Although wine is one of the oldest beverage with great history and amazing stories and facts , gin also has a rich history, no wonder why we Aussies love it so much. Over the years, gin distillation has become a common thing among gin lovers, thanks to the large selection of easily accessible gin ingredients and distilling kits.
However, if your gin pals aren’t that much into gin distillation but would be thrilled to try some new gin tastes, you can certainly send them small but mighty gin tasting tasters and let them experience the new gin notes. Nowadays, you can easily deepen your knowledge and experience some of the best Australian craft gins thanks to some reliable and trusted gin suppliers. Ranging in taste, origin, colour, bottle type and pack size, you can certainly find the right gin tasting set for your buddies. As an addition to the gin tasting packs, notes and serving suggestion, you can also add a card with some interesting gin facts.
Interesting Gin Facts
The earliest form of gin was called ‘jenever’, but it wasn’t very tasty because of its pure and primitive distillation process. It was made by the Dutch physician Franciscus Sylvius, who created it as medicine in the 16th century. He believed that gin can improve circulation and other ailments.
Have you ever heard about the term ‘Dutch courage’? Well, in the past, gin was considered a ‘depressant’ and was known for its calming effects. During the thirty years of war, the Dutch army was aware of these gin side effects, so they would give a drink or two to their soldiers prior to the battle to calm their nerves.
It was in the 19th century when Gin & Tonics spiked in popularity in India. It was brought by the British, who back then started moving to India. At that time, gin was added to the tonic water to mask its bitterness and became one of the most popular Indian Tonic Water drinks which people also used to avoid malaria.
Amused to see the difference in the Dutch behaviour after having their drinks, it’s said that the English army also started practising this habit. While it’s true that gin is considered the national spirit of England, gin actually originated from Holland during the Dutch War of Independence in the 17th century.
Another linguistic history of gin is the story of ‘Mother’s ruin’. This term comes from the gin craze that happened in the mid-1700s, which made mothers neglect their children because of gin drinking.
Did you know that the famous cocktail ‘Gimlet’ was born to stop scurvy? Back in the days, when the Royal Navy was sailing the open seas, they would mix gin with lime juice to prevent scurvy (lack of vitamin C). It is believed that the drink was named after the Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Desmond Gimlette.
Besides enjoying the taste of a good Gimlet, it’s said that the navy used gunpowder to ensure that their gin is quality and good. This was done by the gin being poured onto gunpowder, and its quality and strength would be determined by seeing how well it would lit.
The definition and classification of gin is based on the distillation process, strength and the presence of juniper berry. However, the European Union divides gin into four separate categories: gin, distilled gin, juniper flavoured spirit drinks and London gin. These differences are mainly based on the additional flavourings, colouring and strength. Out of all gin types, in Europe, the London gin is considered the best.
If some of your pals are trying to eat clean but still want to have a drink or two from time to time, just like wine, gin is also an acceptable ally in this ‘battle’. Mixed with tonic or soda, it is said that this ‘cocktail’ is around 100 calories, while gin and tonic around 120 calories.
It is believed that European pharmacies in the 17th century sold gin as a medicine to treat different ailments like stomach aches and kidney infections.
In 1869, William Terrington’s Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks published the very first book of cocktail recipes that also contained a gin/ginger syrup cocktail.
Back in the days, gin was also made in bathtubs, mixing cheap grain alcohol and flavouring juniper-berry juice. Sometimes this drink was left to ferment and even distilled right from the tub. Unfortunately, this gin was not clean at all, and the lack of regulation has led to many illnesses and deaths.
If you’re wondering how to make gin and tonic taste good, do not hesitate to add fresh lime juice, ice and lime slice or wedge. The ratio will mainly depend on the amount of gin and tonic water.