Another day of World Cocktail Week, another spirit to celebrate! Today, we’ll be focusing on our favourite botanical beverage, gin! Discover the brief history of gin, why it’s the perfect cocktail ingredient, and how we recommend you drink it!
A Quick Gin History
The history of gin is widely disputed, but historians agree that the spirit was initially created as a medicinal liquor. Back in the 11th century, Benedictine monks in southern Italy infused wines with juniper berries. A traditional herbal medicine, juniper was used to treat joint pain, kidney and bladder issues, and respiratory problems. Jumping forward 500 years, the Dutch began producing a similar spirit called “genever,” consisting of malt wine and, of course, juniper berries.
Once the spirit reached England in the 1600’s, the “Monosyllable, intoxicating Gin” took the nation by storm. With loose distilling regulations and bizarrely low prices, the people of England fell into “The Gin Craze,” lasting around a century. The overconsumption resulted in insanity, murder, and poverty throughout the country, and the government was soon forced to crack down on production and selling.
In the mid 1800’s, gin production became regulated and purified. At the height of Britain’s colonial reign, ships were stocked with gin, which kept better than beer, tonic water, and limes. Gin soon became the liquor of choice, and is now strongly associated with refined cocktails of the UK.
Iconic Gin Cocktails
Gin is the go-to spirit for many cocktail drinkers. The re-distillation process allows it to be infused with a variety of flavours, like unique botanicals, bold spices, and fruity flavours. As such, it is praised for its versatility and distinct flavour profiles. Check out our favourite gin cocktails below!
The martini is among the most iconic cocktails – even its silhouette is instantly recognizable! Named after the Martini brand of vermouth, the cocktail features little more than gin, dry vermouth, and a garnish. Dry or wet, dirty or perfect, you’ll be impressed by its surprising versatility!
Our next essential gin cocktail is the inimitable Negroni. Hailing from Florence, Italy, this deliciously bitter beverage features gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari. Though it may be an acquired taste, it is the ultimate cocktail pairing for any Italian meal.
Our Favourite Gin Cocktail
When it comes to our favourite gin cocktail, we like to keep it simple with the ever iconic Gin and Tonic! Though this cocktail is undeniably uncomplicated, Trusted Expert Michael Bigattini has taught us how to spruce it up with a olive oil!
2 oz of Gin (we suggest Romeo’s Gin! )
½ - 1 oz of Tonic Water, depending on your taste
4 oz of Soda Water
Pinch of non-iodized salt
Olive Oil, the grassier the better
- Fill a glass with crushed ice
- Pour gin into the glass, followed by tonic water and soda water.
- Add a pinch of salt to the glass
- Pour in 2 drops of olive oil, one on each side of the glass
- Gently stir
- Drink up!
Feeling gin-spired? You can shop our entire online gin collection here!
Gin-terested in more? We have plenty of gin-credible events coming up! Create concoctions with Alberta’s own Eau Claire Distillery and Burwood Distillery, and try your hand at mixology with Romeo’s Gin !