By Alan Dikty, Contributing Editor for Tastings.com. An engineer by profession and spirits connoissuer by nature, Mr. Dikty has built and consulted for microbreweries and brewpubs from Azerbaijan to Saipan.
Gin - Origins and History
Gin is a juniper berry-flavored grain spirit. The word is an English shortening of Genever, Ray Ban Sunglasses Store the Dutch word for juniper. The origins of Gin are rather murky. In the late 1580s a juniper-flavored spirit of some sort was found in Holland by British troops who were fighting against the Spanish in the Dutch War of Independence. They gratefully drank it to give them what they soon came to call "Dutch courage" in battle. The Dutch themselves were encouraged by their government to favor such grain spirits over imported wine and brandy by lack of excise taxes on such local drinks.
A clearer beginning was a few decades later in the 1600s when a Dr. Franciscus de la BoŽ in the university town of Leiden created a juniper and spice-flavored medicinal spirit that he promoted as a diuretic. Genever soon found favor across the English Channel; first as a medicine (Samuel Pepys wrote in 1660 of curing a case of "colic" with a dose of "strong water made with juniper") and then as a beverage.
When the Dutch Protestant William of Orange and his English wife Mary became co-rulers of England after the "Glorious Revolution" drove James II from the throne, he moved to discourage the importation of brandy from the Catholic wine-making countries by setting high tariffs. As a replacement he promoted the production of grain spirits rolex replica watches ("corn brandy" as it was known at the time) by abolishing taxes and licensing fees for the manufacture of such local products as Gin. History has shown that prohibition never works, but unfettered production of alcohol has its problems too. By the 1720s it was estimated that a quarter of the households in London were used for the production or sale of Gin. Mass drunkenness became a serious problem. The cartoonist Hogarth's famous depiction of such behavior in "Gin Lane" shows a sign above a Gin shop that states, "Drunk for a penny/Dead drunk for twopence/Clean straw for Nothing." Panicky attempts by the government to prohibit Gin production, such as the Gin Act of 1736, resulted in massive illicit distilling and the cynical marketing of "medicinal" spirits with such fanciful names as Cuckold's Comfort and My Lady's Eye Water.
A combination of reimposed government controls, the growth of high-quality commercial Gin distillers, the increasing popularity of imported rum, and a general feeling of public exhaustion gradually brought this mass hysteria under control, although the problems caused by the combination of cheap Gin and extreme poverty extended well into the 19th century. Fagin's irritable comment to a child in the film Oliver -"Shut up and drink your Gin!"-had a basis in historical fact.
Starting in the 18th century the British Empire began its worldwide growth; replica vacheron constantin watches and wherever the Union Jack went, English-style gins followed. In British North American colonies such celebrated Americans as Paul Revere and George Washington were notably fond of Gin, and the Quakers were well-known for their habit of drinking Gin toddies after funerals.
The arrival of the Victorian era in England in the mid-19th century ushered in a low-key rehabilitation of Gin's reputation. The harsh, fake watches online sweetened "Old Tom" styles of Gin of the early 1700s slowly gave way to a new cleaner style called Dry Gin. This style of Gin became identified with the city of London to the extent that the term "London Dry" Gin became a generic term for the style, regardless of where it was actually produced.
Genteel middle-class ladies sipped their sloe Gin ray ban sunglasses sale (Gin flavored with sloe berries) while consulting Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management (a