is derived from either theFrench
,which both mean"juniper".
The 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica states that the word
is an abbreviation of "Geneva", both words being derived from the French
Juniper berries were recognized from ancient times as possessing medicinal properties. By the11th century, Italian monks were flavoring crudely distilled spirits with juniper berries. DuringtheBlack Plague,this drink was used, although ineffectively, as a remedy. As the science of
distillation advanced from the Middle Ages into the Renaissance period, juniper was one of many botanicals employed by virtue of its perfume, flavor, and medicinal properties.TheDutchphysicianFranciscus Sylviusis credited with the invention of gin.
By the mid 17thcentury, numerous small Dutch and Belgian distillers (some 400 in Amsterdam alone by 1663)had popularized the redistillation of malt spirit or wine with juniper, anise, caraway, coriander,etc.,