Gin

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Gin is a spirit whose predominant flavor is derived from juniper berries (Juniperus communis). Although several different styles of gin have existed since its origins, gin is broadly differentiated into two basic legal categories. Distilled gin is crafted in the traditional manner, by re-distilling neutral spirit of agricultural origin with juniper berries and other botanicals. Compound gin is made by simply flavoring neutral spirit with essences and/or other 'natural flavorings' without re-distillation, and is not as highly regarded. The minimum bottled alcoholic strength for gin is 37.5% ABV in the E.U., 40% ABV in the U.S.[1][2]

There are several distinct styles of gin, with the most common style today being London dry gin, a type of distilled gin. In addition to the predominant juniper content, London dry gin is usually distilled in the presence of accenting citrus botanicals such as lemon and bitter orange peel, as well as a subtle combination of other spices, including any of anise, angelica root and seed, orris root, licorice root, cinnamon, cubeb, savory, lime peel, grapefruit peel, dragon eye, saffron, baobab, frankincense, coriander, nutmeg and cassia bark. London dry gin may not contain added sugar or colorants, water being the only permitted additive.[2]

Some legal classifications of gin are defined only as originating from specific geographical areas (e.g. Plymouth gin, Ostfriesischer Korngenever, Slovenská borovička, Kraški Brinjevec, etc.), while other common descriptors refer to classic styles that are culturally recognized but not legally defined (e.g. Old Tom gin).

Contents

Etymology

The name gin is derived from either the French genièvre or the Dutch jenever, which both mean "juniper".[3] The 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica states that the word gin is an abbreviation of "Geneva", both words being derived from the French genièvre (juniper).[4]

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