We’ve compiled our top 10 fun facts about gin – pour yourself a G + T and keep reading to learn more about our favourite spirit!
- A Dutch physician by the name of Franciscus Sylvius is generally credited as the creator of gin, or ‘genever’ – medicine distilled with juniper berry oil. He intended it as a cure for stomach and kidney disorders.
- The term ‘Dutch Courage’ is supposedly derived from the Thirty Years War in the 17th Century, where British soldiers drank Dutch Gin to bolster their courage during battle.
- The cocktail known as a Hot Gin Twist was the most popular cocktail in London in the winter of 1823, and was made by mixing gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and hot water.
- British navy officers received a daily ration of gin up until the year 1970!
- The juniper berry is not a berry – it is actually a female seed cone with unusually fleshy and merged scales that give it appearance of a berry.
- In the 1700s a Scottish doctor discovered that quinine – a key component of tonic water – could be used to treat malaria. British soldiers stationed in India began to drink tonic water to keep malaria at bay, adding gin to make the drink more palatable. And so the G + T was born!
- Gin doesn’t have the same geographical restrictions as some other spirits, so ‘London Dry Gin’ doesn’t have to be produced in London, or even England for that matter! The name is just a process designation.
- James Bond’s famous Vesper Martini is made with gin. In Casino Royale, it’s stated as ‘three measures of Gordon’s; one of vodka; half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it over ice, and add a thin slice of lemon peel.’
- Nearly all juniper berries used to make gin are picked wild – unlike most fruits and vegetables they are not cultivated in masses.
- Almost half the world’s production of gin is consumed in the Philippines.
Time to top up your gin collection? Find your new favourite here.