In more recent decades gin was largely considered a drink for ladies only, but modern distilleries are brewing up some innovative beverages that are tempting a wider market. No longer served solely with ice and a slice, or disguised in a cocktail, the recent revival is offering us an exciting selection of gins to be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or with unusual mixers. If you think you don’t like gin, you might want to take another look.
Gin has fallen in and out of favour since its creation in the 17th century. Indeed, in the 1800s gin was perhaps enjoyed a little too much in London, and a series of gin acts were brought about to try and curb the widespread drunkenness it was believed to cause. It’s from this time that gin received its nickname, ‘mother’s ruin’.
Gin is a spirit made with the distinctive juniper berry and other ‘botanicals’, which is just a fancy name for herbs, spices, fruits and other flavourings. Compounded gin consists of a spirit with these flavours added, whereas distilled gin uses a further distillation process, traditionally done in copper stills. A number of small distilleries using these methods have been popping up all over Britain in recent years, but their products are anything but old-fashioned. We are probably most familiar with dry gins, but there are sweet gins too, with a cornucopia of flavourings. If you’re new to gin, or are stuck in a gin rut, read on for some suggestions of new tastes.