How Gin Went From Scourge to Savior

Gin is becoming popular in Britain -again. It first happened in the 17th century, when the juniper-flavored liquor made its way to England from the Netherlands. The populace loved it so much that unscrupulous manufacturers turned to spiking it with dangerous additives to keep the price down, which eventually led to the Gin Act of 1751, restricting the manufacture and sale of gin to licensed businesses. That hampered, but didn't stop, the illegal trade in gin.

A conman/adventurer named Dudley Bradstreet took advantage of the 1751 crackdown to start his own bootlegging business, with help from a giant cat-shaped vending machine:

“I then caused a leaden pipe, the small end out about an inch, to be placed under the paw of the cat, the end that was within had a funnel to it … When the liquor was properly disposed, I got a person to inform a few of the mob that gin would be sold by the cat at my window next day, provided they put money in his mouth … at last I heard the chink of money and a comfortable voice say, ‘Puss, give me two pennyworth of gin!’ I instantly put my mouth to the tube and bid them receive it from the pipe under her paw.”

Gin's reputation turned around with the British Empire encountered malaria, and the gin and tonic was born. Read more about the peculiar history of gin at Quartzy. -via Strange Company


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No mention of martinis? After I moved on from Gin & Squirt, I went with Gin & Vermouth. Then I found it was better if I just waved the vermouth cap over the glass. Today, in homage in Winston Churchill I just pour the gin and bow towards France.

Gordon's London Dry has been the #1 seller in the UK for years. Hendricks has been around awhile; a better "New American" would be The Botanist which is out of Islay, Scotland. Any alcohol from there deserves your attention.

And speaking of Gordon’s London Dry and the medicinal properties of gin:
Gin-Soaked Raisins­

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