Gin is one of the most popular spirits of the moment and everyone has their own tastes. Whether you like something botanical and fresh or a classic with nothing but juniper, there is a gin out there for you. This spirit has a long and vibrant history and there is plenty about it to discover. Let’s take a look at 5 facts about gin you probably didn’t know.
Gin’s Ancestor Comes from Holland
Gin is now associated with Britain, but its ancestor is a Dutch spirit called genever. Whilst fighting in the Eight Years’ War, English troops noticed their Dutch friends knocking back this spirit to give them a little courage for the upcoming battles (where we get the phrase Dutch Courage from!). They took this drink back to the UK and a little later, gin was born!
The G&T was Born in India
The British officers in Victorian India took quinine to fight off malaria, usually in the form of tonic water. This had quite a bitter flavour so they would add gin and lime to it to mask the taste and the classic G&T was born. Who knew that such a loved cocktail would have some medicinal effects too?
Gin Can Be Made with Vodka
It might seem strange that you can get one alcohol from another but it is true. If you take vodka and infuse it with juniper berries and any other flavourings you may wish to add, you will get a beautiful bottle of gin out the other side! In fact, you can even buy gin-making kits so you can give this a go yourself. It might be the perfect Christmas present for the gin lover in your life.
The Philippines Consume the Most Gin
Gin might be thought of as a British drink but it is consumed in much higher quantities in the Philippines. Nearly half the global consumption of gin happens here and that isn’t even an exaggeration. Most of their gin comes from their Ginebra San Miguel distillery which has been in operation since 1834.
Gin is the Perfect Base for Cocktails
Gin is a brilliant neutral spirit if it only has juniper but the many flavourings which can be added to it also make it the perfect base in several different cocktails. When you also include it with other spirits and freshly squeezed juices, there is an unlimited number of concoctions you could make. It is truly one of the most variable alcohols out there and that is why you find in in the base of so many cocktails. From Martinis to Long Island Iced Tea, it can be found everywhere.
As you can see, gin has had a long and varied history which has seen it venture all around the world. It is no exaggeration to call it one of the world’s favourite drinks, and some very interesting stories have no doubt come out of our close association with it.