A very brief history of gin
By the 11th century, Italian monks were flavouring crudely distilled spirits with juniper berries. During the Black Death, this drink was used, although ineffectively, as a remedy. As the science of distillation advanced from the Middle Ages into the Renaissance period, juniper was one of many botanicals employed by virtue of its perfume, flavour, and purported medicinal properties.
Gin became popular in England in the 18th century with unlicensed gin production because of the heavy duties imposed by the government on all imported spirits. This created a market for poor-quality grain that was unfit for brewing beer and thousands of gin-shops sprang up throughout England, a period known as the gin craze.
Today England is awash with gin again, but these are of a premium nature, different styles and different uses of botanicals that have reinvigorated our national English tipple.
In tropical British colonies, around a hundred years later gin was used to mask the bitter flavour of quinine which was the only effective anti-malarial compound. The quinine was dissolved in carbonated water to form tonic water the resulting mix became the origin of today’s popular gin and tonic combination.
1724 NATURE QUININE TONIC (ARGENTINA)
The finest raw materials & the original source of quinine picked by hand at 1’724 meters above sea level on the Inca trail creates this premium tonic water that works with most premium spirits or on its own.
FEVER TREE INDIAN TONIC WATER (U.K.)
Fever Tree’s name references the bark from the tree that quinine is derived from. It uses Congolese cinchona bark, bitter oranges from from Tanzania and Buxton spring water, and no artificial sweeteners, preservatives or flavourings.
SCHWEPPES INDIAN TONIC WATER (U.K.)
Schweppes was founded in 1783 and was granted its first royal warrant in 1836 – it has held one ever since. It started producing tonic in the 1870s and helped gin and tonic become popular across the British Empire as a preventative measure for malaria. Understandably, given its heritage and length in the market, this continues to be the brand leader in the UK. Contains sugar and sweetener.
FENTIMANS INDIAN TONIC WATER (U.K.)
Fentimans dates from 1905 and its products are all ‘botanically brewed’ This refers to the process of putting botanicals into copper steam jacketed pans to infuse with herbs, sugar, brewer’s yeast and spring water, then allowed to ferment in wooden vats. This tonic water is made from a fermented grain base and flavoured with lemongrass and purified chinchona bar, both from India.
“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”Humphrey Bogart
GIN MARE (Spain) 42.7% ABV
Perfect serve over ice with Rosemary or Basil
Creating the taste of the Mediteeranean, this gin counts Gin Mare counts arbequina olive, rosemary, thyme, basil and mandarin amongst its exotic botanical blend. The serving suggestion is a glass full of ice, garnished with a sprig of Rosemary or Basil. Delicious & refreshing.
BOMBAY SAPPHIRE (England) 40% ABV
Perfect serve over ice with Lime
Made at Greenalls distillery, ‘Bombay’ had 10 different botanicals used in its production which are collected in vapour form from a Carterhead still. This allows only the purest spirit to pass through creating a smooth finish
TANQUERAY (Scotland)43.1% ABV
Perfect serve over ice with Grapefruit
Clear and pungent, with citrus and juniper aromas. Very flavoursome with a tart cut, snappy spice and alcoholic heat on the finish. During the 1920 prohibition in the United States,
Tanqueray & Sons continued to legally ship gin to islands just off the US coast in cases designed to float.
BLOOM (England)40% ABV
Perfect serve over ice with Strawberries
Made at Greenalls distillery &
triple distilled, it uses demineralised spring water and natural botanicals for its unique and beguiling flavour. Created from juniper, chamomile, pomelo and honeysuckle it offers a light,
refreshing subtle notes such as honey and orange.
BEEFEATER 24 (England)45% ABV
Perfect serve over ice with Orange
The 12 natural ingredients of Beefeater 24 are sourced from around the world. Hand-prepared grapefruit and Seville orange peel add a tang note to the aromantic influence of Japanese and Chinese teas.
HENDRICKS (Scotland)41.1% ABV
Perfect serve over ice with Cucumber
A gin with traditional botanicals, juniper, coriander, and citrus peel but the special infusion of cucumber and rose petals creates a unique and unexpected flavour.
Perfect serve over ice with a slice of Red Apple
Made at the Balmenach distillery in Speyside. Caorunn draws on centuries of distilling expertise, on the pure Scottish Highland water provided by the surrounding springs and the time-honoured Celtic botanicals which are characteristic plants of the surrounding hills. Botanicals include Rowan berry, Bog Myrtle,
Heather, Coul Blush Apple & Dandelion Leaf.
SIPSMITH (England)41.6% ABV
Perfect serve over ice with Lime
The master distiller, Jared Brown, crafts each product by hand, in small batches of 500 bottles a time. This delivers spirit that is smooth, full of character and has a true intensity of flavour.
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