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You may have heard of the drink “gin and tonic” or “gin martini” and may go on to wonder what is gin?

Gin is a distilled alcoholic drink that is made from juniper berries or flavoured with botanicals. The juniper berries give it a pine flavour. Originated by the Dutch, the English made it popular around the world! Today, you can find the best types of gin anywhere in the world.

Fun fact: the original idea for gin was to make an elixir that would cleanse the blood of those who had kidney problems. A Dutch chemist, Dr Franciscus Sylvus named the drink genièvre, which is French for juniper.

Gin has a rather rich history. King William III banned imports of gin from France due to a grudge. Which then led to England’s mass production. Now, the best gin brands come from all over the world.

Made from a mash of grains, gin is a light-bodied distilled spirit. Usually, the grains used are corn, rye, barley or wheat. Most gins are clear in colour though there are some that have a slight golden colour. The golden colour comes from different methods used to infuse the flavours into the gin.

The main flavour of the best gin though, comes from juniper berries. These are a must include in order for the liquor to be called a gin. That’s the bare minimum. Other than that, producers can use their own recipe of different herbs, spices, flowers and fruits and strive to place themselves in the top 10 gins in the world.

Every bottle of gin is different in terms of taste and flavour. Some producers use almond, anise, coriander and citrus peels. Others use angelica and fennel. Producers can use up to 30 and some more of different botanicals. This is why even among the top-rated gins, every gin you pour is an entirely different and new experience.

Most gin is dry with the flavour of pine overpowering the other flavours. This is because juniper usually dominates traditional recipes.

It is most commonly enjoyed in mixed drinks. If you have not realized yet, popular cocktails mostly feature top gins. There is your classic and best gin martini, the gin and tonic, gimlet and many more.

The most common mixed drink made with gin are tall soda mixed drinks and a short martini. The best gin for a martini is often best stirred when mixing the cocktails.