Let’s talk Gin; one of the most recognisable, but misunderstood spirits in the world. Gin in some shape or form can be traced almost 2000 years when its core ingredient Juniper first added to wine to fortify it and help combat chest ailments. That’s right, gin and almost all spirits we know and enjoy today were originally utilised as medicine! Leap into the 16th century and the Dutch are creating a spirit known as Genever; basically a blend of malt wine and a bucket load of juniper to mask the unforgiving taste. In an attempt to stop the import of wine and brandy from France, the British Monarch William of Orange passed the Corn Laws that gave tax breaks on distillation in the UK and gin was born. Soon it was cheaper to buy a pint of gin than it was beer; with the knock on effect of becoming a bit too accessible to the general public. The gin act in 1751 raised taxes and made licences harder to come by, but in doing so created a safer and more trustworthy spirit.
Along came the British Royal Navy, who often found themselves travelling to far flung locations afflicted with Malaria. To combat that they gave there sailors a daily ration of Quinine (an extremely bitter tasting substance). The officers of the navy decided it was more gentlemanly to mix the quinine with soda water and sugar to create a refreshing tall drink and in doing so created the Gin & Tonic as we know it today.
The best thing about a Gin & Tonic, is that there is no right or wrong way to approach it! Some of our recommended serves include the aromatic St. George Terroir Gin & East Imperial Grapefruit Tonic with a thick slice of grapefruit and some fresh sage or rosemary, The Boutique-y Gin Company Squeezed Yuzu Gin & East Imperial Old World Tonic with some fresh mint and a dash of Scrappy’s Firewater Tincture for a little blast of heat; and last but definitely not least, our favourite is Terai India Dry Gin & East Imperial Burma Tonic, a wedge of fresh lime crushed over the top and a sprig of lavender!
Each of these drinks are delicious, but don’t be afraid to experiment. Open the kitchen cupboard and try some of your favourite spices with the gin, head to the local market and pick some hyper fresh fruit, ‘borrow’ some herbs from your neighbours garden and play with different tonics. You’ll soon find your favourite combos and even better, you’ll be looking forward to fruit coming back into season to show off to your friends next time you have them around for some sundowners!
Check out our Gin Sale going on from 11 to 24 October! Get 10% off all Gins and a FREE 4-pack tonic of your choice when you add it to cart with each Gin purchased! Create your favourite combinations!