Gin lovers of the world REJOICE as World Gin Day returns for its tenth year today, on Saturday 9th of June 2018! World Gin Day is a global celebration of all things gin, on the second Saturday in June. The idea is simple: get people together all around the world with a legitimate excuse (not that we need one!) to drink gin, whether it’s in a cocktail, G&T or neat.
I may not be an expert distiller, but I do consider myself an all-around drinks authority - so I've rounded up my 10 favourite things which changed everything I thought I knew about gin.
1. Gin is English – not Dutch. Genever, a malted spirit that is essentially light whisky with juniper, is the juniper distillate of the Netherlands. Gin was developed in London and is a unique and much purer spirit.
2. During the 19th century, Brits began to move to India after the Sepoy Rebellion of 1857 and, subsequently, the popularity of Gin & Tonics spiked. In efforts to avoid malaria, the demand for “Indian Tonic Water” grew. Gin was added to the tonic water to soothe the bitter taste. So that explains it!
3. Diet cocktail please. If you’re watching your waistline but don’t want to give up the cocktails, try a gin and tonic or soda. Amongst the lowest caloric cocktails, a gin and soda will cost you only around 100 calories, and the popular gin and tonics around 120. If you can alternate with water while you’re at the bar, a night out won’t ruin your diet at all. A minute on the lips, not so long on the hips!
4. Frank Sinatra LOVED gin. And if it was good enough for Ol’ Blue Eyes, well..
5. Gin doesn't have to be taken with tonic! As cocktails go, an absolute classic that everyone must try is the French 75. Supposedly named after the famous 75mm Howitzer field gun favoured by the Americans and French in World War I, the French 75 was said to have such a kick that it felt like being hit by that weapon. Although the cocktail has gone through a few evolutions in regards to the measurements, the ingredients have remained the same; gin, fresh lemon, and sugar syrup, all topped with champagne and garnished with a maraschino cherry. This timeless classic is as elegant as it is delicious.
6. The only true Martini is a gin Martini. Technically, the vodka Martini – sorry Mr Bond – is a cocktail called The Kangaroo.
7. On the subject of Gin Martinis, the famous glass it’s poured in only became the Martini glass in the 1990s. Before that, it was known simply as a cocktail glass.
8. While James Bond’s coolness may have been undermined by the above revelation – “I’ll have a Kangaroo, shaken not stirred” doesn’t quite work, does it? – creator Ian Fleming IS credited with creating a drink. The Vesper – gin, vodka, and vermouth topped with a lemon twist – is named after a character from his 1953 novel, Casino Royale.
9. The next time you need to show off your gin knowledge (that happens, right?), drop this knowledge bomb. In 1923, the Gin Twist was all the rage. Mentioned in multiple novels and periodicals, this drink consisting of gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and hot water was the Beyoncé of cocktails—if Beyoncé was even more famous.
10. British sailors famously received a daily rum ration. It was worth working for promotion however as British naval officers got a daily ration of gin. I'll be sending off my application any minute now..
If, after that, you still aren't leading a life of gin loving, you obviously haven't tried ours yet. Available to buy on our website, from a number of brilliant shops and restaurants, or to pick up at the fabulous Fowey Market, brilliant Bodmin Market, and luscious Liskeard Market, all next Saturday (16th of June).. you'd be mad not to!
Do let me know your favourite things about gin, I'd love to hear them! Signing off, for a whole day of French 75s, Caitlin. Cheers!
Contact Caitlin at firstname.lastname@example.org
Images courtesy of Stephen Simmonds
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