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“I'm on a Gin & Tonic diet. So far I've lost 2 days!”
It is believed that Jenever (or Gin) has been invented by a Dutch chemist and alchemist Dr. Franciscus Sylvius (1614-1672). As was with many other spirits, Gin was originally intended to be used as a medicine. Although several different styles have evolved since the beginning, the main component still remains Juniper berry, obviously.
In the first half of the 18th century the consumption of Gin increased rapidly in Great Britain, especially in London. The city had a virtual epidemic of extreme drunkenness, this provoked legislative backlash and moral outrage which was also illustrated by William Hogarth in his famous engravings "Beer Street and Gin Lane" from 1751.
As time passed Gin slowly regained back its reputation. Today it is a popular base spirit for many classic mixed drinks, including the Martini.
Trivia & SmartAss Corner:
1) There are two primary ways to flavour your Gin: You can either add flavours to a distilled spirit and bottle it, or you can infuse botanicals into the spirit by distilling them together. Depending on your chosen method, you get a different kind of Gin, and a different flavour profile.
2) Few Gin Distillers Make Their Own Alcohol. Gin usually starts with neutral spirit: A commodity that in distillers buy in bulk. It’s what the distiller does with this commodity in the flavour-infusing process that makes each Gin different.
3) Classifications of Gin: London Dry Gin, Plymouth Gin, Old Tom Gin, Genever or Dutch, New Western or new American or International style.
4) As with many other spirits, Gin was originally intended to be used as a medicine—to battle malaria.
5) Hardcore Gin lovers say the word Martini should never be preceded by vodka, lobster or pomegranate. They say the original and only real Martini consists of Gin, vermouth & olives, period! But Churchill went even further; here is his famous Churchill's Martini Recipe: Shake gin in a cocktail shaker with cracked ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and look at the vermouth bottle on the other side of the room. Garnish with olive.
6) Juniper berry is the main ingredient of Gin. They are usually picked wild by independent workers throughout Europe, and sold via distributors to the Gin makers of the world.
7) There are more than 700 cocktails made with Gin known to man.
8) A wise man once said, "A bar without Gin is like an Italian kitchen without pasta."