Jay Rayner slams gin, calling it “ruined vodka”

Outspoken British restaurant critic Jay Rayner has attacked gin in an opinion piece in The Guardian, dubbing the white spirit “ruined vodka” that tastes like “musty leaf matter”.

Food critic Jay Rayner has the knives out for gin, which he think tastes like “musty leaf matter”

In a recent article in the liberal newspaper, Rayner was scathing in his attack on gin, professing to “hate” all incarnations of the juniper led spirit.

“Having a favourite gin would be like choosing a favourite war criminal, only with a greater impact on my life.

“I dislike the hit of juniper and the dank hit of undergrowth wrenched from a fox-soiled hedgerow. You call it the taste of botanicals; I call it the taste of musty leaf matter,” he wrote.

He went on to berate the ubiquity of gin in the UK at the moment, describing it as “like bindweed: bloody everywhere”, and poked fun at hipster gin brand names, comparing them to characters in a Guy Ritchie movie.

“Gin is just vodka to which stuff has been added. It is ruined vodka. Some gin producers don’t even make the vodka. They buy it in, then they ruin it.

“That’s tragic because I adore vodka; I love its crispness and its cleanness.

“Juniper-sodden gin is too interesting and multidimensional for me. I crave something duller; a blank canvas upon which I can paint my own boozy story,” he said.

Cynical about gin makers’ intentions, Rayner believes the spirit is ideal for people who want to create a craft product, “but can’t be doing with all that filthy countryside business”.

Rayner also ranted about the rise of flavoured gins that hide the spirit’s signature juniper aroma.

“There’s quince gin and clementine gin. There’s Mystical Unicorn gin liqueur, and Parma Violet gin, which must taste of nightmares.

“What none of them can taste of is gin. Is it possible that most people don’t actually like standard gin at all? Perhaps they just want to belong to a tribe. If so, then I’m happy to remain an outcast. You’ll find me in the corner, alone, nursing a vodka,” he joked.

4 Responses to “Jay Rayner slams gin, calling it “ruined vodka””

  1. Mister Bill says:

    Each has his own opinion about everything, and each opinion is equal in value. One might say Vodka is tasteless, flavorless, ethanol in a fancy bottle that only purpose is to delivery alcohol in order to get a “buzz”.

  2. Josh says:

    There is no bigger waste of booze than vodka. It’s just diluted alcol. Good in a Bloody Mary or a White or Black Russian but beyond that, useless except to get drunk.

  3. Felix Jones says:

    I like gin. Could there be a better aperitif than an ice cold G&T served in a highball or chilled thick glass tumbler on a summer evening? That said, the quinine in the tonic (if you mix it) can contribute to some pretty wretched hangovers. It can’t be the ethanol in the gin. No.

  4. Sam Sandbach says:

    Jay Rayner is of course entitled to his views. But sad he needs to air his petty dislikes to the world. He doesn’t like Gin – is that of consequence? Plenty of people do, so who cares?.
    Our distillers are producing some outstanding products in this country, gins, vodkas, whiskys too. We should applaud their efforts, and admire their craft. We don’t have to drink what we don’t enjoy, nor do we have to whinge about it.

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