Gin is made from the distillation of white grain spirit and juniper berries, which provides its distinctive aromas flavor. The most common style of gin, typically used for mixed-drinks, is "London dry gin." The name refers to the distillation process (not to brand, marque, or place of origin) as it is usually produced in a patent still and redistilled after the botanicals are added to the base spirit.

In addition to juniper, gin is commonly made with a small amount of citrus botanicals such as lemon and bitter orange peel. Other botanicals that may be used include anise, angelica root, orris root, cinnamon, coriander, and cassia bark. A well-made gin will be very dry with a smooth texture lacking in harshness. The flavor will be harmonious, yet have a crisp character with a pronounced juniper flavor.