Colorless distilled liquor. Made from neutral grain spirits, it acquires its distinctive flavour from juniper berries and aromatics (such as anise and caraway seeds). Its origin is attributed to a 17th-century Dutch medical researcher, Franciscus Sylvius. Two principal types are marketed: a malty-flavoured and full-bodied Netherlands type (alcohol content about 35% by volume) and a dry, purified type favoured in Britain and the U.S. (40–47% alcohol by volume). Dry gin, which has more flavouring ingredients, is served either unmixed or in cocktails. Dutch gins are usually served unmixed or with water.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on gin, visit

Seen & Heard

What made you look up gin? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.