
Here is a picture of the flow and the link to a PDF is below it.
As of April 2019 – there have been some changes to the regulation and wording, the version is now v3
The most significant changes have been the removal of specific restrictions related to using compound names with many spirits – including Gin… This means that it is now fully acceptable to use the name “Gin Liqueur”. The restrictions related to how this looks on the packaging remain.
Other changes include the highlighting that London Gin must be colourless.
Updates:Feb 27th 2019 – v2.4 original published version
Mar 7th 2019 – v2.5 added additional ‘No’ flow for greater than 30% but lower than 37.5% and no juniper taste
May 7th 2019 – v3 – multiple updates including the loosening of the use of compound terms incl (Gin Liqueur etc)
There are more detailed rules concerning the neutral spirit, but you can look these up using the link on my Regulations Page