Gin is a spirit which derives its predominant flavour from juniper berries (Juniperus communis). Gin has evolved over the course of a millennium from an herbal medicine to an object of commerce in the spirits industry.
Gin is broadly classfied into four categories in the European Union. They are:
Juniper-Flavoured Spirit Drinks - This includes the earliest class of gin, which is produced by pot distilling a fermented grain mash to moderate strength (e.g. 68% ABV), and then redistilling it with botanicals to extract the aromatic compounds. Juniper-Flavoured Spirit Drinks may also be sold under the names Wacholder or Genebra.
Gin - This is a juniper flavoured spirit made not via the redistillation of botanicals, but by simply adding approved natural flavouring substances to a neutral spirit of agricultural origin. The predominant flavour must be juniper.
Distilled gin - Distilled gin is produced exclusively by redistilling ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin with an initial strength of 96% ABV (the azeotrope of water and ethanol) in stills traditionally used for gin, in the presence of juniper berries and of other natural botanicals, provided that the juniper taste is predominant. Gin obtained simply by adding essences or flavourings to ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin is not distilled gin.
London gin - London gin is obtained exclusively from ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin. London gin may not contain added sweetening exceeding 0.1 gram of sugars per litre of the final product, nor colorants, nor any added ingredients other than water. The term London gin may be supplemented by the term "dry".