Gin is having a moment; actually, it’s been trending for the last two decades, and its popularity hasn’t slowed down a bit. This is particularly impressive, considering the grain-distilled spirit, aromatized with herbs, roots, seeds and spices, can be traced back to the Dutch “genever” of the 13th-century.
What started as a medicinal tonic featuring juniper berries, ended up as everyone’s favorite drink, and by the 1600s, the Dutch were producing gin massively. The fashionable, aromatic spirit soon found its way across the English channel, and the British son made it their own. Around the 18th-century, the dryer London Gin style was born.
Every gin is distilled twice. Once to leach the alcohol from a fermented mash and a second to infuse the spirit with aromatics. Every gin is instilled with a unique blend of ‘botanicals,’ herbs, roots and spices, sometimes secret blends that lure people towards a particular brand. Sometimes it’s orange peels and pink peppercorns, others it’s cucumber and rose petals. Still, juniper berries remain the quintessential ingredient in all gins.
Gin is more often than not enjoyed in cocktails. The famous Gin & Tonic is just the tip of the iceberg. The French 75, Negroni, Martini and the Tom Collins are all popular drinks livened by the enticing aromas only gin brings to the table.
Gin is not going anywhere. We’re talking over four centuries of gin lovers. One generation after another has found in the herbal spirit a versatile drink for every occasion.