Gin is made by distilling or redistilling fermented grains with juniper berries and other aromatics. It first appeared in the Burgundian Netherlands (Netherlands and some part of the current Belgium), at the end of the 17th century under the name genever. Its invention it is often attributed to Franciscus Sylvius. At the beginning it was sold at pharmacies, like many other liqueurs, as a good and cheap remedy for pain and kidneys diseases.
It is believed that the distillation of gin by the Dutch is the genesis of the era of alcohol, the ‘eau de vie’ in Europe. From Netherland it spread to England after the ‘Glorious Revolution’ had installed William III of Orange-Nassau on the English throne. He created an inglorious revolution in drinking by adopting a law that encouraged distillation of spirits from cereals. The English distilleries appeared and produced an alcohol close to genever which is called Gin.
According to European Union Regulations, the minimum alcoholic strength by volume of gin should be 37,5 % and only natural or nature-identical flavours need to be used
for the production of gin. The same authority classified the gin in four categories, as follow:
- Juniper-flavoured spirit drinks
- Distilled gin
- London Gin