Gin is a popular alcoholic beverage that has a very interesting history. In 1550 a professor of medicine from Holland, Franciscus de la Boe, was trying to create a cure for stomach complaints using juniper berries. Throughout his research, he stumbled upon gin, and at the time, he named it Genever. It quickly became popular as an alcoholic drink. Gin was introduced to the UK through the migration of soldiers in the 30 Years’ War. The troops were given gin to help keep out the cold before battle. The name gin is a version of the Dutch Genever. Modern day gin is very different from the Dutch Genever. Dutch gin is very thick and rich while London’s version is very light, fresh, and dry.
Gin can be made from any spirit that is at least 96 percent alcohol in volume and the base is from grain or molasses, which has no flavor. The flavor comes from botanicals. All gins include Jupiter and other botanicals such as lemon peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel, and many others.
Gin is made from either compounding or distillation. American gin is made from the distillation process. Adding flavoring during a continual process makes distilled gin. The fermented grain mash is pumped into the still in the direct distillation process. Then it is heated and it picks up the flavoring agents as it passes through which creates high proof Gin.
London gin is the most popular gin type in the world. It has been recognized as a very special high quality alcoholic beverage in Europe. It is the driest gin available. Although it’s called London gin, it is rarely made in London. London gin has a very high alcohol content-90 proof, which is 45 percent alcohol by volume. It is characterized by its citrus flavor and aroma due to the additions of dried lemon and orange peels to the recipe.
There are many popular cocktails made with gin. Some of them include: a Martini (gin with dry vermouth), an Apple Martini (gin & green apple schnapps), and a Bronx Martini (gin, dry vermouth, sweet red vermouth, and orange juice).