Gin is a distilled spirit that is flavoured with spices and the characteristic juniper berry.
Gin was invented in the Netherlands in the 17th century and was originally a medicine. The beverage came to England and became incredibly popular when Parliament allowed free production of gin, but imposed heavy taxes on imported spirits and beer. Thousands of gin bars sprung forth throughout the country.
When gin is distilled, a special kind of column still is used called a Coffey still after the inventor. The spirits are then flavoured, mainly with coriander and juniper berry together with orange, lemon, cinnamon and angelica root.
Gin is a very popular cocktail ingredient and has given its name to the well-known drink Gin & Tonic.