There’s no denying that gin has experienced a huge resurgence in the market of spirits.
Twenty years ago, if you happened to like gin, you had the option of a measly three – Hendrick’s, Bombay Sapphire, Tanquerey. Now, however, type ‘gin’ into your search engine and watch the lists race by!
Gin is a clear alcoholic spirit distilled from grain or potatoes, and flavoured with juniper berries. It’s the berries which give gin its distinctive clean, botanical taste. It’s this clarity of flavour that makes gin an ideal spirit for mixing simple cocktails, like the famous G&T. Different brands and labels add different botanicals to their gin, so that there are subtle differences in flavour; but in recent years, the craft gin industry has exploded, with gins bubbling to the surface that have been flavoured with everything from saffron to cherry blossoms.
In bygone times, gin was not considered a fancy drink by any means. The word ‘gin’ is very loosely defined, being simply any clear alcohol distilled from a vegetable base, that is then flavoured with juniper. You can ‘make’ gin from almost any clear alcohol base, by steeping your own preferred mix of botanicals and spices. The most commonly used is vodka, which is flavourless, and therefore ideal.
Gin was considered a working-class drink, associated with the local public house; during the Prohibition era, illegal distillers and bars made ‘bathtub’ gin, literally distilled in bathtubs, and mixed it with whatever else was handy (soda, juice, even just water) to serve in an underground speakeasy.
It is precisely that free-and-easy soul that has popularized gin all over again. It is one of the easiest, most drinkable spirits around; as appropriate for a 21st birthday party as it is for a relaxing evening at home over a good book. Because of the wide variety of flavours available, it’s now one of the most popular spirits among women.
If you like exploring your gins, take a peek at Gain Brands, whose spokesperson Andi you’ll have met at Crane. We’re looking forward to hosting a gin tasting for you in one of our new locations very soon!