- The Plate
The Perfect Holiday Gift: Gin’s Herbal Essence
Sure, it’s also about alcohol and how to make an excellent cocktail which, while not the most pressing food policy issue, will create a convivial atmosphere over which to discuss food policy issues.
But as wine is an agricultural product, so too are spirits—particularly gin, which derives its flavor from herbs and botanicals. One of the best, in fact, was started as a small family herb business. Without these lush, fragrant, flavorful plants—most famously, juniper—gin is merely another jug of clear and tasteless (if you’re lucky) hooch.
We can thank 18th-century England for popularizing the addition of aromatic botanicals to alcohol. Flavoring spirits with mysterious spices like coriander, caraway, and anise improved the flavor and allowed physicians to sell it as