10 Things You Should Know About Gin
Gin exploded back onto the cocktail scene, offering a welcome alternative to the generic world of vodka. It’s flavorful, complex, refreshing, and most importantly, high octane compared to other standard spirits.
But how much do you really know about gin? Here’s 10 facts that you probably didn’t know:
1. Gin was created in Holland, not London, where it is often associated.
2. Back in the 1600′s gin was originally created for purely medicinal purposes - to cure stomach ailments.
3. Gin draws its name from the Dutch word for “juniper” (genievre), a key ingredient in the spirit.
4. Gin has been made for hundreds of years, but not in the form it’s known today. The alcohol was poorly distilled using whatever came to hand by people with little experience. To cover the off-flavours it was heavily sweetened and flavoured with all manner of ingredients. The result was a cheap, syrupy, oily liquid that was often poisonous. It wrought havoc among the crowded slums of cities like London, causing the death rate to exceed the birth rate.
5. “London Dry” refers to a style of gin that is highly distilled and eliminated the need for sweeteners and other unnatural flavours.
6. Most gins are over 90 proof, compared to the 80 proof of most standard vodkas.
7. Gin was the basis of most classic cocktails that are now often associated with other spirits, such as the martini and gimlet.
8. People used to drink tonic while visiting the tropics because it contains quinine, a cure for malaria. People mixed the tonic with gin, which made it easier to swallow; thus a beautiful partnership was formed.
9. Gin was a popular spirit during Prohibition because it could literally be distilled in bathtubs and didn’t require vats, barrels, or other equipment.
10. By the 1720′s one in four houses in London was producing and/or selling gin partially due to the fact that it was safer to drink than the water. Public drunkenness was a problem to say the least. By 1751 legislation was put into place to end this “gin madness”.
Ultra Liquors stocks a wide variety of gins. Why not pop around, buy a bottle and pour yourself a G&T and listen to the sweet tunes of the Gin Blossoms?