Although gin has remerged in recent years as a fashionable and trendy drink, the spirit has a long history spanning over 350 years and originated as a medicinal liquor made by monks in Italy. The distilled alcoholic drink derives its predominant flavour from juniper berries and today is produced in different ways from a wide range of herbal ingredients, giving rise to a number of distinct styles and brands. After juniper, gin tends to be flavoured with botanical/herbal, spice, floral or fruit-flavours or often a combination.
Although most commonly consumed mixed with tonic water, its recent popularity and explosion of new producers have resulted in lots of exciting cocktails. Gin is also often used as a base spirit to produce flavoured gin-based liqueurs such as, for example, sloe gin, traditionally by the addition of fruit, flavourings and sugar.