As you all know juniper defines Gin. If there’s no juniper in the liquor, its not Gin. Its really that simple. Without juniper you have flavored (ugh) Vodka.
But what other botanicals are ‘allowed’ in gin? As it turns out, pretty much anything you want! I’ve collected a few different components that I’ve found in various gins and listed them below for fun. I’m sure there are many more in various unpublished ‘secret’ recipes.
I’ve tried to categorized these flavor elements by general “type”. These are my categories and I’m sure some botanicals are probably in the wrong spot.
As one would expect the Herbal ingredients dominate. This has historically been the prime source of flavors for Gin. That is followed by Citrus elements, which also have a long history in Gin production. The rest are a mix of old (peppers) and new (lavender?).
With all these botanicals available, mixed in a myriad of ways, there are sure to be Gins for every taste. So many Gins, so little time.
Herbal: Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Liquorice, Orris root, Angelica root, Angelica seeds, Ginger, Bay leaves, Nutmeg, , Fennel, Cloves, Tea, Coriander, Cassia, Caraway, Cardamom, Sarsaparilla, Anise, Lemon Grass, Pepper (Black, White, Asian)
Citrus: Lemon, Lemon peel, Orange, Orange peel, Lime, Lime peel, Grapefruit, Zest (all types)
Floral: Rose, Lavender, Hibiscus, Elderflower, Chamomile, Mint, Myrtle, Hawthorne, Saffron, Verbena
Fruit: Pear, Apple, Cranberry, Blackberry, Raspberry, Elderberry, Almond, Cucumber, Barberry, Rowan Berry, Blackthorn
Earthy: Moss, Peat, Tree sap (!?)