Less than a decade ago, there was only one independent gin distillery in London. A sorry state of affairs for the city known as the home of the spirit. Now, though, the gin craze is back. From Sipsmith’s to the City of London Distillery and Jensen’s Gin, gin production has come back to where it all began.
The last time you sipped a cocktail containing gin, did you give any thought to the history of this spirit? You might be surprised to know that gin has been around since the Middle Ages and it started out as an herbal medicine before it became something that we quaff in our martinis.
It’s perhaps thanks to the wild gin craze of the 18th century and the ensuing suppression of the juniper-based spirit that we still brush gin under the carpet somewhat. Interestingly, some of the gin bars are now just as clandestine as the act of drinking and distilling gin used to be, but that doesn’t detract from their allure – it adds to them, in fact.
Whether you prefer it with plenty of tonic or somewhat drier, in a martini, there can be no denying that a tipple of gin provides rather an enjoyable refreshment. Indeed, it’s said that it was even used to help prevent malaria by British officers in India. We’ve searched out the most collectible gins in the world, so you can try some of the finest juniper.
The tipple of gin is, unquestionably, one of Britain’s favourites. And the current return of the gin craze is only adding to its popularity. It’s even said that the good old G&T helped cure cases of malaria in India – since tonic water contains the anti-malarial property of quinine. Indeed, this was how the drink came about – it was invented in the 19th century, when British officers in India mixed tonic water with gin to disguise the taste of the quinine.