| The first confirmed date for the production of gin is the early 17th century in Holland, although claims have been made that it was produced prior to this in Italy. In Holland it was produced as a medicine and sold in chemist shops to treat stomach complaints, gout and gallstones. To make it more palatable, the Dutch started to flavor it with juniper, which had medicinal properties of its own. Gin triumphed in the 1920s - the first 'Cocktail Age' - after having been scarce during the 1914-18 World War. Now recognised as a cosmopolitan and refreshing drink, gin became the darling of the famous Cunard cruises. |
During the 1920s and 1930s the newly popular idea of the 'Cocktail-Party' crossed the Atlantic from the USA to Britain via an American hostess who wanted to fill in for her friends the blank time between teatime and dinner.
London dry gin, with its subtle flavor made it easy to mix and it quickly became the staple ingredient in a host of fashionable drinks - including the world famous and enduring Martini. Over the next twenty or thirty years many other cocktails with improbable names came to reflect the dizzy and sophisticated society which created them.
What exactly is gin you ask? The neutral spirit has no color or flavor at all. It is at least 96% alcohol by volume (ABV). Botanical elements, the mixture of herbs and spices, are added to the neutral spirit to flavor gin. All use Juniper - others vary from brand to brand but could include coriander,angelica,orris root, licorice, caraway, cinnamon, grains of paradise,lemon and orange peel.
Here are our top gin picks:
|·||Bombay Sapphire||·||Plymouth Original|
Some of this information is from the Gin & Vodka Association