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Gin vs Vodka: Must-Read Guide (2024 Updated)

Gin vs Vodka

Last Updated on March 3, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Gin vs Vodka, what’s the difference?  Vodka and Gin are two very distinct spirits. One is often positioned as odorless and tasteless, which is a perfect choice for a variety of classic cocktails. Meanwhile, Gin is commonly associated with pine and herbal flavors. 

So, which of the two liquors is better?

Vodka or Gin: Which Is Better?

Vodka & Gin

Being a pure spirit, Vodka is the highest-selling spirit globally because of its neutral character, making it a popular liquor to be used in cocktails, mixed drinks, and shots, which makes it essential in every bar. It is one of the heaviest drinks with an alcohol content of 40%.

This neutral taste is without distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color. 

Gin, on the other hand, is essentially just a flavored Vodka. As a neutral spirit, bartenders and distillers say it’s a must to have this spirit on their bar because it doesn’t have a distinct flavor.

With all that said, Vodka is the most preferred spirit to Gin because it may not go well with different ingredients that risk conflict with its flavor. 

Is Gin actually Vodka?

Yes, Gin can be classified as Vodka. However, Vodka cannot be referred to as Gin. 

Both are grain-based liquors that need to be fermented, but these two liquors have distinctive characteristics from each other, distinct tastes, chemical differences, and disparate origins. It is actually just flavored Vodka.

Broker's Gin

Vodka is tasteless, while Gin has aromatic flavors from Juniper berry. Though subtle, it is evident that there is a difference between the two drinks based on the main characteristic flavor derived.

All in all, Vodka and Gin are excellent choices for cocktails. As they say, these two spirits are the most popular drink ingredients for making a cocktail.

Read: Gin vs Whiskey Comparison

Their Differences

Their Differences

Base Product 

Both Gin and Vodka share a common base of products: corn, wheat, rye, potato, grapes, and sorghum. Some include carrots, beets, and even milk. But let’s break down the products that make these spirits so special. 

Vodka derived its name from the Russian word “Voda,” generally distilled from grains or potatoes. Our government classifies it as “any neutral spirits distilled without distinctive character. This spirit can be made from many different things, with water and ethyl alcohol as the base products or raw materials. The first time this was recorded in writing dates back to Eastern Europe in the early 1400s.

On the other hand, Gin originally derived its name from the French word “Genievre,” a word for Juniper berries. 

It is made from eight botanicals which gives it a strong taste.

Its aromatic compounds and natural botanicals such as the Juniper berry and other herbal extracts, together with more herbal notes, are added to the fermented grain mixture and water until the alcohol level balance of flavors meets the required levels. The distillation occurs multiple times to remove as much flavor as possible. 

Smell and Taste

Unlike other spirits, if you go ask someone to describe what tequila tastes like, you’d hear descriptors say “sweet and citrusy,” but if you go ask someone to describe what Vodka tastes like, you’ll get nothing. 

Smirnoff Vodka

As said, Vodka has no flavor at all. It is considered a neutral spirit, and even the U.S. law dictates that it should be colorless, odorless, and flavorless, making it perfect for mixing cocktail drinks. 

Now, if you go ask someone to describe what Gin tastes like, you’ll probably hear them saying “juniper” and “piney” as it is indeed distilled Gin or mixed with juniper berries and other flavoring agents.


In many instances, Gin may be classified as flavored Vodka. However, Vodka cannot be referred to as a type of Gin. 

This is because Gin can be re-distilled from Vodka with added botanicals and spices.

Distillation Process

There are different approaches to Gin and Vodka distillation.

The most common practice is to distill the Gin or Vodka once or twice but to achieve a more pure result, others require distillation and redistillation several times. 

How They Are Made

Both spirits share the same process, first is to prepare the mash and combine the base ingredients, second is to ferment, the third is to distill, next is to dilute, and the final stage will be the bottling of the spirit.

How They Are Served

Vodka is served chilled because it enhances its flavor and lessens its signature burning effect. 

A glass of Gin

Using a shaker at ice-cold temperatures is one way to serve chilled Vodka without keeping the bottle in the freezer. 

Meanwhile, Gin can be consumed regardless if it’s chilled or not. Its aromatic flavors give a fantastic taste even when it is not chilled. 

Cocktail & Mixes 

Gin cocktail

Vodka’s popular mixes are Bloody Mary, Moscow Mule, Classic Martini, Grey Goose, Vodka Belt, White Russian, Vodka Brands, Black Russian, 

Meanwhile, Gin’s famous cocktail mixes are Ramos Gin Fizz, Clover Club, Gin Rickey, White Lady, Dutch Courage, and Tom Collins.

Age Terms

The difference between Vodka and Gin in terms of Age is that Vodka doesn’t go bad. So long as the bottle stays unopened, its shelf life is decades. 

While the shelf life of opened Gin usually ranges from only months to decades, depending on the volume of alcohol in the bottle.

Gin Vs Vodka Vs Rum

Gin, vodka, and rum are distinct spirits with unique characteristics. Gin is known for its herbal and botanical flavors, derived from juniper berries and other botanicals. Vodka is a neutral spirit, offering a clean taste with minimal flavor, while rum, made from fermented sugarcane or molasses, provides a sweet and often complex profile.

Each spirit plays a distinct role in the world of cocktails, with gin being a staple in classics like the Martini, vodka serving as a versatile base for many mixed drinks, and rum contributing its rich flavors to tropical concoctions.

Gin Vs Vodka Calories

In terms of calories, both gin and vodka are relatively low-calorie options, making them popular choices for those conscious of their caloric intake.

A standard serving of gin or vodka contains around 97 calories, with variations depending on the brand and any added mixers. The calorie content is primarily influenced by the alcohol content, and both spirits can be enjoyed as part of a balanced lifestyle when consumed in moderation.

Gin Vs Vodka Taste

Gin and vodka offer distinct taste profiles due to their different production processes and key ingredients. Gin is characterized by botanicals, juniper berries, and other herbs, providing a flavorful and sometimes complex taste.

Vodka, on the other hand, is prized for its neutrality, allowing it to blend seamlessly with mixers and other ingredients.

The choice between the two often depends on individual taste preferences, with gin favored for its unique flavor complexity and vodka appreciated for its versatility.

Gin Vs Vodka Hangover

While individual tolerance varies, both gin and vodka are considered to have lower congeners, compounds produced during fermentation that can contribute to hangover symptoms.

Generally, clear spirits like gin and vodka are less likely to cause severe hangovers compared to darker spirits.

However, responsible drinking practices, staying hydrated, and considering mixers or additives are crucial factors in minimizing the likelihood and severity of hangovers associated with either spirit.

Gin Vs Vodka Vs Tequila

Gin, vodka, and tequila are three diverse spirits, each contributing unique characteristics to cocktails and enjoying distinct popularity. Gin is known for its botanical and herbal notes, while vodka provides a neutral base for mixed drinks.

Tequila, made from fermented blue agave, brings a distinct earthy and sometimes peppery flavor. Each spirit caters to different taste preferences and cocktail choices, with gin being a classic in martinis, vodka offering versatility in various cocktails, and tequila being a key ingredient in margaritas and other agave-based drinks. The choice between them depends on the desired flavor profile and the specific cocktail being crafted.


Is Gin healthier than Vodka?

Yes, it has less sugar and fewer calories than some other drinks, specifically Vodka. 

According to the USDA, 1.5 ounces of either of the two contains roughly 100 calories with zero carbs. (1)

Does Gin make you drunker than Vodka?

No, Vodka and Gin both have virtually identical base ABV of 40%.

But with Vodka having its ABV spiking up to 95%, it is not hard to say that Vodka hits harder than its almost twin, the Gin.

Which is better, gin or vodka?

The preference between gin and vodka is subjective and depends on individual taste preferences. Gin is known for its herbal and botanical flavors, while vodka is typically a neutral spirit with a clean taste.

The choice ultimately comes down to personal preferences and the desired flavor profile for cocktails or sipping.

What is the healthiest alcohol?

In moderation, various alcoholic beverages can be part of a healthy lifestyle. However, the healthiest alcohol depends on individual preferences and health considerations.

Options like red wine may offer potential cardiovascular benefits due to antioxidants, while spirits like gin or vodka, when consumed responsibly, provide fewer calories and no added sugars.

Is gin or vodka better for hangovers?

Both gin and vodka, when consumed in moderation, may result in fewer hangover symptoms compared to drinks with higher congeners (compounds produced during fermentation).

However, individual reactions to alcohol vary, and factors such as hydration and overall alcohol intake play significant roles in hangover severity.

Does gin affect you differently than vodka?

Gin and vodka are both distilled spirits, and their effects on the body are generally similar. The differences lie in their flavor profiles, with gin featuring botanicals and herbs, while vodka is more neutral.

The overall impact on an individual may depend on personal tolerance, alcohol content, and any added ingredients in specific brands.

Which is healthier, vodka or gin?

In terms of health, both vodka and gin can be part of a moderate and responsible drinking lifestyle. They are typically low in calories and contain no fat or cholesterol.

However, moderation is key, and individual health considerations, such as allergies or sensitivities to certain botanicals or grains, should be taken into account.

Which is healthiest, gin or vodka?

Both gin and vodka are considered relatively low-calorie and low-carb options compared to other alcoholic beverages.

The choice between them depends on personal taste preferences and the desired cocktail or drinking experience. Neither is inherently healthier; it’s essential to consume any alcoholic beverage in moderation for a balanced lifestyle.

Is gin the healthiest alcohol?

While gin can be part of a moderate drinking lifestyle, it is not inherently the healthiest alcohol. The healthiness of any alcoholic beverage, including gin, depends on responsible consumption, individual health conditions, and personal preferences.

Moderation, hydration, and being mindful of added sugars or mixers contribute to a balanced approach to alcohol consumption.

Is vodka good for health?

Vodka, like other alcoholic beverages, can be enjoyed as part of a moderate and responsible drinking lifestyle. It is generally low in calories and contains no fat or cholesterol.

However, the key to maintaining good health is moderation, and individuals with specific health concerns should consult with healthcare professionals regarding their alcohol intake.

What alcohol is good for no hangover?

There is no foolproof alcohol for avoiding hangovers, as individual tolerance varies, and factors like hydration, overall alcohol intake, and congeners (compounds in alcohol) contribute to hangover severity.

However, choosing clear spirits like vodka or gin and staying well-hydrated can potentially reduce the likelihood of experiencing hangover symptoms.

Can you mix gin and vodka?

While unconventional, mixing gin and vodka is possible in cocktails, but it may result in a complex and unique flavor profile. The combination of the herbal and botanical notes from gin with the neutral character of vodka can create interesting cocktails.

However, moderation is key, and it’s important to consider individual tolerance and preferences when experimenting with mixed drinks

How does gin vs vodka vs tequila taste?

Gin, vodka, and tequila offer distinct taste profiles, catering to diverse palates. Gin, characterized by the dominant flavor of juniper berries, exudes a piney and herbal essence. The inclusion of botanicals like coriander and citrus peel contributes to a multifaceted taste, ranging from floral to spicy notes. Its complexity makes it a versatile choice in cocktails, adding depth to mixed drinks.

Conversely, vodka is celebrated for its neutrality, often distilled to a high purity level, resulting in a clean and almost tasteless spirit. Its smoothness, subtle sweetness, and lack of pronounced flavor make vodka a popular base for a wide array of cocktails, allowing other ingredients to shine.

Tequila, distilled from the blue agave plant, carries a distinctive and often robust flavor. Reposado and añejo varieties can have woody and caramel notes due to aging in barrels. Blanco, the unaged version, typically presents a crisp and agave-forward taste. Tequila’s unique flavor profile makes it a staple in classic cocktails like the Margarita. Each spirit offers a diverse tasting experience, appealing to various preferences and mixing capabilities.

How does gin vs vodka vs whiskey taste?

Gin, vodka, and whiskey are spirits with markedly different flavor profiles, catering to a range of tastes. Gin, infused with juniper berries and various botanicals, imparts a distinctive piney and herbal taste. The addition of botanicals like coriander and citrus peel creates a complex flavor profile, offering notes that can range from floral to spicy. Gin’s versatility in cocktails is enhanced by its diverse and nuanced taste.

Vodka, in contrast, is prized for its neutral character. Typically distilled to a high level of purity, vodka exhibits a clean, almost tasteless profile. Its smoothness and lack of strong flavor make it an ideal base for cocktails, allowing other ingredients to take the spotlight.

Whiskey, a broad category that includes Scotch, Bourbon, and Rye, among others, offers diverse taste experiences. Scotch often carries smoky, peaty, and malty notes, while Bourbon tends to be sweet and oaky. Rye whiskey can be spicier with a robust flavor. The aging process in wooden barrels contributes to whiskey’s complexity, yielding a rich and often nuanced taste. Each spirit provides a unique sensory journey, appealing to different preferences and occasions.

Gin vs vodka, which is stronger?

In terms of alcohol content, both gin and vodka typically have the same strength, with an average alcohol by volume (ABV) of around 40%. This means that, from a pure potency standpoint, they are equally strong.

However, when comparing the perception of strength, it can vary based on the individual’s taste preferences and the specific brands or types of gin and vodka. Vodka is known for its neutral flavor and smoothness, which might make it seem less intense to some drinkers. On the other hand, gin has a more distinctive flavor profile, often featuring botanicals like juniper and other spices, which can give the impression of a more robust taste.

It’s important to note that strength in this context usually refers to the alcohol content, and personal preferences for one over the other often depend on individual taste and the desired characteristics for cocktails or straight consumption.

Gin vs vodka: which is healthier?

When it comes to the question of health, both gin and vodka can be consumed in moderation as part of a responsible drinking lifestyle. However, it’s essential to consider certain factors.

Vodka tends to be lower in calories and has a neutral flavor profile, which can make it a lighter option. It is often chosen by those watching their calorie intake or looking for a spirit that can be easily mixed with various low-calorie mixers.

Gin, on the other hand, contains botanicals that contribute to its flavor and aroma. Some of these botanicals may have potential health benefits due to their antioxidant properties. For instance, juniper berries, a key ingredient in gin, are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Ultimately, the health impact depends on how these spirits are consumed. Excessive alcohol intake can have negative health effects, including liver damage and increased risk of certain diseases. Moderation, mindful consumption, and considering individual health goals are key aspects of maintaining a healthier approach to alcohol consumption. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

Gin vs vodka vs rum: which one is better?

When comparing the health aspects of gin and vodka, it’s crucial to consider factors like calorie content, ingredients, and potential health benefits. Vodka generally has a lower calorie count and a neutral flavor profile, making it a choice for those watching their calorie intake. Its simplicity allows for versatile mixing with low-calorie mixers.

Gin, infused with botanicals like juniper berries and other herbs, may offer some health benefits due to the antioxidant properties of these botanicals. Juniper berries, for instance, are known for their potential anti-inflammatory effects.

However, it’s important to note that the potential health benefits of botanicals in gin are typically realized in moderation. Excessive alcohol consumption can negate any positive effects and may lead to adverse health outcomes.

Ultimately, moderation is key to a healthier alcohol consumption. The choice between gin and vodka should align with individual preferences and health considerations, and it’s advisable to seek guidance from healthcare professionals for personalized advice on alcohol consumption.

Gin vs vodka calories: which one is higher?

In the realm of calorie content, vodka generally takes the spotlight as the lower-calorie option compared to gin. Vodka is renowned for its neutral flavor profile, resulting in a spirit that is relatively low in calories. A standard serving of vodka contains approximately 64 calories per ounce.

Gin, on the other hand, has a more complex flavor profile due to the infusion of botanicals like juniper berries, coriander, and citrus peel. While the calorie content can vary among different gin brands and styles, it typically falls within the range of 96 to 120 calories per ounce.

When considering alcoholic beverages, it’s important to note that calories come not only from the alcohol itself but also from any added mixers. Opting for lighter mixers or enjoying these spirits neat or on the rocks can contribute to a lower overall calorie intake.

Ultimately, the choice between gin and vodka in terms of calories depends on individual preferences and dietary considerations.

Gin vs vodka taste: which one is tastier?

The preference between the tastes of gin and vodka is highly subjective and depends on individual palates and flavor preferences. Gin is known for its complex and diverse flavor profile, predominantly featuring juniper berries along with an array of botanicals such as coriander, citrus peel, and spices.

This infusion of botanicals gives gin a distinctive taste that can range from herbal and floral to spicy and citrusy. The diversity in botanicals often makes gin a versatile and flavorful choice for cocktails.

On the other hand, vodka is prized for its neutrality. Distilled to a high level of purity, it has a clean and almost tasteless profile. The lack of strong flavors in vodka allows it to serve as a blank canvas in cocktails, letting other ingredients shine.

Whether gin or vodka is considered tastier is a matter of personal preference. Some may appreciate the complexity and nuances of gin, while others may prefer the clean and versatile nature of vodka. Exploring different brands and styles within each category can help individuals discover their personal preferences.

Can You compare gin vs vodka hangover?

The severity of a hangover is influenced by various factors, including the amount of alcohol consumed, hydration levels, individual tolerance, and the presence of congeners (byproducts of fermentation and distillation). When comparing gin and vodka, both are distilled spirits, and in theory, the presence of congeners should be lower compared to darker spirits like whiskey or red wine.

Vodka, known for its neutrality, is often considered less likely to contribute to a severe hangover due to its lower congener content. Additionally, its clear and distilled nature may result in fewer impurities.

Gin, while also a distilled spirit, can contain botanicals that contribute to its flavor. Some individuals may find that the additional compounds in gin, including those from botanicals, could potentially contribute to a more complex hangover, though this can vary widely among individuals.

Ultimately, the key to avoiding or minimizing hangovers involves responsible drinking, staying hydrated, and being aware of personal tolerance levels. Moderation and pacing are essential, regardless of whether you choose gin or vodka. If you experience severe or persistent hangovers, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional.

In Summary 

Both Vodka and Gin went through the same process. These are the two most popular spirits used frequently for preparing various cocktails and the most popular drinks globally.

The only differences they have are the addition of Juniper berries and other flavoring agents and spices, and that Vodka is one of the heaviest drinks available.

Some of the categories of Gin are Old Tom Gin, Plymouth Gin, American, London Dry Gin, and Navy strength. 

Vodka being flavorless and odorless, is more preferred for various kinds of mixes and cocktails. Gin is best mixed with straight flavors to avoid the risk of conflict with its flavors. It comes in five different styles–  London Dry, Plymouth, Old Tom, Navy Strength, London gin, and West Coast.


  1. Calorie Count – Alcoholic Beverages
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