Gin is a flavoured spirit, obtained by redistilling a high-proof spirit primarily in the presence of juniper berries and other flavouring agents. There is no single way that gin must be produced and a variety of styles exist depending on distillation techniques, botanical recipes and maturation processes.
The first gin was created around 1650 in Holland by Dr. Franciscus Sylvius with the intention of creating an inexpensive medicinal oil. By redistilling a pure alcohol with juniper berries Sylvius believed he could capture the therapeutic properties of the berry. The medicine was called Genievre from the French name for the juniper berry, which was shortened and anglicized to “gin.” Within a few years, Dr. Sylvius’ Genievre was relieving bladder and kidney ailments. Common ingredients in gin include: coriander, angelica, rosemary, sage, quinine, grapefruit, ginger, and chamomile.