Gin has its roots in the spirit of Genever, a juniper-flavoured malt spirit produced in the Netherlands. Popular from the 1600s onwards, Genever was particularly enjoyed by soldiers and sailors about to commence battle, the origin of the phrase "Dutch Courage". Genever eventually evolved into Gin when it reached the shores of Great Britain and innovative London distillers started to use more than juniper and infused other botanicals, as well.
Today, Gin seems practically synonymous with British culture and the classic Gin & Tonic cocktail, with seemingly endless new entrants into the global Gin marketplace, each with their own unique botanical recipe and spin on this refreshing spirit. While juniper must be the dominant botanical in a Gin, pretty much any other botanicals are fair game from things like cinnamon and anise to even black pepper and honey. The spirit itself is quite neutral and versatile; it can be made with any neutral base. Therefore, it is really this botanical recipe that makes a Gin what it is. Gins can either be made by a second distillation including the botanicals or simply by infusing the botanicals with the already distilled spirit.