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Gin is truly the in vogue spirit of the moment. Any self-respecting cocktail bar in the world will have a fine array of gins on the gantry. This spirit tends to offer a depth and complexity that other white spirits cannot offer and for that reason is the perfect basis for dozens of cocktails as well as being superb with quality tonic and a wedge of fruit.
Gin is a derivative of the Dutch drink Jenever (meaning Juniper). Traditionally, Jenever was made from the distillation of Dutch malt wine resulting in a harsh, roughly 50% ABV spirit. To make it more palatable, the abundant and supposedly medicinal Juniper berries were added. Gin is based on this method of production however many botanicals are generally added before the spirit is re-distilled. The decision of which botanicals to use is very important in the production process of individual distillers as this plays a major role in the creation of a unique flavour for that particular gin (however the predominant botanical is still the juniper berry). The popularity of this style of drink rose in Britain during the tail-end of the 17th century when William of Orange occupied the British throne.