What is Gin? When was it created and why? And why has it been increasingly popular over the years? All good questions; especially given you’re reading this blog on a website selling gin 😊
So, it's the 13th century, and the monks are busy brewing up a storm – anything with alcohol in is safer than water after all. They stumbled upon jenever; a potent tonic distilled from wine infused with juniper berries. And why juniper, you ask? Turns out, juniper had been cherished for centuries for its medicinal properties. The Romans even burned juniper branches for purification, and the plague doctors stuffed it into nose masks to fend off the Black Death….not that it worked unfortunately.
Fast forward a couple of centuries to the 17th century. Gin's popularity starts skyrocketing. Our Dutch and Flemish distilling friends were hard at work, tinkering with flavours and mixing malted barley spirit with juniper, anise, caraway, and coriander. These elixirs found their way into pharmacies, believed to cure everything from kidney troubles to stomach ailments. Oh, the power of a well-crafted spirit!
The 18th century brought a gin revolution to England – London in particular. The government, in its wisdom, allowed unlicensed gin production while giving the cold shoulder to fancy imported spirits like brandy. Guess what happened? Gin became the go-to drink for the common man. It was affordable, abundant, and brimming with character. Who could resist such allure when it took you away from the troubles of life?
Now, here's where things started to get out of hand! The Gin Craze descended upon England. Gin retailers sprouted like mushrooms, outnumbering every other watering hole combined. It soon became the ruin of many and was blamed for societal troubles! The term mothers ruin was coined – this famous image shows the tragedy of the gin epidemic.
In an attempt to restore order, the government stepped in with the Gin Acts of the 18th century. They aimed to bring a modicum of discipline to the gin scene, regulating its production and sale. Yet, gin refused to be tamed. It evolved, it adapted, and it transformed into the "London dry" gin we cherish today. Smooth and sophisticated. Same same 😊
Gin embarked on a grand adventure across the seas, joining forces with quinine in British colonies to create the marvellous gin and tonic. And during America's Prohibition era, the sneaky ones crafted their own "bathtub gin" under the cover of darkness, adding a dash of excitement to gin's legacy.
Now, in the 21st century, gin is experiencing a renaissance like never before. It's a global phenomenon, with new brands and flavours morphing up at every turn. The gin industry is buzzing with innovation, as it reinvents itself to cater to modern palates. Long may it last! Cheers!