Gin is a clear spirit that originates from Holland, Germany and France. It is usually distilled from malt wine or grain mash which makes it essentially vodka, but with a flowery flavor. To make Gin you first need to extract juniper oils from juniper berries. This can be done several ways but the two most common are being steamed or soaking. To steam juniper berries, heat water until just boiling then add juniper berries and cover for about 20 minutes to release the oils into the water. Then strain out the juniper berries and discard. To soak, crush the juniper berries in a jar with grain alcohol, vodka or everclear (a very strong distilled liquor). After several weeks it will be ready to use as Gin.
After World War II American GIs returned home from Europe with a new found love of dry martinis and highballs (gin mixed with anything). This international interest sparked an increase in demand that prompted distillers of cheap grain alcohols to buy more juniper berries, one of the main ingredients required to make Gin, and market it as a high quality spirit.
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