10 Things You Should Know About Gin
1. Gin was created in Holland, not London, where it is often associated.
2. It is believed that gin was originally created for purely medicinal purposes to cure stomach ailments.
3. Gin draws its name from the Dutch word for “juniper” (genievre), a key ingredient in the spirit.
4. Gin has been made for hundreds of years, but not in the form it’s known today. The alcohol was poorly distilled using whatever came to hand by people with little experience. To cover the off-flavours it was heavily sweetened and flavoured with all manner of ingredients. The result was a cheap, syrupy, oily liquid that was often poisonous. It wrought havoc among the crowded slums of cities like London, causing the death rate to exceed the birth rate.
5. “London Dry” refers to a style of gin that is highly distilled and eliminated the need for sweeteners and other unnatural flavors.
6. Tanqueray and most other gins are over 90 proof, compared to the 80 proof of most standard vodkas.
7. Gin was the basis of most classic cocktails that are now often associated with other spirits, such as the martini and gimlet.
8. People used to drink tonic while visiting the tropics because it contains quinine, a cure for malaria. People mixed the tonic with gin, which made it easier to swallow; thus a beautiful partnership was formed.
9. Gin was a popular spirit during Prohibition because it could literally be distilled in bathtubs and didn’t require vats, barrels, or other equipment.
10. Charles Tanqueray was only 20 when he founded his first distillery on Vine Street in London. Bro.
Sources: Tanqueray USA, Barsandpubs.com