There are many types of liquor in the world. Some have existed for a long time, like beer or wine. Many have only been made during the last millennium. One of the relatively more recent one is gin.

Gin is a dry and hard white alcohol flavored with the seeds of a juniper bush and other botanicals. The alcohol is made from grains like wheat and rye. It is usually used as a base for other drinks. It is often used in cocktails and other mixes.

As mentioned before, gin is relatively recent. It was created in the 17th century, in 1650 to be exact. The creator was a medical professor at the University of Leyden. He was truly a doctor who knew what his patients needed. His name was Franciscus de la Boie, a.k.a. Dr. Sylvius. He created gin as an inexpensive diuretic for kidney disorders. While gin will never ever fulfill its intended purpose, it became popular anyway, as another way to destroy our kidneys and liver when taken in ungodly amounts.

Dr Sylvius named his creation Genever, which is the French word for the juniper. It was shortened in English to gin. The juniper is a bush can be found all over the northern hemisphere. It grows aromatic blue-green berries. Juniper was not just added for the taste. It is also known to have healing properties. It can act as a diuretic and it also helps with arthritis. Other botanicals are sometimes added to gin, like cinnamon, anise, orange peel, cassia bark, angelica root and coriander. Gin producers have their own secret combinations of botanicals.

Gin was very popular with English soldiers who “sojourned” in the continent. They called it Dutch courage and it was an instant hit when they went there for the Thirty Years War. It warmed their bodies during the cold nights and calmed their minds before the battle. They brought this taste back to England where it found incredible popularity. Gin practically became the national drink of England.

The most interesting thing about gin isn’t the addition of juniper berries or botanicals. It’s the alcohol used. Alcohol is usually made from fruits or aged grain spirits. Gin was made from unaged grain spirits.. Before the creation of gin, such alcohol was considered too harsh. But that was never the case for gin. It tasted good and it was easy to produce too