Estimated read time: < 4 minutes
Like most beginners, I lost my teetotaller label with vodka. For the next couple of years, my commitment to this white liqueur remained unchallenged until a female colleague served me a small peg of gin with lime cordial. Assuming it was vodka, I drank it. I couldn’t tell the difference between the two. Perhaps, I was still a ‘learner’. Now that I’ve graduated to hard liqueurs, I still prefer gin if I’m in a mood to pick white liqueur while at a party. Gin, with at least 37.5 per cent of alcoholic content, not just surprises in a glass but also when you read about it as you’re going to do now. Gin, the annual consumption of which is way beyond 5 crore cases a year, comes broadly in two forms — distilled and compound. The former is produced by redistilling neutral spirits of agricultural origin with juniper berries and other botanicals. London Dry notches the highest sales among distilled gins. On the other hand, compound gin is made by simply flavouring neutral spirit with natural and artificial essence without redistillation.
Known as the ‘vodka for grown ups’, gin has become one of the most fascinating spirits globally.
‘Gin and Tonic’, has become a phenomenon and is definitely one of the hottest and most fascinating trends out there.
History has it
The Dutch physician Franciscus Sylvius is credited with the invention of gin. In ancient times, juniper berries, which is the predominant flavour in gin, was believed to have medicinal properties. Italian monks in the 11th century and the Dutch and Belgians in 17th century started distilling spirits with juniper berries for treatment. During the Black Plague, gin was used as a remedy. By the mid-17th century, numerous small Dutch and Belgian distillers started redistillation of malt spirit or wine with juniper, anise, caraway, and coriander to sell at pharmacies to treat kidney ailments, lumbago, stomach ailments, gallstones, and gout. When the English troops were engaged in a war against the Spanish, they used to consume gin because of its calming effect. Gin became popular in England once its unlicensed production was allowed and heavy taxes were levied on imported products. Though this quadrupled the supply of Gin yet it became so cheap that it was tagged as the ‘drink of the poor that led to social and medical problems.’ Illustrator William Hogarth has demonstrated the negative perception of gin in two of his works — ‘Beer Street’ and ‘Gin Lane’. Till now, bad bars are termed as ‘gin-mills’ and drunkards as ‘gin-soaked’.
Since gin doesn’t contain added sugar so it’s healthier than several other liqueur variants like beer. It’s even low on calories and healthier when you mix it with sugar free juices especially cranberry, pineapple, tomato, and orange.
TOP FIVE GIN BRANDS ACROSS THE WORLD
2. Bombay Sapphire
CLASSIC GIN COCKTAILS
The English also called gin the heart of a good cocktail because of its aroma and natural flavours. So here are three gin-based cocktails which I am not saying are among the top three, but they are definitely my favourite three and can easily be made at home.
30ml fresh lemon juice
30ml sugar syrup
Mix the lemon juice, sugar syrup, and gin a
shaker and fill with ice. Shake well and strain into
a Collins glass filled with ice. Top with club soda and garnish with a lemon wheel.
30ml lime cordial
15ml sugar syrup
20ml lightly whipped egg white (optional)
Soda water, to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with a little bit of ice. Then strain it into a highball glass filled with lots of ice. Top up with soda water.
20ml fresh lemon juice
Stir the honey into 15ml water, until dissolved, to make a syrup. Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with a little bit of ice. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.
Follow Food and Nightlife for latest updates!