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24th

Apr

New Age Gin Craze

Gin is currently enjoying something of a renaissance, with more focus than ever being placed on the quality of the G in your G & T! Over the past few months we have explored this amazing spirit and championed this quintessential British tipple! Over the last decade emphasis on artisan methods among the big distillers has flourished, and independent producers are surging along side the big guys.

But let’s take a brief look back in time:

1600s

Franciscus Sylvius, a Dutch doctor in Holland, infuses juniper berries into distilled spirits in a search for a cure to kidney and stomach disorders and creates 'jenever'.

William of Orange, Dutch consort to Queen Mary of England, bans imports of French brandy and levies duties on German spirits, guaranteeing a market for Dutch spirits in England. At the same time, the distilling trade is opened to locals who begin procuring 'Dutch courage'.

Gin becomes the cheapest beverage in England due to rise in beer taxes.

1700s

'Gin madness' spreads through London as a pint of gin could be bought for a penny, and streets become littered with drunkenness and disorder.

First of many attempts from the British Government to control the consumption of gin failed as the annual consumption of gin in London was up to 11 million gallons!

The Tippling Act is passed by Parliament - the beginning of the end of 'gin madness'. The act eliminates small gin shops and leaves the distribution of gin to larger distillers and retailers. Within a few years annual consumption is down to 2 million gallons and the quality of gin has improved.

1900's -1920's

Robert Stein of Scotland and Aeneas Coffey of Ireland invent the column still. The distiller has less control over the product, but can produce far more of it in the same amount of time.

Gin becomes a respectable drink in British high society, served in gentlemen's clubs. In the meantime, it becomes drier and more refined

The Martini! Born again, and again, and again…

Martini #1: Jerry Thomas, bartender at San Francisco's Occidental Hotel, mixes up a 'Martinez' for a traveller bound for that town. It consists of bitters, maraschino, vermouth, ice and Old Tom (sweet gin). Sugar syrup added on request.

'Indian tonic water' is invented to disguise the unpleasant taste of the quinine necessary to fight malaria in the tropics. It combines well with gin, and the gin and tonic is born.

Martini #2: a gold miner pays for a bottle of whiskey in the town of Martinez with a nugget so big he demands an extra drink. The bartender dubs it a 'Martinez'.

Martini #3: Martini di Arma Di Taggia, bartender at New York's Hotel Knickerbocker, mixes up a drink using equal parts of gin and dry vermouth.

Raffles Hotel in Singapore makes the first Singapore Sling.

Late 1900s

Prohibition goes into effect. Saloons and bars give way to speakeasies. Gin, the easiest spirit to produce illegally, is king and contributes to the rising popularity of the cocktail because of its smooth, dry quality and because it mixes well with other flavours.

Spirit consumption goes up and moves from the saloon to the home.

Prohibition ends

The cocktail hour becomes an established feature of the US lifestyle and executives enshrine the three-Martini lunch.

Vodka surpasses gin and whiskey to become the most widely-consumed spirit in the US.

The Martini stages a comeback, particularly among 20- and 30-year olds, and becomes associated with retro culture, Deco style, night clubs, cigars and Hollywood's depiction of the 1930s' lifestyle.

Check Out Corks Out's range of Gin, And more Available In Stores

 Cin Cin! & Remember Drink Responsibly

Steph

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