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Gin vs. Rum: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Gin is a distilled spirit flavored with juniper berries, while rum is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from sugarcane byproducts like molasses.
Gin vs. Rum

Key Differences

Gin is known for its distinct flavor derived from juniper berries, often combined with other botanicals. Rum, contrastingly, is characterized by its sweet profile, a result of being distilled from sugarcane byproducts.
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The production of gin involves redistilling neutral spirits with juniper and other botanicals. Rum's production involves fermenting and distilling sugarcane molasses or juice.
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Gin has a wide range of styles, from dry London gin to aromatic Old Tom. Rum varies from light, golden, and dark to spiced, each with a distinct flavor and aging process.
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Originating in Europe, gin has a rich history associated with Britain, particularly in the form of the classic London dry gin. Rum, with its origins in the Caribbean, is steeped in a history connected to the maritime and sugar industries.
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Gin is a key ingredient in cocktails like the martini and gin and tonic. Rum is versatile in mixology, famous in drinks like mojitos and piña coladas.
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Comparison Chart

Base Ingredient

Neutral spirits, juniper berries
Sugarcane byproducts (molasses, juice)
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Flavor Profile

Juniper, botanicals
Sweet, often with caramel or spice notes
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Production Process

Redistilling with botanicals
Fermentation and distillation of sugarcane
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Common Styles

London dry, Old Tom, Navy Strength
Light, dark, golden, spiced
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Historical Origin

Europe, notably Britain
Caribbean
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Gin and Rum Definitions

Gin

Originated in Europe and became a staple in British culture.
Gin became immensely popular in Britain during the 18th century.
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Nov 25, 2023

Rum

A versatile spirit used in a variety of cocktails.
The bartender crafted a delicious rum-based mojito.
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Nov 25, 2023

Gin

A strong colorless alcoholic beverage made by distilling or redistilling rye or other grain spirits and adding juniper berries and sometimes other flavorings such as anise, caraway seeds, or angelica root.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rum

Has historical ties to the Caribbean and maritime traditions.
Rum's history is closely linked to the Caribbean sugar trade.
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Nov 25, 2023

Gin

A machine for hoisting or moving heavy objects.
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Rum

Aged in barrels, it develops a complex flavor profile.
The barrel-aged rum had notes of vanilla and oak.
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Gin

A pile driver.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rum

Comes in several varieties including light, dark, and spiced.
She preferred spiced rum for its warm, aromatic flavors.
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Nov 25, 2023

Gin

A snare or trap for game.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rum

A distilled alcoholic beverage made from sugarcane byproducts.
He enjoyed the rich, sweet flavor of his aged rum.
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Nov 25, 2023

Gin

A pump operated by a windmill.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rum

An alcoholic liquor distilled from fermented molasses or sugarcane.
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Gin

A cotton gin.
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Rum

Intoxicating beverages.
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Gin

Gin rummy.
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Rum

Odd; strange.
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Gin

To remove the seeds from (cotton) with a cotton gin.
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Rum

Presenting danger or difficulty.
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Gin

To trap in a gin.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rum

(uncountable) A distilled spirit derived from fermented cane sugar and molasses.
The Royal Navy used to issue a rum ration to sailors.
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Oct 19, 2023

Gin

Used to announce that one has won a game of gin rummy.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rum

(countable) A serving of rum.
Jake tossed down three rums.
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Oct 19, 2023

Gin

A colourless non-aged alcoholic liquor made by distilling fermented grains such as barley, corn, oats or rye with juniper berries; the base for many cocktails.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rum

(countable) A kind or brand of rum.
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Gin

(uncountable) Gin rummy.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rum

A queer or odd person or thing.
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Gin

(poker) Drawing the best card or combination of cards.
Johnny Chan held jack-nine, and hit gin when a queen-ten-eight board was dealt out.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rum

A country parson.
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Gin

(obsolete) A trick; a device or instrument.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rum

Any odd person or thing.
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Oct 19, 2023

Gin

(obsolete) A scheme; contrivance; artifice; a figurative trap or snare.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rum

(rare) The card game rummy.
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Oct 19, 2023

Gin

A snare or trap for game.
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Rum

(obsolete) Fine, excellent, valuable.
Having a rum time
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Gin

A machine for raising or moving heavy objects, consisting of a tripod formed of poles united at the top, with a windlass, pulleys, ropes, etc.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rum

Strange, peculiar.
A rum idea; a rum fellow
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Oct 19, 2023

Gin

(mining) A hoisting drum, usually vertical; a whim.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rum

A kind of intoxicating liquor distilled from cane juice, or from the scummings of the boiled juice, or from treacle or molasses, or from the lees of former distillations. Also, sometimes used colloquially as a generic or a collective name for intoxicating liquor.
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Oct 19, 2023

Gin

A pile driver.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rum

A queer or odd person or thing; a country parson.
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Oct 19, 2023

Gin

A windpump.
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Rum

Old-fashioned; queer; odd; as, a rum idea; a rum fellow.
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Oct 19, 2023

Gin

A cotton gin.
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Rum

Distilled from fermented molasses
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Gin

An instrument of torture worked with screws.
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Rum

A card game based on collecting sets and sequences; the winner is the first to meld all their cards
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Gin

An Aboriginal woman.
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Rum

Beyond or deviating from the usual or expected;
A curious hybrid accent
Her speech has a funny twang
They have some funny ideas about war
Had an odd name
The peculiar aromatic odor of cloves
Something definitely queer about this town
What a rum fellow
Singular behavior
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Gin

(transitive) To remove the seeds from cotton with a cotton gin.
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Oct 19, 2023

Gin

(transitive) To trap something in a gin.
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Gin

(archaic) To begin.
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Gin

If.
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Gin

Against; near by; towards; as, gin night.
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Gin

If.
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Gin

To begin; - often followed by an infinitive without to; as, gan tell. See Gan.
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Oct 19, 2023

Gin

To catch in a trap.
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Gin

To clear of seeds by a machine; as, to gin cotton.
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Gin

A strong alcoholic liquor, distilled from rye and barley, and flavored with juniper berries; - also called Hollands and Holland gin, because originally, and still very extensively, manufactured in Holland. Common gin is usually flavored with turpentine.
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Gin

Contrivance; artifice; a trap; a snare.
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Gin

A machine for raising or moving heavy weights, consisting of a tripod formed of poles united at the top, with a windlass, pulleys, ropes, etc.
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Oct 19, 2023

Gin

A machine for separating the seeds from cotton; a cotton gin.
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Oct 19, 2023

Gin

Strong liquor flavored with juniper berries
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Oct 19, 2023

Gin

A trap for birds or small mammals; often has a noose
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Oct 19, 2023

Gin

A machine that separates the seeds from raw cotton fibers
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Oct 19, 2023

Gin

A form of rummy in which a player can go out if the cards remaining in their hand total less than 10 points
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Oct 19, 2023

Gin

Separate the seeds from (cotton) with a cotton gin
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Oct 19, 2023

Gin

Trap with a snare;
Gin game
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Oct 19, 2023

Gin

A distilled spirit flavored predominantly with juniper berries.
She savored the crisp, juniper-forward taste of her gin and tonic.
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Nov 25, 2023

Gin

A key ingredient in classic cocktails like the martini.
The bartender mixed a perfect gin martini, garnished with an olive.
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Nov 25, 2023

Gin

An alcoholic beverage with a variety of botanical infusions.
The craft gin featured a unique blend of herbs and spices.
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Nov 25, 2023

Gin

Often consumed in mixed drinks or as a straight sipper.
On a warm evening, a chilled glass of gin can be quite refreshing.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

How is gin typically served?

Gin is often served in cocktails like gin and tonics or martinis, but can also be enjoyed neat or on the rocks.
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What is gin made from?

Gin is made from neutral spirits distilled with juniper berries and other botanicals.
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What differentiates London dry gin from other types?

London dry gin is known for its crisp, juniper-forward flavor, without any added artificial flavors or colors.
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Can gin be aged?

While most gin is not aged, there are some styles, like barrel-aged gin, that undergo a maturation process.
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Dec 07, 2023

Is rum always sweet?

While rum has a natural sweetness from sugarcane, the flavor profile can vary widely, especially in aged or spiced varieties.
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What cocktails use gin?

Popular gin cocktails include the gin and tonic, martini, negroni, and Tom Collins.
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Dec 07, 2023

Is gin always flavored with juniper?

Yes, juniper is the primary flavor in all gins, though other botanicals are also commonly used.
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Dec 07, 2023

What is rum made from?

Rum is made from sugarcane byproducts, like molasses or sugarcane juice.
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Dec 07, 2023

What are the main types of rum?

The main types include light, dark, golden, and spiced rum.
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Are there health benefits to drinking gin?

While moderate gin consumption may have some health benefits, like juniper's anti-inflammatory properties, excessive drinking is harmful.
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Dec 07, 2023

Does gin have a strong flavor?

Gin has a distinct flavor profile, often described as piney or herbaceous due to the juniper and botanicals.
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Dec 07, 2023

How does aging affect rum?

Aging in barrels imparts depth and complexity to rum, with longer aging contributing richer flavors.
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Dec 07, 2023

Is rum good for sipping?

Aged rums are especially well-suited for sipping, similar to fine whiskies or brandies.
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Dec 07, 2023

What's the origin of gin?

Gin originated in Europe and became particularly popular in the Netherlands and Britain.
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Dec 07, 2023

What's the history of rum?

Rum has a rich history, closely tied to the Caribbean and the maritime trade, including its role in the colonial era and piracy.
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How is white rum different from dark rum?

White rum is usually lighter and milder, often used in cocktails, while dark rum is richer and aged longer, with a more robust flavor.
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Dec 07, 2023

What is spiced rum?

Spiced rum is flavored with spices like cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla, often with a sweeter and more aromatic profile.
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Dec 07, 2023

Can rum be flavored?

Yes, there are flavored rums, often infused with spices or fruits.
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Dec 07, 2023

Can rum be used in cooking?

Yes, rum is often used in cooking and baking, adding a rich, sweet flavor to dishes and desserts.
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Is gin a popular spirit worldwide?

Yes, gin has seen a global resurgence in popularity, particularly in the craft spirit movement.
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Dec 07, 2023

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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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