Gin 101: Definition

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Vodka is a clear, neutral spirit that may be distilled from a number of bases including potatoes, sugar beets, wheat, grapes, and molasses - in other words, if you can ferment it, it can become vodka. Vodka is typically distilled in a continuous still and filtered with charcoal to make the spirit taste clean and neutral. Gin is essentially vodka with additional flavorings, the most important of which is juniper (the word “Gin” derives from the Dutch genever, which means juniper). To produce it, a neutral grain spirit is infused with a range of botanicals and redistilled. In addition to juniper, distillers can utilize a range of ingredients including citrus peels, anise, licorice root, coriander, nutmeg, and many others -- though the specific recipe of any particular distillery is a proprietary secret.