Gin: The Essential Guide for Gin Aficionados offers a wealth of information. Gin is one of the world’s best-loved spirits. It has a rich history – made in medieval monasteries it was thought to protect against the plague. The science had come from the Arab world with their elevated knowledge of medicine. Gin’s botanicals were prized for their health benefits rather than the spirit’s social drinking attractions – although one can imagine some very merry monks. Distilling goes back many centuries, with most cultures having their preferred beverages made from local crops.
This is a juniper-based spirit and it seems to have arrived in northern Europe in the mid-1200s. Amsterdam was to become a hub of the production of Genever. In the late 1600s William of Orange came to the British throne and he was Dutch, so this humble spirit became popular!
Considered a quality product
Gin has played a pivotal part in the revival of classy “cocktail culture”. This was a huge leap away from the guzzling excesses of previous centuries. Moderation in all things was a hallmark of the Victorian era. Children were no longer allowed to drink gin. It gained a degree of respectability with ladies serving the ‘white spirit’ at tea parties. That’s my kind of afternoon! In the 1890s gin began to be sold in bottles rather than straight from the barrel, and it was considered a quality product.
At the start of the 1920s Prohibition came into effect in the US. There were fears that British distillers might lose trade, but that strangely increased, as illegal import of honest gin was preferable to settling for iffy bathtub gin which was the alternative for most Americans. Lots of out-of-work American bartenders found employment in Europe at that time, and they were the promoters of ‘cocktails’.
Offers in-depth information on the history of gin
Gin: The Essential Guide for Gin Aficionados is an absorbing book not only for barmen/women but also for gin and cocktail lovers, too. It’s a small book but it offers in-depth information on the history of gin, styles of gin and yes, those cocktails. One could be encouraged to become a gin collector, in the same way as whisky lovers treasure their bottles of amber spirit. Got the lime cordial, got the gin, so I’m off to make a Gimlet now!
Gin: The Essential Guide for Gin Aficionados
Author: Geraldine Coates
Publisher: Carlton Publishing