Gin is brandy flavored with juniper berries, which was originally supposed to be a suitable remedy for kidney disorders. Franciscus Sylvius (1614-1672), professor of medicine at the University of Leyden (Holland), is credited with inventing gin, but the timeline makes no sense. Already in 1606, 8 years before his birth, the Netherlands had taxed Geneva (as gin was called at the time). Who really invented gin is difficult to say with certainty, there are many realistic candidates, including a Dane.

The English discovered gin when they took part in the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) in Holland and saw the Dutch soldiers drinking gin before going into battle. The term "Dutch Courage" was born and the English brought gin home with them. However, it was only at the end of the 17th century that gin really became popular and produced in England. The war against France meant that they did not want to import spirits (brandy) from there, and the taxes on it were raised enormously. This created a healthy market for gin, which was easy and cheap to produce yourself.

“Gin Lane” by William Hogarth in 1751. In the first half of the 18th century, England experienced what was called the "Gin Craze". Many people over-consumed gin and the city of London had a real epidemic of extreme drunkenness. It provoked moral outrage and a legislative backlash comparable to the war on drugs in modern times.

Gin has over time become synonymous with Great Britain and the British people. Throughout the 19th century, when gin made its big breakthrough, the upper class believed that gin was for the proletariat - something that the lower class drank to be influenced. However, the picture changed when the British naval officers started drinking gin. This also laid the foundation for the cocktails of the time, such as the Gin & Tonic.

The production of gin

The main ingredient in the manufacture of gin, in addition to juniper, is column-distilled neutral spirit with a strength of 96%, which is usually made from grain. Spirits made from molasses are not to be preferred as they will be too sweet. The neutral spirit is then treated differently, depending on the type of gin you want to achieve.

It is entirely up to the producer which ingredients and how much of them are used in the production of gin, the EU simply requires that the dominant flavor is of juniper and the alcohol percentage is a minimum of 37.5%. There are three different methods of producing gin, read them below.

Classifications of gin

There are many different types of gin, the taste, blend and aroma of which are very different from each other. Read below how the different types of gin came about and how they differ from each other.

Typical ingredients in gin

Below we have tried to describe the most typical ingredients in gin. The first ingredient is juniper, which is in all gins, and from there the ingredients are used less and less. The list can be used as inspiration when making your own gin.

These were the most common ingredients. Typically, there will also be other slightly more special ingredients inside. Specifically, what is in a given gin can be read in the reviews we have written below.

Reviews of gin

Cocktails with gin