What is gin made of?

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Gin is an alcoholic drink that is made from a mixture of grains such as barley, corn, rye, wheat, or molasses.  Traditional gin products also contain juniper berries for flavoring.  The alcohol produced by the mass of grains is considered neutral and must be added with flavoring from juniper berries.  The term “gin” itself is actually a reference to the French word for juniper which is “genievre”.  Created by a Dutch chemist named Sylvus Franciscus, the formulation and components of gin is applied even at present times.  The main alcohol still comes from the mixture of grains and the main flavoring ingredient is still juniper.  Distiller and gin producers around the world even have strict standards in terms of juniper content for flavoring before a product can be labelled as gin.  Non-traditional gin is made of the same alcoholic base from grains but may have other flavoring components like lemon, almond, and anise among many others.

There are various types of gin depending on where it is created and the ingredients and/or processed used.  London Dry gin is one of the world’s most popular types of gin that is made from traditional ingredients like grains and juniper berries for flavoring.  Other botanicals are also added to the mix to enhance or alter the juniper flavor and texture. Distilled type of gin is produced through the re-distillation process of ethyl alcohol.  Flavoring is still predominantly juniper-based but other botanicals may also be added.  There are also gin products that are labelled as juniper-flavored spirit drinks or simply “gin”.  All these types adhere to certain standards in terms of grain components, the use of juniper and other botanicals, and the alcohol strength and content.  In the US area, gins are typically produced with 80 proof and still with predominant juniper flavor.  Variants that are produced through the re-distillation processes are also appropriately labelled as “distilled gin”.  There are also American gin varieties that have flavors other than juniper.

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