What You Didn’t Know About Gin

It’s time to test your gin expertise! Whether you’re an avid G&T fan or a skeptic of this spirit, we’ve got five lesser-known facts worth sharing with your drinking buddies.

Gin is tough to define

Unlike other spirits, gin is defined by its flavor. It comes from a neutral-based spirit that has been infused with botanicals and juniper berries. The only true standard for qualifying a spirit as “gin” is the dominant juniper berry flavor. The problem with this requirement is that it can be subjective and fuzzy. In other words, people have different standards for what flavors earn the title of gin. Because of this discrepancy, old-school gin-makers love to point out that some of the new-school “gins” aren’t actually gin.

Juniper berries are still picked in the wild

Juniper berries are an essential ingredient when it comes to making gin. Surprisingly to this day, these little guys are still picked in the wild by independent workers. The most common juniper is the Juniperus Communis. It occurs naturally in Asia, Europe and North America.

Gin originated in the Netherlands

Gin originated in the Netherlands, where it was known as “Dutch Courage.” In the 1600s during the Eighty Years War, English soldiers witnessed the Dutch knocking back this spirit and brought it home to England. The British refined the drink and made it popular as the gin we know today.

The Gin & Tonic originated in India for medicinal purposes

Throughout history, gin has been used for its supposed medicinal benefits. After the Sepoy Rebellion of 1857, the British began to move to India where they drank “Indian Tonic Water” in an effort to ward off malaria. This simple beverage became a go-to during this time because the tonic water masked the bitter taste of gin. We understand the appeal!

People made bathtub gin during prohibition

It’s safe to say that prohibition didn’t quite lead to nationwide temperance. Instead, it led to people devising clever ways to get their booze. During the 1920s, as crazy as it sounds, people actually made “gin” in bathtubs. It was often a very harsh and sometimes toxic variant that was derived from things like wood alcohol. Typically, it was also heavily flavored to hide its potential deadliness. (Count us out.)

We promise no bathtubs were used in the production of *any* gin we sell. Stop by our stores to try it for yourself! Cheers, gin lovers!

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