Gin is a clear, mostly unaged spirit that derives its flavor from a variety of fruit peels and botanicals, most notably juniper, which by law must be the prominent flavor ingredient. Other common ingredients include lemon and orange peels, almonds, angelica roots, anise, caraway, cardamom, cassia bark, cinnamon, coriander, grains of paradise, orris root, licorice root, nutmeg, and saffron, among others.
Though there are several ways to make gin, the two dominant styles are the Dutch genever and London dry. Genever is at least partially distilled from barley malt or other malted grains using a pot still, and is sometimes aged in wood. As with whiskey, this gives a slight malty flavor to the alcohol. Genever is typically lower in alcohol content and distinctly different from other gins. The few surviving genevers are enjoyed mainly in Holland.
London dry, such as Tanqueray, is by far the most popular gin style. It is made with neutral grain spirits infused with juniper, citrus peel, and other herbaceous ingredients and redistilled in a column still. Depending on the proportions and ingredients used, the flavor of London dry gins can vary significantly from brand to brand. By law, London dry gin may not contain added sugar or colorants; water is the only permitted additive.