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Gin is a spirit, or strong alcoholic beverage. It is made from the distillation of white grain spirit and juniper berries (or sloe berries, in the case of sloe gin), which provide its distinctive flavour. The taste of ordinary gin is very dry (unlike sloe gin), and as such it is rarely drunk neat.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Common Mixers for Gin
3 Famous Gin Brands
4 The Gin people of China


Gin originated in the Netherlands in the 17th century - its invention is often credited to the physician Franciscus Sylvius. From there it spread to England after the Glorious Revolution put a Dutchman on the English throne. Dutch gin, known as jenever, is a distinctly different drink from English-style gin; it is distilled with barley and sometimes aged in wood, giving it a slight resemblance to whisky.

In early-18th century England, gin was very cheap and became popular among the poor, especially in London. This was blamed for various social and medical problems, and may have been a factor in the high death rate that caused London's previously increasing population to remain stable. New taxes and restrictions on the sale of gin reduced the problem after 1751.

In the 19th century, gin became a more respectable drink, and was often drunk mixed with quinine-based tonic water in malarial areas of the British Empire. Many other gin-based mixed drinks were invented, including the martini. Gin, in the form of secretly-produced "bathtub gin", was a common drink in the speakeasies of Prohibition-era America. It remained popular as the basis of many cocktails after the repeal of Prohibition.

Common Mixers for Gin

Famous Gin Brands

The Gin people of China

Living in southern China, the Gin are called the Jing Nationality (京族) in Mandarin Chinese, and form one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the People's Republic of China. Its linguistic relationship is unclear.