With World Gin Day just around the corner on Saturday 11th of June, we raise a glass to one of our favourite spirits. We've also got a beautiful Rogue Society giftpack to give away to one lucky Toast reader this week
What’s in a name?
The word gin comes from the French word for juniper – genièvre, which was altered by the Dutch to genever and eventually shortened by the English to gin.
As we discovered in the Toast spotlight on: origins of spirits, although gin can contain a blend of up to 20 botanicals (often coriander and lemon peel) and be flavoured during distillation, the definitive ingredient of gin is juniper berry – hence the name!
Did you know?
– No matter how high your flu-induced temperature soars this winter, your doctor is unlikely to prescribe you a drop of gin. But this hasn’t always been the case. During the 14th to 17th century, gin was thought of as a medicinal miracle. Whether it was gout, a stomach upset or the common cold.
– Towards the end of the 17th century, gin lost this medicinal reputation but fast-became a popular way of cheaply becoming intoxicated – the nickname “mother’s ruin” came about as gin managed to flood London with a wave of drunkenness that left mothers (and fathers) in a state of complete disarray.
– During the Thirty Years’ War in 1618-1648, it was often noticed how brave Dutch soldiers were in battle. It was soon discovered that it was the substance these soldiers sipped from the small bottles hanging from their belts that seemed to be keeping these men calm and courageous. This substance was in fact gin or genever as the Dutch called it.
– When malaria disease became an epidemic, chemists discovered that quinine (the fighter of malaria that had a very bitter taste) could be made much more pleasant to consume when mixed with a carbonated tonic. It was then discovered that a slosh of gin in this tonic could seriously take things up a notch – and the gin and tonic was born.
– In London by 1726 there were 6287 places you could buy gin.
– Nearly all juniper in gin is picked wild.
Your chance to win
The wonderful team at Rogue Society have teamed up with Toast to give us one beautiful gift pack to giveaway to one lucky Toast reader this week. The gift pack contains two lovely crystal glasses and a four pack of Fentimans tonic. Click here to enter. Terms and conditions apply.
Celebrate World Gin Day in style with some of our delicious Toast gin cocktails below: