Botanicals in Gin

Juniper

Juniper is the only botanical required to make a gin, a gin. In general, juniper manifests in gin with one of five primary facets: pine-forward, herbaceous, green, resinous and waxy.

Popular Botanicals in Gin

For centuries, gins have often featured an accord of juniper, coriander, angelica, some sort of citrus fruit, and orris root. Many gins rely on this to create the “classic” gin flavor. In modern times the botanicals that are in use have expanded greatly. Many of these “contemporary” flavors like cardamom, lavender and cucumber are recent innovations in gin. Some of these botanicals have only taken off in gin since the late 00’s during the Gin Renaissance

Coriander

Coriander seeds

Next to juniper, coriander is the most common botanical in gin. Coriander seeds, better known as the seeds of the cilantro plant can represent a significant proportion of the botanicals other than the juniper in most gin.

[See all gins with coriander among their botanicals]

Angelica

angelica

The common variety of Angelica used in gin has been cultivated as a vegetable since at least the 10th century in Northern Europe. Often, the root is used in gin, owing to its intense, fragrant odor, though others parts, including the seeds, may be used.

[See all gins featuring Angelica as a botanical]

Cassia

Cassia

Cinnamomum cassia is differentiated from “true” cinnamon. Cassia is prized by distillers. The bark is thicker, and although some describe the flavor as being “less delicate” than true cinnamon, the thicker, hardier bark is better suited to distillation.

[See all gins featuring Cassia as a botanical]

Citrus

Citrus fruits are a core botanical of many gins.

Lemon and Bitter Orange are the most common; however, the range is as varied as the family of citrus itself. Bergamot, Lime, Australian Finger Lime, Yuzu, Grapefruit, and even Pomelo. And that’s only the beginning.

Cardamom

Cardamom

Cardamom is one of the world’s most expensive spices, some say only surpassed by vanilla and saffron. The plant is native to Southeast Asia, in particular India which has been one of the world’s largest producers since the days of the spice trade.

[See all gins with cardamom as a botanical]

Cucumber

Cucumber

The aroma of cucumber is slightly melon and bitter. People describe it’s flavor as “green.” Cucumber distilled often takes on a stewed vegetal flavor and therefore many distillers, taking cues from early cucumber-gins like Martin Miller’s and Hendrick’s have turned to adding cucumber after distillation.

[See all gins with cucumber as a botanical]

Lavender

Lavender Field

So common in modern gins that one gin writer remarked, “Lavender is the quintessential American botanical.”

Though widely used in modern American gin distillation, Lavender and its distinctive essential oil has been popular in cooking and perfume for centuries.

[See all gins with lavender as a botanical]

Botanical Field Guide

The list below contains a list of all of the verified botanicals in the gins we’ve reviewed. As not all distillers disclose their botanical bill, the percentages are likely higher in reality among all gins.

Juniper 685

Coriander 339

Angelica 240

Lemon 226

Orange 222

Orris Root 160

Cardamom 128

Licorice 122

Cinnamon 98

Cassia 96

Lavender 62

Grapefruit 58

Grains of Paradise 55

Nutmeg 53

Lime 50

Aniseed 43

Almond 43

Ginger 42

Fennel 39

Elderflower 32

Caraway 30

Chamomile 28

Lemongrass 28

Hibiscus 27

Rose 25

Cubeb Pepper 25

Rose Hips 21

Black Pepper 21

Rosemary 20

Mint 19

Star Anise 19

Cucumber 18

Sage 17

Vanilla 17

Cloves 15

Meadowsweet 15

Hops 14

cubeb 13

Bergamot 11

Lemon Verbena 11

Honey 11

elderberry 11

Thyme 10

Iris 9

pink peppercorn 9

Clove 9

Bog Myrtle 8

Apple 8

savory 8

Rhubarb 8

honeysuckle 7

dill 7

Basil 7

Lingonberry 7

Raspberry 7

Orris 7

bay laurel 7

Allspice 7

cocoa 7

yuzu 7

green tea 7

Heather 6

Galangal 6

jasmine 6

Cranberry 6

citrus 6

Clover 6

Yarrow 6

Douglas Fir 5

Cumin 5

Hawthorn Berries 5

Sloe 5

Finger Lime 5

Tasmanian Pepperberry 5

tangerine 5

sasparilla 4

pomelo 4

Rowan Berry 4

Dandelion 4

Saffron 4

Cinchona Bark 4

Blackberry 4

Sloes 4

Lemon Balm 4

Lemon Myrtle 4

Eucalyptus 4

Spruce Tips 4

bilberry 4

alexander seeds 4

quince 4

angelica seeds 4

Hyssop 4

pepper 4

Gentian 4

strawberry 4

Key Lime 3

Celery Seed 3

Cherry Blossom 3

Pecan 3

Black Tea 3

orange blossom 3

ginseng 3

Damson 3

Rose Hip 3

Cherry 3

Pepper Berry 3

gorse flowers 3

Pine Blossom 3

spicebush 3

nettle 3

kafir lime leaves 3

bee balm 3

Samphire 3

shiso 3

Pineapple 3

raspberry leaf 3

makrut lime leaves 3

blood orange 3

wormwood 3

Black Currant 2

Frankinsence 2

Coconut 2

Peach 2

Hazelnut 2

Poppy 2

Bay Leaves 2

Labrador tea 2

Cloudberry 2

Cilantro 2

Meyer Lemon 2

Tarragon 2

Blueberries 2

Crowberries 2

Birch Leaves 2

Kale 2

Wild Iceland Moss 2

Beach Plum 2

Spruce 2

Acacia 2

Pimento 2

Sweet Flag 2

Marshmallow 2

Spruce Shoots 2

apple mint 2

Anise Myrtle 2

Cinnamon Myrtle 2

Peppermint Gum 2

Wattle Seed 2

mirabelle plums 2

peppermint 2

calamus 2

woodruff 2

lovage 2

Ambrette Seed 2

birch 2

cedar 2

Fig 2

violet 2

Salt 2

olive 2

dill seed 2

celery 2

white pepper 2

chestnuts 2

marigold 2

Thistle 2

Mace 2

coffee 2

Earl Grey Tea 2

satsuma 2

carob 2

oak 2

Magnolia 2

lilac 2

pine 2

peppercorn 2

mandarin 2

cubeb berries 2

blueberry 2

Szechuan peppercorn 2

vetiver 2

plum 2

cornflower 2

genepy 2

makrut lime 2

riberry 2

myrrh 2

fennel seed 2

butterfly pea flower 2

bay leaf 2

strawberry gum 2

kawakawa 2

st John's Wort 2

Seabeans 1

Seaweed 1

australian green ants 1

Longan 1

Rangpur Lime 1

Apricot Pits 1

Spearmint 1

Violet Candy 1

Thai Basil 1

Arctic Blend 1

Crowberry 1

Bitter Almond 1

Peach Liqueur 1

cálamos 1

guarana 1

Watermelon rind 1

Verbena 1

Osha Root 1

Cactus Flower 1

Cholla 1

Saskatoon Berries 1

sansho 1

cherry leaves 1

Pomegranate 1

Darjeeling Tea 1

Dog Rose 1

Lingonberries 1

Rose Mallow 1

Parsnip 1

Marjoram 1

Lemon scented gum 1

River Mint 1

Bunya Nut 1

Lilly Pilly 1

Olida 1

albariño wine 1

oak moss 1

Chinook Hops 1

Columbus Hops 1

sumac 1

mushroom 1

Horse Parsley 1

Sea Parsley 1

Milk Thistle 1

lemon thyme 1

hop blossom 1

Poplar Buds 1

pine resin 1

currant 1

lotus leaves 1

sencha green tea 1

apple liqueur 1

lime liqueur 1

pineapple liqueur 1

lily of the valley 1

citra hops 1

turmeric 1

Chevril 1

Fuchsia 1

barberry 1

black currant leaves 1

carline thistle root 1

hay flower 1

laurel fruit 1

limón mandarina 1

sea pink 1

riesling 1

Goldenrod 1

Heather flowers 1

Hawthorn 1

Lady’s Bedstraw flowers 1

Sweet Cicely 1

Tansy 1

Water Mint 1

Wood Sage 1

kumquat 1

passion flower 1

Tangelo 1

dried riesling grapes 1

pear 1

Cobnut 1

maple 1

Kombu 1

Mugwort 1

linden 1

laminar seaweed 1

Tonka Bean 1

dulse 1

Masterwort 1

watermint 1

ox eye daisy 1

cypress 1

bamboo leaves 1

bluebonnet 1

Japanese Pepper 1

Kabosu 1

amanatsu 1

hirami lemon 1

green juniper 1

currants 1

currant leaf 1

Chili 1

rosehips 1

goji 1

Peperina 1

yerba mate 1

moon rock 1

cucamelon 1

Cedar Berries 1

citron 1

Guajillo Pepper 1

Ancho Chili 1

grape flowers 1

sea lettuce 1

mountain pepper leaf 1

Natural Flavors 1

cape goosberry 1

sweet grass 1

Szechuan pepper 1

fir 1

arctic thyme 1

ume 1

Sencha Tea 1

yerba santa 1

sandalwood 1

potato 1

lychee 1

Yaupon Holly 1

rowan berri 1

cranberries 1

melon 1

colewort 1

ants 1

icelandic moss 1

pine needles 1

reindeer lichen 1

bog blueberry 1

raisin 1

date 1

pomander 1

balsam pine 1

christmas cake 1

christmas puddings 1

chocolate truffles 1

lebkuchen 1

mine pie 1

panettone 1

an entire gingerbread house 1

gold 1

frankincense 1

angostura 1

clay 1

beetroot 1

lemon peel 1

blue pea 1

hot pepper 1

buchu 1

balsamic vinegar 1

medlar 1

bilberries 1

hawthorne berries 1

beeswax 1

moss 1

hinoki 1

chicory root 1

cranesbill root 1

spruce needles 1

sea buckthorn 1

mulberry 1

roses 1

sesame 1

green peppercorn 1

bell pepper 1

wild geranium 1

loganberry 1

sweet woodruff 1

Pine Forest Spikenard 1

Fir buds 1

dune pepper 1

grapes 1

cardamom. hibiscus 1

labuyo chili pepper 1

pandan leaves 1

Calamansi 1

winter savory 1

Marula 1

macadamia 1

gentian root 1

Manuka Honey 1

Limone di Sorrento 1

pepperberry 1

Desert Lime 1

Saltbush 1

boobiala 1

Baobab 1

Cape Gooseberries 1

cascade hops 1

Damiana leaf 1

anise seed 1

lotus flower 1

quinine 1

holy basil 1

persimmon 1

chicory 1

cahmomile 1

sorrel 1

horehound 1

Horopito 1

mānuka 1

centennial hops 1

citrs hops 1

amarillo hops 1