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One day in the mid-17th Century, Dutch medic Franciscus de la Boe Sylvius distilled pure alcohol with the essence of Juniper berries, inadvertently producing the beverage which we now call gin (originally called Dutch juniper).

His intention? He was trying to develop a "blood cleanser" which could be sold in drugstores.

[Because drinking straight gin impaired the efficiency of naval operations, British naval surgeon T. O. Gimlette diluted the ship's supply with lime juice (for protection against scurvy) -- thereby creating what we now call the gimlet.]

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