Life's Guru
All Spirits Gin Navy Strength Gin – Everything You Need To Know
Navy Strength-Gin

Navy Strength Gin – Everything You Need To Know

Navy Strength Gin, with its robust and commanding presence, is a specific category of gin and distinctive spirit that pays homage to the historical traditions of the British Royal Navy. Bottled at an impressive 57% ABV, this high-proof gin is renowned for its intense flavor and aromatic richness, a result of carefully selected botanicals. Originating from an era when gin was a staple on naval ships, its potency ensured that the gunpowder would still ignite even if the spirit were accidentally spilled on it, hence the term “Navy Strength.” Today, this powerful gin continues to captivate enthusiasts and mixologists alike, offering a bold and authentic taste experience that echoes the resilience and spirit of maritime history.

Plymouth Navy Strength Gin

What is Navy Strength Gin?

Embark on a journey through time and taste as we explore the storied waters of Navy Strength Gin. This formidable spirit, steeped in maritime history, isn’t merely a beverage; it’s a voyage into a bygone era when the high seas teemed with adventure and mystery. Navy Strength Gin, with its robust character and rich heritage, offers more than just a sip—it presents an experience, a tribute to the naval traditions that have shaped its very essence.

Navy Strength Gin isn’t just about alcohol content; it’s about the harmony of flavors. The heightened ABV acts as a bold canvas, bringing out the intricate profiles of the botanicals used in its creation. Juniper berries, the soul of any gin, stand at the forefront, their piney freshness cutting through with clarity. Coriander, citrus peels, and other aromatic botanicals join this nautical ballet, each adding layers of complexity and depth. The result is a spirit that’s as multifaceted as the oceans it hails from, offering a tasting journey that’s both invigorating and profoundly satisfying.

As we raise our glasses to this illustrious spirit, we’re not just celebrating a gin; we’re honoring a legacy. Navy Strength Gin encapsulates a history of bravery, innovation, and the unyielding spirit of the sea. It’s a testament to the artistry of distillers who have skillfully balanced potency with flavor, crafting a gin that’s both a nod to the past and a toast to the future.

History of Navy Strength Gin 

The history of Navy Strength Gin is deeply intertwined with the maritime traditions of the British Royal Navy and the broader context of the Age of Sail, a period marked by extensive exploration, trade, and naval warfare from the 16th to the mid-19th centuries. Here’s a detailed look into the fascinating history of this potent spirit:

Early Days of Gin and the British Navy

Gin, a spirit flavored predominantly with juniper berries, originated in Holland and was known as “jenever.” It made its way to England in the 17th century, where it quickly gained popularity. The British Royal Navy played a significant role in the spread of gin, as officers and sailors took to the spirit for its purported medicinal properties, believing it helped combat sickness and improve morale during long voyages.

The Origin of the Term ‘Navy Strength’

The term “Navy Strength” is rooted in practicality and safety. In the 18th and 19th centuries, naval ships stored their gin and gunpowder closely together, often in damp conditions. Any accidental spillage of gin needed not to ruin the gunpowder, which was essential for the ship’s cannons. It was discovered that if gin was at least 57% ABV, the gunpowder could still ignite, even if soaked in the spirit. This led to gin at this strength being termed “Navy Strength,” as it was the standard proof required to ensure the potency and safety of the ship’s armaments.

The Daily Ration: The ‘Tot’

In the Royal Navy, it became customary to provide sailors with a daily ration of gin (or rum), known as the “tot.” This practice was seen as a way to boost morale and provide some respite from the harsh conditions at sea. Over time, the rationing of Navy Strength Gin became a cherished tradition within the Navy.

Naval Influences on Gin Production

The demand for gin by the Royal Navy influenced distillers to produce more robust spirits. Navy Strength Gin was prized for its bold flavor and high proof, which made it a versatile and durable option for long-sea voyages. The gin’s strength amplified the flavors of the botanicals, making it a rich and aromatic spirit.

Decline and Revival

With advancements in technology and changes in naval practices, the daily tot in the Royal Navy was eventually abolished in the 20th century. However, the allure and tradition of Navy Strength Gin did not fade away. In recent years, there’s been a resurgence in the popularity of this potent spirit. Craft distilleries and gin enthusiasts have embraced Navy Strength Gin, celebrating its rich history and distinctive taste profile.

Today, Navy Strength Gin is not only a nod to naval history but also a favorite among connoisseurs and mixologists. Its bold character makes it ideal for crafting cocktails with depth and intensity. The spirit continues to be celebrated for its historical significance and its role in the evolution of gin as a beloved spirit worldwide.

Did You Know?

  • The term “proof,” used to measure the alcohol content, originates from the gunpowder test. If gin could soak gunpowder and the mixture still ignited, it was considered “proof” that the spirit was at least 57.15% ABV, the standard for Navy Strength Gin.
  • The daily ration of gin or rum, known as the ‘tot’, was served to sailors at midday. The ritual of serving the tot was a highly formal affair, with specific procedures and ceremonies, including the call to “Up Spirits.”
  • Naval officers traditionally make a toast to the reigning monarch at formal dinners. However, the toast is made in silence if the dinner is held on board a ship, a tradition said to date back to the days of sailing ships when the noise could disturb the ship’s resting crew.
  • The British Navy’s tradition of drinking gin is connected to the nickname “Limeys”? Sailors were given lime juice to mix with their gin to prevent scurvy, leading to the nickname.
  • The strength of Navy Strength Gin (57% ABV) reflects the British Imperial System’s measure of alcohol content, where 100 proof equals 57.15% ABV, unlike the American system, where 100 proof is 50% ABV.
  • The high alcohol content in Navy Strength Gin doesn’t just make it stronger but also enhances the extraction of botanical flavors, resulting in a more intense and aromatic spirit compared to standard gins.

How Adaptable is Navy Strength Gin?

Navy Strength Gin is highly adaptable, both in terms of its historical uses and its modern applications. This versatility stems from its rich, robust flavor profile and high alcohol content, which make it a favorite in various contexts:

Cocktail Foundation

The strong botanical flavors in Navy Strength Gin make it an excellent base for cocktails. It stands up well against mixers and other ingredients, ensuring that the gin’s character is preserved even in complex cocktails.

Enhanced Flavors

The increased alcohol content in Navy Strength Gin extracts more flavors from the botanicals during the distillation process. This means that cocktails made with Navy Strength Gin may have a more pronounced and complex flavor profile compared to those made with standard-strength gins.

Versatility in Mixology

Bartenders often prefer Navy Strength Gin for crafting cocktails because it offers a bold gin presence even when diluted or mixed with various ingredients. It’s especially popular in gin-forward cocktails like the Martini or the Negroni, where its robust flavors can shine through.

Sipping and Flavor Exploration

While it’s strong, Navy Strength Gin can be enjoyed neat or with a little water by those who appreciate its intensified botanical flavors. This makes it adaptable not just for cocktails but also for sipping and savoring, allowing enthusiasts to explore the depth and nuances of its flavors.

Culinary Uses

Outside of the glass, Navy Strength Gin can be used in culinary applications where its strong flavor can infuse dishes with a unique botanical touch. It’s used in marinades, sauces, or even desserts, where a splash of gin can add a complex flavor profile.

Adaptation to Personal Preferences

Due to its strong flavor and high alcohol content, Navy Strength Gin can be diluted according to personal preference without losing its distinctive gin character. This adaptability makes it suitable for a wide range of palates and preferences.

In summary, Navy Strength Gin is a highly adaptable spirit that appeals to a broad audience, from cocktail enthusiasts and bartenders to culinary adventurers, offering a robust canvas for creativity and flavor exploration. Its ability to maintain its character in various forms and mixtures makes it a cherished choice in the world of spirits.

Navy Strength Gin Regulations

Navy Strength Gin, like other spirits, is subject to regulations that govern its production, labeling, and alcohol content. These regulations can vary by country, but they generally ensure the quality and authenticity of the product. Here’s a breakdown of some of the key regulations and standards associated with Navy Strength Gin:

Alcohol by Volume (ABV) Requirement

The defining feature of Navy Strength Gin is its high alcohol content. To be labeled as Navy Strength, the gin typically needs to have an ABV of around 57%. This standard harks back to the historical proof test involving gunpowder, which required the spirit to have a high enough alcohol content to enable gunpowder soaked in it to ignite.

Geographical Regulations

  • In the European Union, for a spirit to be labeled as “gin,” it must have a minimum ABV of 37.5%. However, for Navy Strength Gin, the ABV is much higher.
  • In the United States, gin must have a minimum ABV of 40% to be labeled as such. Navy Strength Gins are significantly higher in alcohol content but still adhere to the basic regulations governing gin production and labeling.

Production and Botanicals

  • Gin production involves the distillation of alcohol with juniper berries and other botanicals. The specific recipe and distillation process can vary between producers, but the presence of juniper is essential.
  • For Navy Strength Gin, the same production processes apply, but the alcohol content in the final product is much higher. Despite the higher alcohol content, the gin must retain the characteristic flavors of the botanicals used in its production.

Labeling and Marketing

  • Labels on Navy Strength Gin must accurately reflect the alcohol content and comply with the labeling laws of the country where the gin is sold. This includes clear indications of the ABV on the label.
  • Marketing for Navy Strength Gin, like other alcoholic beverages, must not promote excessive or irresponsible drinking and must adhere to advertising regulations specific to alcoholic products.

Taxation and Duty

In many countries, the taxation on alcoholic beverages is linked to the alcohol content. Therefore, Navy Strength Gin, with its higher alcohol content, may be subject to higher excise duties compared to standard-strength spirits.

Producers and consumers alike need to be aware of the regulations governing Navy Strength Gin, as these rules help ensure product quality, consumer safety, and fair market practices. As with any alcoholic product, responsible consumption of Navy Strength Gin is crucial.

What are the Ingredients in Navy Strength Gin?

Navy Strength Gin, like all gins, is primarily flavored with juniper berries. However, it stands out due to its higher alcohol content (typically around 57% ABV) and often a more intense flavor profile. The specific botanicals used can vary widely between different brands and recipes, allowing for a vast array of flavors and aromas. Common ingredients besides juniper include:

  • Juniper Berries
  • Coriander Seeds
  • Angelica Root
  • Citrus Peels
  • Orris Root
  • Licorice Root
  • Cardamom Pods
  • Cassia Bark or Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg or Mace
  • Almonds or Almond Oil
  • Grains of Paradise 
  • Cubeb Berries

What are the Tools Used to Make Navy Strength Gin?

The production of Navy Strength Gin involves a set of specialized tools and equipment primarily used in the distillation process. The key tools and equipment include:

  • Stills (Pot and Column)
  • Botanicals Basket
  • Measuring Instruments (Hydrometer, Alcoholmeter, Thermometer)
  • Maceration Tanks
  • Pumps and Hoses
  • Aging Barrels (optional)
  • Filtration System
  • Bottling Line

How is Navy Strength Gin Made?

The production of Navy Strength Gin follows a similar process to regular gin, but with specific attention to achieving the higher alcohol content and robust flavor profile characteristic of Navy Strength Gin. The process typically involves the following steps:

Selection of Botanicals

The first step is selecting the botanicals that will flavor the gin. Juniper is the primary botanical, but others like coriander, citrus peel, and various spices and herbs are also chosen for their flavor profiles.

Preparation of the Base Spirit

Gin is typically made from a neutral base spirit, usually grain-based, such as wheat, barley, or corn. The base spirit is essentially pure ethanol, which is a blank canvas for the gin’s flavors.

Maceration (Optional)

Some gin makers choose to macerate their chosen botanicals in the base spirit for a period before distillation. This process involves soaking the botanicals in the spirit to extract their flavors. The duration of maceration can vary depending on the recipe and the desired intensity of flavors.


The actual distillation process can be done in a pot still or a column still. The choice of still affects the final flavor of the gin:

  • Pot Still: Offers a richer, more complex flavor and is often used for small-batch gins.
  • Column Still: Provides a cleaner, purer spirit and is used for large-scale production.

During distillation, the alcohol is vaporized and then re-condensed into a liquid. The botanicals can be placed directly in the still with the spirit (a process called steep and boil) or in a basket through which the alcohol vapors pass, extracting flavors (a process known as vapor infusion).

Cutting the Distillate

The distillate comes out in three parts: the ‘heads,’ ‘hearts,’ and ‘tails.’ The ‘heads’ contain unwanted alcohol and are discarded. The ‘hearts’ are the portion of the distillate with the desired flavor and alcohol content. The ‘tails’ also contain flavors but can introduce unwanted components and are often redistilled or discarded.

Dilution to Navy Strength

After distillation, the gin is usually much stronger than the desired Navy Strength. It’s diluted with water to reach the desired 57% ABV. The quality of water used for dilution is crucial, as it affects the final taste of the gin.

Resting or Aging (Optional)

Some gins are rested in tanks for a few weeks to allow the flavors to marry and mellow. This isn’t a universal step and depends on the distiller’s preference. Unlike most gins, some Navy Strength Gins might be aged in barrels, though this is less common and leads to a different style of gin known as aged or barrel-aged gin.


Once the gin is at the desired strength and flavor profile, it’s bottled. The bottling process includes filtering, filling, sealing, labeling, and packaging the gin for distribution.

The craft of making Navy Strength Gin requires a delicate balance of art and science, ensuring that the final product not only meets the legal requirements for alcohol content but also delivers a compelling and enjoyable flavor experience.

How is Navy Strength Gin Different from Others?

Navy Strength Gin is distinct from other types of gin primarily due to its higher alcohol content and the robust, intense flavor profile that comes with it. Here are the key differences that set Navy Strength Gin apart from standard gins:

Alcohol Content

The most notable difference is the alcohol by volume (ABV). Navy Strength Gin is bottled at a minimum of 57% ABV, significantly higher than the typical 40% to 45% ABV of standard gins. This higher strength is a nod to the historical proof required to ensure that gunpowder would still ignite if soaked with the spirit.

Flavor Intensity

The increased alcohol content in Navy Strength Gin doesn’t just make it stronger; it also amplifies the flavors of the botanicals used in its production. The result is a gin with a more intense, bold, and robust flavor profile. The botanicals, particularly juniper, are more pronounced, and the overall taste can be more complex.


The higher alcohol content also impacts the mouthfeel. Navy Strength Gin can provide a more pronounced, warming sensation, and the texture might be perceived as richer or fuller compared to standard-strength gins.

Mixability in Cocktails

Due to its potency and flavor intensity, Navy Strength Gin holds up exceptionally well in cocktails, even those with strong or numerous ingredients. It ensures that the gin’s character is not lost when mixed with other components, making it a favorite for bartenders and mixologists.

Usage and Serving

While standard gins are versatile in various cocktails and can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks, Navy Strength Gin’s higher alcohol content requires a bit more care in serving. It’s often used in specific cocktails where its strength and flavor profile can shine through without overpowering the drink.

Labeling and Perception

The term “Navy Strength” itself sets these gins apart on the shelf. It’s a mark of quality and strength that appeals to gin enthusiasts who are looking for something different and more intense than the standard offerings.

In summary, Navy Strength Gin stands out for its high ABV, intense flavors, and rich historical background. It offers a bolder and more immersive gin experience, making it a cherished choice for many gin lovers and cocktail enthusiasts.

Types of Navy Strength Gin

Navy Strength Gin, while primarily defined by its high alcohol content, comes in various types based on the distillation process, botanical blend, and regional influences. Here are some types of Navy Strength Gin that enthusiasts might encounter:

London Dry Navy Strength Gin

This is a juniper-forward gin, following the strict guidelines of London Dry gin but at Navy Strength. It’s known for its crisp, clean profile with no artificial flavors or colors added after distillation. It’s probably the most common type of Navy Strength Gin.

Plymouth Navy Strength Gin

Plymouth Gin is a unique style with a geographical indication, meaning it can only be produced in Plymouth, England. The Navy Strength version is stronger and bolder but maintains the smooth and balanced profile that Plymouth Gin is known for.

Old Tom Navy Strength Gin

Old Tom Gin is slightly sweeter than London Dry Gin. An Old Tom Navy Strength Gin, though less common, would carry this sweeter profile into a higher-proof spirit, offering a richer taste experience.

Contemporary or New Western Navy Strength Gin

These gins shift the focus from juniper to other botanicals, creating a more modern flavor profile. When produced at Navy Strength, these gins provide a potent but nuanced and complex array of flavors.

Barrel-Aged Navy Strength Gin

Some distillers age their Navy Strength Gin in barrels, imparting additional flavors from the wood. This process can add notes of vanilla, oak, and spice, creating a gin that bridges the gap between traditional gin and whisk(e)y profiles.

Regional Navy Strength Gins

Distillers around the world produce Navy Strength Gin using local botanicals and production methods, offering unique variations. For example, an Australian Navy Strength Gin might feature native botanicals like Tasmanian pepper berry or lemon myrtle.

Craft or Small-Batch Navy Strength Gin

Many craft distilleries produce Navy Strength Gin in small batches, often experimenting with unique botanicals, distillation techniques, and aging processes. These gins offer a wide range of distinctive flavors and are typically handcrafted with meticulous attention to detail.

Flavored or Infused Navy Strength Gin:

Some Navy Strength Gins are infused with additional flavors after distillation. These can include fruits, herbs, or spices, adding a unique twist to the traditional gin profile while maintaining a high alcohol content.

Buy Navy Strength Gin Online

Plymouth Gin Navy Strength

A historic gin producer, Plymouth Gin offers a Navy Strength version of its classic gin. It’s known for its balanced and robust flavor profile.

Plymouth Navy Strength Gin

Joseph Magnus Vigilant Navy Strength Gin

Joseph Magnus Vigilant Navy Strength Gin is a well-regarded spirit known for its unique flavor profile and high quality. It’s a product of the Jos. A. Magnus & Co. distillery, which has a rich history and a reputation for producing premium spirits.

Joseph Magnus Vigilant – Navy Strength Gin

Driftless Glen Navy Strength Gin 

Driftless Glen Navy Strength Gin is a product of the Driftless Glen Distillery, which is located in Baraboo, Wisconsin. The distillery is known for its commitment to crafting high-quality spirits, and its Navy Strength Gin is a testament to this dedication. 

Driftless Glen– Navy Strength Gin

Far North Spirits’ Gustaf Navy Strength Gin 

Far North Spirits’ Gustaf Navy Strength Gin is a standout product from a distillery known for its commitment to quality, craftsmanship, and the use of locally sourced ingredients. Far North Spirits is based in Hallock, Minnesota, and it’s one of the northernmost distilleries in the contiguous United States. 

Far North Spirits – Gustaf Navy Strength Gin

Prairie Organic Navy Strength Gin 

Prairie Organic Navy Strength Gin is a product from Prairie Organic Spirits, a company known for its commitment to organic farming and sustainable practices. As with their other products, the Navy Strength Gin highlights the company’s dedication to quality and craftsmanship, along with a focus on organic ingredients. 

Prairie – Organic Navy Strength Gin

Backwards Distilling Company’s Strongman Navy Strength Gin 

Backwards Distilling Company’s Strongman Navy Strength Gin is a distinctive product from a family-owned and operated distillery based in Mills, Wyoming. The distillery is known for its creative and hands-on approach to crafting spirits, and the Strongman Navy Strength Gin is a testament to its dedication to quality and uniqueness.

Backwards Distilling – Strongman Navy Strength Gin

Green Hat Navy Strength Gin 

Green Hat Navy Strength Gin is a notable offering from the Green Hat Distillery (officially known as New Columbia Distillers), located in Washington, D.C. The distillery is known for its artisanal approach to spirit production, and its Navy Strength Gin is a testament to its dedication to quality and craftsmanship. 

Green Hat – Navy Strength

Rock Rose Navy Strength Gin

Rock Rose Navy Strength Gin is a product of Dunnet Bay Distillers, located in the picturesque area of Caithness in the Scottish Highlands. The distillery is known for its commitment to crafting high-quality spirits that reflect the local landscape and flora. Rock Rose Navy Strength Gin is a testament to their dedication to quality and the use of local botanicals. 

Rock Rose – Navy Strength

Other brands you might like sipping are: 

  • Four Pillars Navy Strength Gin
  • Perry’s Tot Navy Strength Gin
  • Sipsmith V.J.O.P. (Very Juniper Over Proof) Gin
  • Gunpowder Proof British Navy Gin
  • Bathtub Gin – Navy-Strength Edition

Recipe Variation

Here are a few delicious Navy Strength Gin recipes to try:

Navy Strength Negroni


  • 2 oz Navy Strength gin
  • 1/2 oz elderflower liqueur
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup (adjust to taste)
  • A few sprigs of fresh basil and mint
  • Soda water
  • Lemon wheel and herb sprigs for garnish


  • Muddle the fresh basil and mint in a shaker with the simple syrup.
  • Add the gin, elderflower liqueur, and lemon juice to the shaker and fill it with ice.
  • Shake well and strain the mixture into a highball glass filled with ice.
  • Top with soda water and garnish with a lemon wheel and herb sprigs.

Navy Strength Gimlet


  • 2 oz Navy Strength gin
  • 1/2 oz blackberry liqueur
  • 1/2 oz spiced simple syrup (cinnamon and cloves)
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • Fresh blackberries and lemon zest for garnish


  • Combine the gin, blackberry liqueur, spiced simple syrup, and lemon juice in a shaker.
  • Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously.
  • Strain the mixture into a rock glass filled with crushed ice.
  • Garnish with fresh blackberries and a lemon zest twist.

Navy Strength Martinez


  • 2 oz Navy Strength gin
  • 1 oz lavender-infused simple syrup
  • 1 oz fresh blueberry puree
  • 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
  • Soda water
  • Fresh lavender sprigs and blueberries for garnish


  • Combine the gin, lavender-infused simple syrup, blueberry puree, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker.
  • Shake with ice and strain into a highball glass filled with ice.
  • Top with soda water and gently stir.
  • Garnish with fresh lavender sprigs and a few blueberries.

Navy Strength Last Word


  • 2 oz Navy Strength gin
  • 1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
  • 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz rosemary-infused simple syrup
  • Rosemary sprig and grapefruit twist for garnish


  • Combine the gin, fresh grapefruit, lemon, and rosemary-infused simple syrup in a shaker.
  • Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously.
  • Strain into a rock glass filled with ice.
  • Garnish with a rosemary sprig and a grapefruit twist.

Navy Strength Tom Collins


  • 2 oz Navy Strength gin
  • 1 oz elderflower liqueur
  • 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
  • 3-4 slices of cucumber
  • Soda water
  • Cucumber ribbon and edible flowers for garnish


  • Muddle the cucumber slices in a cocktail shaker.
  • Add the gin, elderflower liqueur, and lime juice to the shaker and fill with ice.
  • Shake well and strain into a highball glass filled with ice.
  • Top with soda water and stir gently.
  • Garnish with a cucumber ribbon and edible flowers for an elegant touch.

These Navy Strength gin cocktail variations highlight the range of flavors and botanicals in modern gins, making them ideal for exploring creative mixology and enjoying unique cocktail experiences.


Post a Comment


Life’s Guru