Gin is a neutral grain spirit that is redistilled with botanicals, with the predominant flavor being juniper berries. Since every brand uses a differing combination of flavorings, gins are usually identified by their botanical profile. Besides juniper, common botanicals include angelica, coriander, orris root, orange peels and licorice. If you're looking to delve more into the world of gin, Food & Wine's guide explores its history, the best brands to try and great cocktail recipes that go beyond a G&T.

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Spiced Maple Gimlets

With warm, rounded flavors like maple syrup and sarsaparilla, this gin cocktail is comforting and deeply flavored, rather than light and aromatic.

9 Great Gins for Summer Cocktails

Gin is back in a big way. Here are the best ones for your icy summer cocktails.

The Bumble

Bartender Sam Johnson is playful (and literal) with this cocktail, using the Spanish term “manzanilla,” meaning chamomile, with manzanilla sherry. He brews the tea and creates a concentrated syrup, then adds the syrup to the shaker with sherry, gin, and an egg white for a refreshing, frothy cocktail.    Slideshow: More Gin Cocktail Recipes

Martini Inverso

Bartender Sam Johnson turns the classic martini on its head, swapping dry sherry for vermouth and inverting its proportion to the gin. The result is briny and bone-dry and an excellent aperitif.    Slideshow: More Gin Recipes

Negroni and Tonic

This twist on a gin and tonic gets a bitter kick from Campari and grapefruit peel.  Slideshow: More Gin Cocktail Recipes

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Clementine 75

This juicy cocktail is a riff on a classic French 75, but instead of using lemon juice, Food & Wine’s Justin Chapple swaps in clementine juice. The best part of this drink is that it also makes an excellent mocktail: Use apple cider vinegar and seltzer instead of the gin and Champagne. Slideshow: More Champagne Cocktail Recipes

Bee's Knees

The Bee’s Knees combines the bright and lightly sweet flavors of lemon, honey and gin. This classic cocktail is traditionally served up, but Chef Missy Robbins prefers hers on the rocks. Slideshow: More Gin Cocktail Recipes Reprinted with permission from Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner...Life! Recipes and Adventures from My Home Kitchen by Missy Robbins with Carrie King/Rizzoli Publishing

Gin-and-Honey Spritzer

This simple, spritzy cocktail is exactly what you want on a hot summer day. Make the honey syrup in advance, and this drink becomes a quick cocktail to throw together for guests. Slideshow: More Gin Cocktail Recipes