Gin - the quintessential British drink
In the 18th Century the thirst for gin across Britain was insatiable, with the drink first being used as a medicine for stomach ailments.
Over time, due to the fact that it was so cheap to produce, it soon became the poor man's drink of choice with increasingly popular 'dram shops' popping up all over London. These shops had very few or no seats, as customers would simply down shots of gin, before moving to the next 'gin palace'.
It was not long before gin was given the nickname 'mother's ruin', as women turned to drink to forget their financial troubles, only to end up neglecting their children (or even feeding them gin too…) and fall into prostitution. Gin was blamed for the rise in crime across the capital, as the drink began to take more and more casualties, in particular when mixed with other dangerous chemicals such as turpentine, to recreate the same feeling of drunken warmth.
The Gin Act of 1751 was enforced, preventing distillers selling their gin to unlicensed retailers. Grain prices went up and so did the quality of gin. Of course, this elixir of the poor was nothing like the gins we know and love today. All across the world, experts are experimenting with new and exciting botanicals native to their own country such as Seaweed, Lebanese Mint, Angelica Root and Tasmanian Pepperberry.
Whether you like lime, cucumber or a sprig of rosemary, a dash of tonic or a lot, crushed ice or just one cube, make gin this year’s summer drink. Pull up a deckchair in the garden and make the most of the (hopefully not too short) beautiful British sunshine. Simply fill your glass with your chosen quantity of ice, add 1 part gin to 3 parts tonic and top with your choice of garnish… I recommend the delicious Daffy’s Gin with hints of rare variety lemons for a truly British drink, or why not try our deliciously smooth D1 Gin, with orange and fruit tea expressions.
*And the good news? The main ingredient in gin is Juniper berries – which are said to be not only medicinal, but very good for you, an antiseptic ‘Super Food’ that can help coughs and colds as well as a being a good aid to relieve joint pain. And even better news? Gin is low in calories and is therefore, guilt free…