These berries were at first added to the malt before it was ground ; so that the spirit obtained from both, by distillation, possessed the aromatic flavour of the berries, and was much superior to that produced by any other method. At present, the juniper-berries are totally omitted; and the noxious spirits vended under the name of gin, acquire their flavour by distilling them with oil of turpentine, the taste of which in a slight degree resembles that of the juniper-berries, but possesses none of their valuable properties.
This pernicious spirit is subject to very heavy duties; notwith standing which, the odious practice of drinking it has increased to so great a degree, that we apprehend neither duties nor penalties will impede its progress. Nor is it immediately confined to the poorer class : persons whose stations in society require a very different conduct (and among these may be ranked too many of the softer sex), defile their mind and constitution by this vicious and vulgar custom. Independently of the disorders occasioned by the drinking of gin, it generally makes such ravages on the countenance, as to destroy that grace for which British women have been celebrated. Such, however, is the prevalence of habit, that gin-drinking will never be effectually abolished, or at least re-banished to the apothecaries' shops, which for-merly enjoyed the exclusive privilege of selling that liquor, till the duties imposed on it become so heavy as to preclude its disposal in drams : and we trust that every impartial person will cordially unite with us in wishing, that the day may not be far distant, when indulgence in this vice will be regarded with universal detestation.