Gin originated in the Netherlands in the 16th century as a medicinal drink called jenever. The Dutch used it to treat a variety of ailments, including stomach problems and kidney stones. Jenever was made by
distilling malt wine with juniper berries, which gave it its characteristic flavor. The drink became increasingly popular among soldiers during the Eighty Years War, who called it "Dutch courage" because it helped calm their nerves before going into battle.
The English first encountered jenever during the Thirty Years War in the 17th century. They began importing it into England and by the 18th century, English distillers were making their own version of
jenever, which they called gin. Gin was cheap and easy to produce, making it popular among the working class. It was also used to flavor other drinks, such as beer and wine.
The 18th century became known as the Gin Craze in England because of the widespread consumption of gin. Gin was sold in gin shops, which were often little more than street stalls, and people would drink
it throughout the day. Gin consumption caused social problems such as crime and poverty, and the government passed several laws to try to curb its consumption, including the Gin Act of 1736.
Despite the negative effects of the Gin Craze, gin continued to be popular throughout Europe. In the 19th century, gin production spread to other countries, including France, Italy, and Spain. Each country
developed its own unique style of gin, often using local botanicals and herbs to flavor the spirit. For example, in France, gin was made using grapes instead of grain and was flavored with lavender and
In the 20th century, gins popularity declined as other spirits, such as whiskey and vodka, became more popular. Gin lost popularity in the 20th century for several reasons. One of the main reasons was the
rise of other spirits, particularly whiskey and vodka. Whiskey became popular in the United States and Canada during Prohibition, when it was often smuggled across the border from Canada. Vodka became
popular in the United States after World War II, when soldiers who had been stationed in Europe returned home with a taste for the spirit.
Another factor that contributed to the decline in gins popularity was the perception that it was an old-fashioned drink. Gin had become associated with the excesses of the Gin Craze in England, and many people viewed it as a lower-class drink. Additionally, the traditional gin cocktails, such as the Martini and the Gin and Tonic, had become associated with an older generation.
Finally, gin production had become standardized and lacked the variety and complexity of earlier versions of the spirit. This led to a decline in the quality of the spirit and a loss of interest among
However, in recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in gin, particularly in the craft distilling movement. Today, gin is produced in countries all over the world, each with its own unique take on the
spirit. Japanese and Australian gin are two unique styles of gin that differ in terms of their production methods, flavor profiles, and the botanicals used.
Japanese gin is typically made using a base spirit of rice or barley, rather than the traditional grain-based spirit used in Western-style gin. This base spirit is then distilled with a variety of traditional Japanese
botanicals, such as cherry blossom, yuzu citrus, and green tea. These botanicals give Japanese gin a delicate and floral flavor profile, with subtle notes of citrus and spice.
In addition to the use of traditional Japanese botanicals, Japanese gin is also known for its precision and attention to detail in the distillation process. Many Japanese gin distillers use small pot stills and distill
their gin multiple times to create a smoother and more refined spirit.
Australian gin, on the other hand, is known for its use of unique and native Australian botanicals, such as lemon myrtle, wattleseed, and Tasmanian pepperberry. These botanicals give Australian gin a distinctly earthy and herbal flavor profile, with hints of citrus and spice.
Australian gin is often made using a grain-based spirit, similar to Western-style gin, and is typically distilled in small batches using traditional copper pot stills. Many Australian gin distillers also use
sustainable and organic farming practices to source their botanicals, which adds to the unique and artisanal quality of the spirit.
Gin has had a significant influence on modern cocktails and continues to be a popular spirit in cocktail culture. The versatility of gin as a base spirit makes it suitable for a wide range of cocktails, mixed with
anything from tea to Sobreo, from classic gin cocktails like the Martini and the Gin and Tonic to more modern creations.
One of the most iconic gin cocktails is the Martini, which typically consists of gin and vermouth, garnished with a lemon twist or olive. The vermouth can easily be swapped for French Gentian to lower
the sugar and increase the flavour. The popularity of the Martini has led to numerous variations, including the Vesper, made famous by James Bond in the novel Casino Royale, which adds vodka and
Lillet Blanc to the mix.
Another classic gin cocktail is the Gin and Tonic, which combines gin, tonic water, and a slice of lime. This cocktail has been enjoyed since the 19th century and remains a popular choice today.
Gin has also been used to create more complex cocktails, such as The Corpse Reviver No. 2, which mixes gin, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc, lemon juice, and a dash of absinthe. Substitute Sobreo Valencia Orange for Cointreau and you will have a healthier corpse.
Or the Negroni, which can be made combining gin, Campari and sweet vermouth, or substitue the sweet vermouth for Sobreo French Gentian and you will have an even better tasting NEgroni with less ABV, calories, carbs & sugar.
In recent years, bartenders have been experimenting with new gin cocktails that incorporate a variety of flavors and ingredients. For example, the Earl Grey MarTEAni combines gin with Earl Grey tea and honey syrup, while the Bees Knees combines gin, honey syrup, and lemon juice.
Overall, gins versatility and complex flavor profile make it a popular choice for modern cocktails. Its influence on cocktail culture has been significant and will likely continue to be felt for years to come.
Leave a comment