The rise in gin’s popularity has resulted in the creation of a variety of gins, from London Dry through to countless flavoured gins.
Along with the rise in range of gins has come a rise in the cost of gins. Some gins nowadays are VERY expensive!
But, expensive gins doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily that much better tasting than many of the more common gins around the place.
In fact, many gins that are quite inexpensive taste great and this is where Rail Gin comes into the equation!
What is rail gin?
A rail gin is a type of gin that is commonly used in bars and restaurants as the default gin in a gin and tonic or other cocktails.
Rail gins are often one of the most affordable gin options and are considered to be the baseline gin offered by a bar or restaurant.
Why is it called a rail gin? The term rail gin came about because of the location of the gins behind the bar – They are called rail gins because they are usually placed on the rail, which is the bar area where drinks are made, closest to the bar staff.
Is a rail gin just a well gin?
A rail gin may be referred to something different, depending on where you are in the world.
Other common names include:
- Well gin – very common in the UK
- House gin – common in Australia
- Pour gin
- Rack gin
As with rail gins, well gins, house gins pour gins and rack gins are typically on the lower side when it comes to cost.
Rail Gin Examples
There is no set rule for which gins are considered rail gins – it’s up to the bar or restaurant as to what gin they put on the rail.
However, as we discussed, rail gins are usually the most affordable and widely available gin brands. You’ll often see the following gins on the rail:
- Gordon’s – A classic London dry gin with a piney juniper flavour, accompanied by citrus notes and a touch of spice. Visit website.
- Beefeater – Another London dry gin, Beefeater is known for its well-balanced, citrus-forward taste, with juniper and floral notes. Visit website.
- Tanqueray – A premium gin with a bold, juniper-forward taste and a mix of spicy and floral botanicals. Visit website.
- Bombay Sapphire – A smooth and versatile gin with a lighter juniper profile, featuring citrus and herbal notes, including coriander and angelica. Visit website.
- Seagram’s – A lighter and more affordable gin with a mild juniper flavour and hints of citrus, perfect for mixing in cocktails. Visit website.
- Gilbey’s – A classic and straightforward gin with a mild juniper taste and a hint of sweetness, ideal for mixed drinks. Visit website.
- New Amsterdam – A modern gin with a smooth and crisp taste, featuring a subtle juniper flavour, citrus notes, and a hint of floral sweetness. Visit website.
What is the alcohol content of rail gin?
Rail gins are usually pretty typical gins like we’ve discussed. They’ll often be around the 40%ABV mark.
Comparison to premium gin
While rail gin may not be perceived as high quality as premium gin, it can still be a good option for mixing cocktails in particular.
However, if you are looking for a gin to drink on its own or to highlight the botanical flavours in a cocktail, a premium gin may be a better choice.
Craft or small batch gin is also typically perceived as having more flavour than mass produced gin and you typically pay for that extra flavour.
Why do bars offer rail gin?
Having a rail gin list is beneficial for bars and restaurants because it allows them to make gin based drinks and cocktails using affordable spirit.
This means higher profit margins for the establishment, whilst also making it more affordable for the customer.
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