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Why does gin have juniper in it?

Gin is based on a Dutch drink, genever, a sweet spirit flavoured with juniper. Early spirits were used as medicines before people drank them for pleasure, and juniper was thought to help with digestion. But also juniper is easy to find, it grows wild all over Europe, and its powerful taste would have helped disguise the less than delicious taste of rough distilled spirit. Spirits have traditionally been flavoured with all kinds of herbs and spices but juniper has proved the most popular.