Here we tell you all about the lovely base spirit Gin. We share the history of the great spirit, some fun facts and then we let you know which cocktails you should make with it.
Please let us know if there is any info which is not right or if something is unclear. We do listen to your feedback and will edit the article!
Bottles we recommend in flavoured Cocktails and for people on a budget:
Tanqueray, Bulldog, Plymouth and Beefeater etc.
Bottles we recommend having neat or in Cocktails where you can taste the lovely flavours (Gin Martini, Gimlet etc.):
Tanqueray 10, Monkey 47, Geranium, Beefeater 24, Hendricks etc.
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Everything you wanted to know about the Gin
When was it invented?
The history of spirits is full of rumours and not many clear facts. However, Gin production started in the early 1600's.
Where is it from?
Many people think of United Kingdom as the great father of the spirit. It was not invented there though. It was produced in the Netherlands and then brought to the UK. Exactly as many other spirits Gin production started as being medicine. It helped on the stomach and gallstones. The Dutch Army would have small bottles of Genever gin in battles. Genever would help them stay calm during a stressful and long battle.
What is the base ingredient?
The Dutch people started flavouring the base spirit they drank with juniper berries. Since then Gin and Juniper have been best pals. Meaning that you actually can't be classified a Gin if Juniper isn't the predominant ingredient. As long as that rule is checked then you are allowed to add whatever other botanical you like to. Cucumber, Citrus, Licorice, Seaweed, Geranium, Shamrock, Cream, Dragon Eye etc. Only your imagination is the limit. Monkey 47 etc. consists of 47 different botanicals.
Which Cocktails are made with this spirit?
Gin and Tonic are of course the first one to mention. Many think of it as a drink and not a cocktail. We believe it's still worth mention since it's the one most people fancy. We also believe life is too short for a bad Gin Tonic. If you are a fan of the spirit then you should also be familiar with a classic Martini, Bramble, Gin Fizz, Tom Collins, Gimlet, Negroni etc. If not then you know what to try next time you visit your bar!
How to use it in Cocktails?
The quality of your spirit is the first you want to know. If it's a complexed gin full of flavours then don't ruin it by adding a lot of fruit juices or soda. Then we recommend having it in a proper stirred in a classic Martini, Negroni or together with quality Tonic (2/3 parts Tonic and 1/3 part Gin). If you want more exotic Cocktails like a Bramble, Gin Fizz or a Gin Mule then don't go super premium. You'll not be able to taste the difference unless you are a true geek.
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The spirit was at the beginning known as called 'Dutch Courage' by the British people. They first tasted the spirit in the Thirty Years War. They named it Dutch courage because the Dutch people were known for drinking it before battling. They felt much stronger after a few sips of the great spirit which back then wasn't as smooth and great tasting as the gins we know today.
Gin became very popular in Great Britain thanks to King William of Orange who also ruled the Netherlands. He had a big passion for spirits and made it absolutely free to distil spirits. Juniper was easy to access and therefore it was an easy spirit to produce. With an overload of the spirit, people started to give it to workers as pay instead of cash. That made the spirit known in the whole United Kingdom.
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