WHY IS EVERYONE OBSESSED WITH
"It's Happy Hour!" has got to be one of my favorite phrases.
Let's talk liquor. Gin is believed to have originated from England, but that’s not entirely true! The flavor of Gin mainly comes from juniper berries, and it was first produced by the Dutch as a medicinal liquid. It was named "genever" and by the 1700s, hundreds of distilleries were producing what we now know as gin.
In the Thirty Years War, the English soldiers noticed that the Dutch soldiers were being extraordinarily brave and discovered that this was with the help of a little "Dutch Courage" i.e. drinking gin from bottles hanging on their belts. The Brits quickly hopped onto that bandwagon and ever since then gin gained popularity all over England.
THE GIN CRAZE
“The Gin Craze" is an era during the 17th century when the people of England began to go crazy drinking gin. During that period of time, a pint of gin was cheaper than a pint of beer! A few years later, the government started to realize that it was becoming a massive problem, gin was blamed for the death of thousands by over-drinking, murder, and insanity. Major legislative acts were passed over the course of 22 years to rein in the population’s consumption of gin.
GIN & TONIC
English sailors often travelled to destinations where malaria was an issue. They continued to be huge fans of gin as it was excellent at masking the taste of the anti-malarial alkaloid, quinine. This was mixed with tonic and sweetened with a bit of sugar and lemon - this is how the classic cocktail Gin & Tonic came about.
4 TYPES OF GIN
So many different types of gin have emerged since the days of the gin craze, but there are 4 main categories:
Image via Plymouth Gin
1. LONDON DRY
London Dry gin is very dry, and is distilled with only natural plant materials with no added artificial flavors. This is what you'd normally get in a G&T - Beefeater and Tanqueray should ring a bell!
Some London Dry gins are steeped in fresh citrus peels before distillation and that gives them a citrus flavor — which explains why a twist of lemon really elevates the taste of your G&T.
Plymouth is one of the oldest and there is only one distillery that produces it. The old school ship on the label represents the history of the gin, as the British Royal Navy loved it so much they had a special request...
Barrels of Plymouth Gin were ordered for the officers onboard the ship, but they were afraid that leaks could make gunpowder wet and impossible to light. Navy Strength was introduced, a gin strong enough to pass the British Royal Navy’s “proof” test. They would pour the spirit onto gunpowder and if the powder still burned, it meant hat there was sufficient alcohol (or proof) in the liquor -and the gin was allowed on board.
3. Old Tom
Old Tom was originally produced as a sweetened gin because people used to add licorice or sweetening agents. It's richer in flavor than London Dry, and is perfect for making mixed drinks.
Remember we mentioned Genever in our little gin history lesson up there? Genever is the original style of gin, dating back to 16th-century Holland. Genever is the best in rich cocktails!
Image via Boomsma (Genever Gin)
BUT WHY THE OBSESSION?
People are becoming increasing obsessed with gin and here's why - It is a perfect mixing drink. It goes well with seasons, for summer it’s refreshing and for winter, a spiced creamy and smooth malted gin is warming. As if we needed more reasons to love gin, here are 16 reasons to love it EVEN MORE! Honestly just writing this makes us need a sip of a Hendricks G&T garnished with a refreshing cucumber.
If you are a fan of rich tastes of citrus with a kick of spices, we have just the gift for you. Our Celebration box comes with the Award-winning 'Napue' Gin by the Kyrö Distillery. The gin is produced in small batches using rye grains and botanicals, giving it a meadow sweet and citrus taste with refreshing menthol notes. The beautifully packaged gift box includes a sprig of greens as well, making it a perfect as a gift for any occasion. There's nothing wrong with treating yourself either, we'll get it sent right to your doorstep so you're ready to unwind after a stressful day with Gin' o Clock 😉
Cover Image by Kyro Distillery