Gin – history and interesting facts

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Winter is the real time when I love to visit bar and spend my hours to belly up with my fancy drinks. In fact, I love tasting new cocktails and other drinks but I prefer to sip one type at a time. If I am talking about cocktails, then Gin is the number one in the shelves in making cocktails. Gin is the most fashionable drink due to its subtle flavor. As per the 1951 the Bartenders’ Guide Gin was the best base spirits in 7000 cocktails.

Gin is primarily made up of juniper berry but there are many other herbs and spices are added as a flavoring agent. They use the best flavor from the original places, for example Cardamom from Sri Lanka, Cassia bark from Vietnam, Orange peel from Spain, Coriander seed from Czech Republic, Angelica root from Germany. And it is very interesting that Juniper berries are imported from Italy. Apart from these there are dozens of other possible ingredients used in making of Gin. Each distiller follows their secret formula and so no two Gin brands are exact in taste.

Mostly people beef up about its taste; actually Gin can be described as flavored Vodka. Gin was first named as “Genever” from the French word of Juniper. Dr. Franciscus de La Boie who was also known as Dr. Sylyius from Holland, a Dutch Doctor, invented this in 1650 for medical purposes. He was a professor at the University of Leyden. He was trying to find a medicine for the treatment of kidney disorders or the effect of Malaria and for this he mixed Juniper berry oil with grain alcohol, as both have diuretic properties.

Gin was then sweetened with sugar to find more palatable taste and called Old Tom. Soon the unsweetened gins were called Dry or London dry Gin. Actually London dry Gin is specified by a geographical location i.e. it is made in or near London. It was invented in 1831. Now this term is used to describe a style of Gin. The world famous BEEFEATER is now the only Gin distilled in London.

This famous drink reached to England during the rule of William 111, better known as William of Orange, (1650 to 1702). In fact, British troops fought with Dutch for 30 years and while returning they brought back gin, which they called “Dutch Courage” and soon they started distillation in England. It soon became their National drink of England.

Before this they were busy in making Whisky and Scotch from grains and tampering them with years of aging in wooden casks. So it was expensive and too harsh in consumption. But Gin tasted good and was less expensive to produce.

According to Gin and Vodka Association, in 1730, Gin was sold cheaper than beer but soon in 1736 Gin act was issued and Gin became very expensive. During the time of William of Orange gin was free for all distillaters from professionals to amateurs. In 1750s it was again taken in control and the quality and standard of gin came in hands of only professional distillers. Today Britain is the world’s greatest Gin exporter.  

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