Gin is a spirit, or strong alcoholic beverage. It is made from the distillation of white grain spirit and juniper berries (or sloe berries, in the case of sloe gin), which provide its distinctive flavour. The taste of ordinary gin is very dry (unlike sloe gin), and as such it is rarely drunk neat.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Common Mixers for Gin
3 Famous Gin Brands
4 The Gin people of China


Gin originated in the Netherlands in the 17th century - its invention is often credited to the physician Franciscus Sylvius. From there it spread to England after the Glorious Revolution put a Dutchman on the English throne. Dutch gin, known as jenever, is a distinctly different drink from English-style gin; it is distilled with barley and sometimes aged in wood, giving it a slight resemblance to whisky.

In early-18th century England, gin was very cheap and became popular among the poor, especially in London. This was blamed for various social and medical problems, and may have been a factor in the high death rate that caused London's previously increasing population to remain stable. New taxes and restrictions on the sale of gin reduced the problem after 1751.

In the 19th century, gin became a more respectable drink, and was often drunk mixed with quinine-based tonic water in malarial areas of the British Empire. Many other gin-based mixed drinks were invented, including the martini. Gin, in the form of secretly-produced "bathtub gin", was a common drink in the speakeasies of Prohibition-era America. It remained popular as the basis of many cocktails after the repeal of Prohibition.

Common Mixers for Gin

Famous Gin Brands

  • Beefeater - first produced in 1820
  • Bombay - distilled with eight botanicals
  • Bombay Sapphire - distilled with ten botanicals
  • Gordon's
  • Plymouth - first distilled in 1793
  • Seagram's
  • Tanqueray - 94.6 proof
  • Swordsman
  • Anchor Junipero Gin - produced in California by Anchor Steam Brewery
  • Bafferts Gin - Triple-distilled with four botanicals in England
  • Bellringer Gin - 94.4 proof English gin.
  • Bombadier Military Gin
  • Boodles British Gin - 90.4 proof gin
  • Boomsma Jonge Genevere Gin
  • Burnett's Crown Select Gin
  • Cadenhead's Old Raj Gin - 110 proof gin
  • Citadelle - distilled with nineteen botanicals in France
  • Cork Dry
  • Cascade Mountain Gin - uses hand-picked wild juniper berries, distilled in Oregon
  • Gilbey's London Dry Gin
  • Greenall's Original Gin
  • Demrak Amsterdam - distilled five times with seventeen botanicals
  • Dirty Olives
  • Hamptons Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin - Infused with cucumber, coriander, citrus peel and rose petals
  • Juniper Green Organic Gin - first gin made from all organic ingredients in England with four botanicals
  • Leyden Dry Gin - Distilled three times in small batches, twice in column stills then in a pot still
  • Quintessential
  • Schlichte GinUrbrannt
  • Seagram's Extra Dry Gin
  • Tanqueray Malacca - triple distilled in small batches
  • Tanqueray No. 10 - distilled with fresh botanicals, not dries
  • Van Gogh Gin - Dutch gin produced with ten botanicals in small batches. Triple distilled, twice in column stills then in a traditional pot still

The Gin people of China

Living in southern China, the Gin are called the Jing Nationality (京族) in Mandarin Chinese, and form one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the People's Republic of China. Its linguistic relationship is unclear.

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