We’ve already covered the fact that gin is primarily flavored with juniper, so much so that it is the defining ingredient in the spirit. No juniper in the liquor means that it’s not a gin. That’s fairly straightforward.
However, what makes gin so much fun is that there’s a multitude of options available for other flavorings beyond just juniper. This is the arena in which the distiller gets to shine. These ingredients are typically called botanicals, which, in the context of gin making, is just a fancy way of saying dried herbs, spices and other plant matter that can add flavor and/or aroma.
Below is a list of just a few of the flavors one can find in different gins made throughout the world.
Grains of Paradise
…and many others. The point is, there is no style guide to gin beyond having juniper. After that, any flavor may be added. It’s up to the consumer to decide whether it works or not.