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All you need to know about the Queen’s favourite, gin

gin

For many years, one of the best known and most sought-after drinks was gin. Then it slowly lost its popularity among the alcoholic beverages. However, nowadays gin and its varieties and cocktails, like the famous gin & tonic and Tom Collins cocktail are more popular than ever. Let’s see why and let’s find out what gin really is and how it’s made.

How gin is made?

Gin is a juniper-flavored drink. During its preparation, only natural herbs are added to high-quality fine spirits. These spirits are grain-based – that is why many people think that gin is basically vodka. They add juniper mainly, but during the preparation of a special gin, coriander, citrus peels, or cinnamon and almond can also be added to the base spirit. The repertoire of gins is almost inexhaustible, that is for sure. Specialties include American Aviation, which has lavender, or Bombay Sapphire East gin, which contains lemongrass and black pepper. There is gin, called Botanist that contains 31 different herbs and spices. Hendrick’s Gin is bottled in extravagant apothecary glass, and contains cucumber and rose essences as well. But gin is rarely consumed in itself. The herbs and spices in the gin really come to life in cocktails and give the prepared drink an extremely complex, deep taste.

The brief history of gin

Gin can be considered the national drink of England, but it was not the English who invented it. They discovered gin in the 17th century, when they fought the Thirty Years’ War with the Dutch. The Dutch soldiers drank a spirit, the so called „Genever” to gain courage. Genever, the ancestor of gin,  was invented by a Dutch physician, called Franciscus Sykvius. By the 19th century, the dry style of the gin we know today had developed in England, it is a less aromatic distilled gin, with no added sweetener or flavors.

Gin as a medicine?

Did you know that in tropical British colonies, the only antidote to malaria was quinine? Quinine is a natural crystalline alkaloid with antipyretic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Quinine was dissolved in carbonated water and the bitterness of the drink was compensated with gin.

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