One of the fastest growing drinks by popular demand – the Gin & Tonic. But there is so much more to be recognized about this drink than its obvious refreshing, thirst quenching & crowd pleasing qualities.
What is it?
Gin is typically made from a base spirit and a specific set of flavours known as ‘botanicals’. The most common base spirit is made from grain however other bases include grapes, barley & wheat bases. The base spirit should be as neutral in taste as possible therefore allowing the botanicals to shine.
For any Gin to be classified as gin it MUST have the juniper berry as one of its botanicals. The Juniper berry is also critical as it creates an aromatic canvas for all the other botanicals.
The Origin Debate?
The Dutch claim to be the first to make the white spirit but the British do lay claim to redefining gin into what we know it to be today. Originally made for medicinal purposes the Dutch then redefined the spirit for recreational consumption. The British then took a liking to the spirt and further redefined it by making it less malty & cleaner. Either or we’ll thank both countries.
The Various Types
London Dry Gin – the variety of gin has incredibly strict regulations and must be made with a good quality alcohol which has a proof of no less than 140. Also no sugar is to be added, the predominant flavor should be that of the juniper berry & only water can be added to bring down the alcohol content. Contrary to its name, this gin can be made anywhere in the world.
Bathtub Gin – in the prohibition days it was popular to make homemade gin by simply infusing spices with a grain spirit, most commonly in bathtubs, hence the name.
Genever (Jenever) Gin – the OG of gin distillation, it refers to how gin was first made by distilling malt wine and then redistilling it with botanicals.
The Comeback of Gin
The hight of the gin drinking culture was roughly 200 years ago. Thereafter the white spirit took a back seat & whiskey, rum and vodka started to make their mark on the drinking scene.
In the last few years gin has made a comeback through artisans producing numerous quality small batch gins. The rejuvenation of gin has made the beverage so popular that it has seen many gin devoted bars popping up all over the world.