Gin, a classic favourite spirit that many of us have hidden away in our pantries and liquor cabinets. It’s time to dust those cobwebs off the bottle or if that’s not the case, top up your cabinet cause Gin has made a come back!
Don't worry, you’re safe gin doesn’t have an expiry date as long as it is kept sealed….. Did you know about the old lady's tale that Gin is good to drink when you are sick, a Gin a day keeps the doctor away! There is also a yearly Gin festival, so if you are a gin lover watch out for it, it is a must do!
Gin has been around for centuries, I can’t provide an exact date but it is set to say it was introduced in the 11th century over in Southern Italy and the Netherlands. Did you know that the name 'Gin' is actually derived from the Dutch word 'Genever' which is juniper in English. Similar right? In this period, Italian monks were the main users of gin as they believed in the way the juniper berries worked as flavorings.
Way back then, there were also many rumours of how Gin was actually created and used as a medicine to heal. Gin was a medical miracle for helping cure stomach, liver and kidney issues and used as a disinfected source. But how and why? The Juniper berries hold the power, they are believed that they have healing powers to fight against colds and fevers.
Ahh the taste of gin. In todays world, we are lucky to have such a variety of gin around us to try, from your all time classics such as Gordons Dry London Gin to the much newer world Gins such as the Dancing Sands Gin and Malfy Gin which are mixed with several botanicals. Most people will agree that Gin has a citrus and herbal flavour to it but it all comes down to how the botanicals have been distilled together.
In Gin, there are notable flavours such as the juniper berry with complimenting additives like lemon, lime, coriander, licorice and other herb like flavours, some may even have a sweet or spicy taste to them. There are many new and innovative distilleries who are constantly creating new exotic flavours and it is something we should all be keeping our eye out for...
You don't need the fancy tools and equipment to make Gin. Gin is a distilled alcohol that quite frankly, if you have the time you can make it yourself at home. Gin is distilled from a base of grain which is usually barely or wheat. Botanicals are then added along with water until the flavour rises. The main botanical in Gin is the juniper berry which is what gives the spirit its unique citrus flavour.
The reason why Gin tastes can differ is down to the type of herbs, spices and botanicals that have been distilled. The most common botanicals are juniper, coriander, cassia, cinnamon and citrus. Once these botanicals are mixed they are strained, distilled, diluted then bottled.
So what reeaally is the difference between Gin and Vodka? They are both amongst the most brought spirit categories world wide and some may say they are very similar in colour, aroma and taste but there are some distinct characteristics that break the two apart from each other.
Vodka is known for it's lack of flavour while Gin is known for it's juniper and herbal flavourings making a distinct difference in the flavour of both spirits. Vodka being a neutral spirit has less of a colour and aroma but for Gin there is ever growing space for it's colour and aroma dependent on the botanicals used. Did you know that Gin can only actually be called Gin if it has juniper in it.. if it doesn't it is actually just vodka. If we are being honest, there isn't much difference between the two but hopefully this helps separates them apart.
Gin can be served in several different ways but most commonly in several well known cocktails like the martini, a negroni and your well loved Gin and Tonic. Gin is usually served in a tall glass, loaded up with ice and a slice of lemon and lime on top. In recent years there has been a hot demand for Gin and Tonic RTD's which have taken off, the ease and ready to go cans have been nothing but a hot hit!
The Gin and Tonic has been popular worldwide for years, it's an easy go to for many when they are dining out at a restaurant or going out to a bar and at home. They are a easy go-to for many people as you don't need all the fancy ingredients in fact you must likely have the ingredients in reach they are just as popular.