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Gin is a spirit flavoured with juniper berries. Distilled gin is made by redistilling white grain spirit which has been flavoured with juniper berries. Compound gin is made by flavouring neutral grain spirit with juniper berries without redistilling and can be considered a flavoured vodka.
The name gin is derived from genièvre (French), jenever (Dutch), and ginepro (Italian), all of which mean "juniper".
The most common style of gin, typically used for mixed drinks, is London dry gin. London dry gin is made by taking a neutral grain spirit (usually produced in a column still) and redistilling after the botanicals are added. In addition to juniper, it is usually made with a small amount of citrus botanicals like lemon and bitter orange peel. Other botanicals that may be used include anise, angelica root and seed, orris root, licorice root, cinnamon, coriander, and cassia bark.
Distilled gin evolved from the Dutch spirits jonge- and oude- Jenever or Genever (young and old Dutch gin), Plymouth gin, and Old Tom gin. Compound gin is gin made by adding the juniper flavouring to the neutral spirit with no redistillation. Sloe Gin is a common ready-sweetened form of gin that is traditionally made by infusing sloe (the fruit of the blackthorn) in gin. Similar infusions are possible with other fruits, such as damsons (See Damson gin).
Some brands of gin include: The Botanist, Tanqueray, Beefeater, Bombay Sapphire, Gordon's, Hendrick's, Ford's Gin, and Broker's.
- A thorough article about the history and types of gin
- Recipes with Gin
- Gin news page - Alcohol and Drugs History Society
- Gin in Victorian London
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