This distillate not only has flavor and variety, it also has history. The origins of Gin are really curious if we compare them with those of other alcoholic beverages. Have you ever wondered where these ingredients come from or where the gin and tonic come from? Keep reading!
Let’s Take a Tour of Its History and Origins Where Is Gin Originally
The discovery of this famous alcoholic beverage arose by chance from its medical applications, and to understand the origin of gin we have to go back to the 11th and 12th centuries in Europe. It seems that the first who began to distill a drink similar to gin were the Italian monks, starting from cereals and juniper looking for solutions as a medicine (not very effective) against the plague of bubonic plague.
Although starting from the safest origin, it was during the Anglo-Dutch wars in the Netherlands that British soldiers discovered it. By drinking it before the battles, it gave them courage and courage, relieved them from the cold and, that is why they named it “Dutch Courage”, later they imported it to the islands, thus popularizing its consumption. It was then that the monopoly began because in every corner of the islands they wanted to take this tonic. Later, William III of Orange prohibited the consumption of non-British distillates. Instead of preventing the English from drinking gin, it caused illegal distilleries to grow. Which, in turn, caused riots, street drunkenness and all kinds of social problems that the painter William Hogarth (1697-1764) would portray in his painting Gin Lane in 1751. Finally, this is how the English government itself created a culture extended use of gin by regulating its consumption and production.
Shortly after the war ended, in 1650, Franciscus Sylvius, a Dutch professor of medicine at the University of Leiden, better known as Franz De Le Boe, tried distilling alcohol from juniper berries in search of a medicine. This is how gin originated as a result of distillation, which he called “Jenever.”
Focusing on the Dutch gin, the best-known brand in Spain and the most marketed worldwide is Lucas Bols. Founded in 1575, it is characterized as the oldest gin distillery in the world still in operation. Among its genever brands we find: Jonge Bols, Zeer Oude Bols and Bols Corenwyn. Zeer Oude Genever Bols was the first gin consumed in the Netherlands.
As for British gin, it was in 1862, when the English pharmacist James Burrough, returning from the United States, applied his scientific knowledge to produce a successful formula, as he saw commercial possibilities of mass production of quality gin. It was the famous London Dry Gin style. The original ingredients include juniper, coriander, Seville orange peel, lemon zest and seeds of the angelica plant. It establishes, then, the Beefeater gin and its famous label inspired by the uniforms of the guardians of the Tower of London.
Discover Some Curiosities about Gin Originally From
One of the most interesting curiosities is that the famous gin and tonic is a mixture originally from Spain, particularly from San Sebastián. In some parts of the world it is called this combined with the name of Spanish gin.
Another curiosity lies in the distillation, since it is usually secret. Some brands have taken the opportunity to stand out thanks to their difference in the use of all kinds of techniques in distillation.
Finally, an interesting anecdote that refers to the name itself dates back to the year 1714, when the first written use of the word “Gin” was found in a book called “The Fable of the Bees or Private Vices, Publick Benefits” by Bernard Mandeville. The same author wrote that the name of this infamous liquor, which comes from the juniper berry in German, has now been, due to its frequent use, abbreviated to the intoxicating monosyllable Gin. It is said that the British were too drunk to pronounce “Genever” and that is why they had to abbreviate it.
What Forms of Elaboration Can We Find?
We find different countries that are dedicated to its production, the most representative being the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the United States and Spain. Depending on the country we detect one variety or another, so we have different ways of making it. The Netherlands produces the Dutch variety, while in the other countries mentioned the English gin is produced.
- Regarding the Dutch gin, also considered as “Genever” or “Jenever”, mild alcohols are distilled together with treated and fermented malt. The production obtained is then mixed with different elements with aromatic and flavor characteristics. Finally, it is re-distilled, thus obtaining a gin with about 44 degrees of alcohol.
- With respect to British gin, the main difference is the use of a strong alcohol reduced later, since the rest of the process is the same, it is also flavored and re-distilled. This gin is drier and reaches 47 alcoholic degrees.
Types of Gin in Our Time
Currently, there are many types of gin, not only due to the type of distillates, but also the botanicals used, usually between 9-11, some of them being vine flowers, orange, lime, licorice, coriander, etc. There is even the case of a gin that is created from the distillation of Albariño wine. In addition, there is a wide variety of shades (blue, pink, purple …).