What is the history of gin?
What's the history of the alcoholic spirit gin? Is it really a medicinal drink, and is this a good reason to have a gin martini every afternoon?
I'm writing this particular blog entry because just a few weeks ago I had the distinct pleasure of hanging out with Simon Ford, a gin distiller from UK-based Plymouth Gin, and one of the topics of our chat was the history of spirits and, specifically, gin.
Simon kindly sent along a brief history of gin in handy outline form:
JUNIPER MEETS GRAIN SPIRITS
THE BRITISH DISCOVER GIN
"GIN MANIA" TO RESPECTABILITY
NEW STILL, NEW STYLES
GIN TAKES OFF
There's another question here that's worth answering too, while we're at it. If nothing else, it'll clarify if gin is made out of something medicinal or not. The question? What makes gin "gin"? Again, here's the set of bullet items from Simon:
BOTANICALS AND BASE SPIRIT
LONDON DRY GIN
PLYMOUTH (DRY) GIN
As you can see above, gin is a medicinal drink, and it was also mixed in with quinine water when the British were occupying India as an anti-malarial concoction (not sure what quinine water is? it's "tonic", hence this drink is known as a gin and tonic). Of course, its medicinal value is fairly minimal when compared to modern, far more potent and efficient pills and potions, but nonetheless, yea, there are some pretty nice gin drinks out there and maybe, just maybe, you can get away with saying that it's medicinal.
I hope this article proves interesting!
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