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, it is broadly differentiated into two basic legal categories.
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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, it is broadly differentiated into two basic legal categories. Distilled gin is crafted in the traditional manner, by redistilling neutral spirits 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 redistillation, and is not as highly regarded. The minimum bottled alcoholic strength for gin is 37.5% ABV in the E.U., and 40% ABV in the U.S.
Of the several distinct styles of gin, London dry gin, a type of distilled gin, is the most common. 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, grains of paradise, nutmeg and cassia bark. London dry gin may not contain added sugar or colorants; water is the only permitted additive
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. sloe gin and Old Tom gin).
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