For more than 300 years, people have known “Dutch vodka”, but what do we know about gin history?
During the Thirty Years War (1618-1648), British soldiers discovered the warming and, in addition, intoxicating properties of the Dutch juniper drink. They called this feeling “Dutch Courage” and brought the drink back to England. At that time, distilling began to develop in England, and the local drink with the addition of juniper berries was called “gin”, it where gin history started.
William III, who ascended the throne in 1689, patronized the distillery and it made a huge impact on gin history.
Everyone could be engaged in distillation by announcing it publicly 10 days in advance. The quality of the gin at that time was very questionable, it was a strange-tasting sweet brew.
However, the low price provided the gin with great success among the common population, including women and children.
In 1730, there were about 7,000 liquor outlets in London.
Most importantly, gin was sold everywhere, even at the barbershops. It is estimated that in the poorer parts of London, gin was sold in every fourth house. drunkenness and degradation of the people took on threatening proportions.
In 1736, a law called the “Gin Act” was passed, raising the tax on gin several times. However, these measures only led to the flourishing of underground distilling and the further growth of drunkenness.
The Gin Act came up in 1742. Above all, it established reasonable tax rates on gin, which marked the beginning of the civilized development of distilling and improving the quality of alcohol. The rise of the gin on the social ladder.
In the 1820s, gin merchants began to experience intense competition from pubs
moreover, that did not require a license to open. In response to this competition, Gin Palaces began to appear in English cities.
Gin Palaces were not just beautiful but sometimes luxurious establishments that attracted new clients. To clarify, those people were blue-collar labourers who wanted to get rid of thoughts of their hard life in the magical interior of gin palaces.
The palaces of gin helped to improve the image of the drink.
As a result, gin was no longer bought on the street, alcohol of dubious origin and associated drunkenness, and the degradation of the people, were in the past. Gin gained social status, and the upper strata of the population started consuming it.
The status of gin was finally established. Thanks to the invention of continuous distillation, which began another page in gin history.
Aeneas Coffey’s device of continuous distillation greatly improved the purification of alcohol, which forms the basis of gin and determines its quality, and the gin had received high status. After all, for a gin, neither tradition nor the terroir matter. What does matter is a skill, a proven recipe, and financial input.
The high cost of the new equipment led few well-to-do companies to concentrate the production of gin in the hands. And the underground distilleries do not exist anymore.
Sweet gin went out of fashion, giving way to dry (mostly London Dry Gin).
Gin became an ingredient in the first mixed drinks and gave birth to many historical cocktails.
To sum up, currently, there are many varieties of gin, they differ in their additives. So, gin can be softened with lemon, can have the aroma of any spicy herbs. They constantly receive new varieties of this drink, but their recipes are strictly kept secret, the company makes sure that they are not disclosed.