Here we examine common botanicals used in gin production. This is not a definitive list of possibilities, nor is it a recipe for Bristol Dry Gin, but instead an examination of common elements that are present in most gins. As gins are essentially flavoured spirit, it is these botanicals, their concentrations, origins, and treatment during the process, that give each gin its unique character and profile.
If you are not tasting juniper, then you are not drinking gin.
Juniper is not just the most quintessential gin botanical, but a legal requirement.
The EU definition of gin states that gin is an alcohol flavoured with juniper and other flavourings, and the predominant flavour is juniper.
Juniper is also an abundant ingredient with around 60 different varieties growing all over the globe.
Native to Northern Europe, Angelica root has flavours that have been compared to juniper with a more bitter and woody taste coming from the root. Angelica is also used in Absinthes, vermouths and Chartreuse.
Historically, Angelica root has also been used to treat upset stomachs, colds and nerves.