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World Gin Day: Shaken and stirred

15 June 2018

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Strawberries, rhubarb, raspberries, apples and oranges are all now in season - so why not make the most of a refreshing summer cocktail, or liven up your Gin and Tonic with a fabulous fruit-flavoured twist.

Gin has risen in popularity. In 2018, nearly £2 billion was spent on gin in Britain alone* - and our thirst for it shows no signs of being quenched. Whether you prefer your gin served with ice and tonic or mixed into a delicious cocktail, there is now a vast range of artisan gins from around the world to tantalise your taste buds.

World Gin Day this Saturday, 8th June, is a good place to start exploring the global appeal of this on-trend tipple - find out what’s happening here.

Our Favourite Gins From Around The World

Try Roku from Japan, Germany’s Monkey 47, Gin Mare from Spain, French Chatty Penguins or Bulldog London Dry Gin, and enjoy an aromatic excursion to discover the exotic - you are certain to find a botanical brand that hits the spot.

Browse your supermarket shelves for inspiration too - Waitrose alone has more than 90 gins in stock. For example, Sipsmith Lemon Drizzle, Warner’s Honeybee, Tanqueray Sevilla, Whitley Neill Parma Violet - not forgetting Gordon’s classic pink gin and Bombay Sapphire - are all vying for your attention to be mixed and enjoyed as your favourite pick-me-up to celebrate the Great British Summer.

Try local too; with so many small gin distilleries around the country producing premium brands, you don’t want to miss out. Discover Tarquin’s handcrafted Cornish dry gin; the next time you’re in Dorset check out Lilliput, Conker or Salcombe Gin; in Bristol, there’s Bristol Dry Gin; Mr Hobbs or 58 Gin if you are in Hampstead; Sibling or Brennan & Brown at Cheltenham - a voyage of discovery in a glass.

While you’re relaxing, chilled by the ice and a slice, here’s a reminder of the origins of this enticing aromatic spirit that has enjoyed a renaissance over the past decade.

The History of Gin

Gin’s routes can be traced back to 70 AD when it was recorded as a herbal cure for chest ailments. It evolved through the Middle Ages when juniper berries were steeped in wine, often in monasteries, and used primarily as herbal medicine.

Based on the liquor ‘genever' (Dutch for juniper), gin was developed as a drink - by the 1600s, the Dutch were producing gin in earnest, with hundreds of distilleries popping up in Amsterdam.

Gin gained popularity during the Thirty Years’ War, from 1618 to 1648, when British soldiers fighting on Dutch land were bolstered with ‘Dutch Courage’ … in other words, drinking gin.

It soon became popular in Britain, particularly London, when William of Orange became King William III of England in 1689. He introduced The Corn Laws, this provided tax breaks on spirits production, resulting in a free-for-all on distilling gin. It led to a period in England that is often dubbed the ‘Gin Craze,’ when a pint of gin was cheaper than a pint of beer and a quarter of the households in London frequently produced their own gin.

By the 1800s, sailors in the British Royal Navy often found themselves travelling to destinations where malaria was prevalent, so they brought on board quinine, developed by Schweppes as ‘Indian Tonic Water,’ to help fight the disease. This was mixed into their rations of London Dry gin to improve the bitter flavour - with limes to prevent scurvy. The quintessential G&T was born!

While many people associate gin with the Navy, thanks to the legendary Plymouth Gin, which has been producing its famous spirit since the 1700s, a host of new gin distilleries have now sprung up in the UK.

Gin bars and festivals are regular features on the British social calendar; cocktail mixologists are megastars and stylish gin brands have a new following, winning industry awards for great taste and stylish bottle design.

Just add your favourite gin to shake and stir a Pink Daiquiri, a Tom Collins, a Negroni or a Solstice Spritz - to name a few cocktails. For a final flourish, top with a garnish of fruit, herbs, zest, froth and even peppercorns and you’re good to go.

How to make the perfect G&T

For a perfect G&T, there are five sparkling rules:

  1. Choose a large rounded wine glass, or gin goblet if you have one, chilled in the freezer first;
  2. Add large chunks of ice - crushed ice dilutes the drink - freeze ice cubes with fresh fruits pieces, herbs, even edible gold leaf
  3. Choose your favourite gin depending on your preference for classic, floral, spicy, herbal or flavoured gins;
  4. All-important mixer - there’s a huge choice available with aromatic notes of spices, fruit or herbs - or simple classic Indian tonic water. Just store in the fridge for best results.
  5. Garnish - Citrus slices and cucumber wedges complement the flavour - but feel free to experiment

Many of the PegasusLife developments have honesty bars in the communal lounges, so If you’re nearby, pop in for a Gin & Tonic - and why not take a tour of the development whilst you’re there. Find your nearest PegasusLife development here.

So, raise your glass to gin o’clock with your favourite gin tipple this Saturday - we’ll drink to that. Cheers!

*Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/13/business/gin-industry-drinks-britain.html