Gin… A brief history, Are we going through another Gin Craze?

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

Gin has made a comeback, Are we going through another Gin Craze and why?

Written & Published by Lorna O’Driscoll

In the 17th Century Gin was sold in chemist shops to treat stomach complaints, gout and gallstones

Gin has been around since the middle ages.  The first gin has been traced back to Holland in the early 17th century. It was used as medicine and sold in Chemists to treat stomach complaints, gout and gallstones.  To make it more palatable the Dutch flavoured it with juniper berries, which also had medicinal properties of its own.

Gin Street, A central London street, drawn in 1751, Hogarth condemns the craze for gin by depicting the poor drinking themselves to death

In the first half of the 18th Century, A Gin Craze spread across England. The English government, allowed for unlicensed gin production. While allowing this, they imposed a heavy duty tax on all other spirits. As a result of this tax, grain production was of poor quality and was not fit for beer brewing. This opened up a market for Gin, and thousands of Gin stores opened across England. Gin was very popular amongst the poor, which in turn led to a little drunken epidemic, that some would compare to a drug war.

Gin Vs Vodka

Like Vodka, Gin is distilled. Unlike Vodka though Gin is redistilled with a blend of various botanicals and ingredients, resulting in a spirit that has intentional flavour, whereas vodka has no flavour.

Gin’s main flavour is juniper berries. Typically a fine gin contains up to 10 botanicals. Botanicals used are coriander, angelica, orange peel, lemon peel, cardamom, cinnamon, grains of paradise, cubeb berries and nutmeg.

So going back to the Main question….. Why is Gin making a comeback, and are we going through a 21st century Gin Graze?

Why Gin?

Gin seems to be more popular now with the younger generation. Certainly the Variety of Gins readily available is growing…. We see through the brief history above that Gin is intentionally flavoured, which makes each gin so unique. So like craft beer, Gin with so many varieties, is the new craze, but how long will it last?

I read an article recently, that Gin can help you loose weight. Now whether this is true or not we would always recommend moderation is key, and to never over consume. But researchers from the University of Sigulda in Latvia have revealed that gin can cause an ‘after burn’ effect, which boosts your body’s calorie-burning potential. So if we are to believe these researchers, let’s not feel guilty, now your favourite drink, can help you loose weight.


From the traditional London Dry Gin, to the distilled/re-distilled Gins, for example Monkey 47 or Drumshambo Gunpowder, to name just a few….. Which is your favourite? & how do you like yours?

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