An interesting fact about Gin. The fifth spirit in the list of the Big 6 is Gin. It has to contain juniper to be called gin. It starts life as vodka. Then as well as the juniper, other things are added to give each brand it’s distinctive flavour.
But gin hasn’t always had the genteel, very English image that we associate with it now. In fact it’s origins are Dutch. That’s where the name came from. ‘Gin’ is the anglicised and shortened form of the word ‘genever’ which is the dutch word for gin. It was first discovered in Holland by British troops who noticed it’s calming effects before battle, which is where the term ‘Dutch courage’ came from. There’s one to use at dinner parties!
That was the 1620s and it has been a staple part of British life since. The production of Gin was unlicensed at various times including the 1730s, and led to a period known as the ‘Gin Craze’ as depicted in William Hogarth’s famous painting Gin Lane, and how it became known as ‘Widows Ruin.’
More recently, by which I mean the last 3-4 years, gin has gone through an incredible comeback. 6 years ago, it was all about vodka, now it is all about gin. This is fine with me, as I’ve always liked gin, but my advice is be experimental. There are lots of great products out there.
From the ‘an interesting fact about …..’ series, I’ll publish an article on vodka next month.