Posted 18th Oct 2017
Gin fans - you'll be pleased to hear tomorrow (19th October) is International Gin & Tonic Day
So, do you think you know your gin? Then let's put that to the test. How many of these 13 facts from Johnny Neill, creator of Whitley Neill Gin, did you know?
1 There have been many arguments over whether gin originated from Holland or England. While Genever was developed in the Netherlands, what we've come to know as gin actually evolved in London.
2 The amount of the spirit that was drunk in England rose significantly after unlicensed gin production was allowed by the government. At the same time, a heavy duty was imposed on all imported spirits, such as French brandy.
3 Could you imagine drinking your gin from a tankard? It was once the done thing, instead of the high ball or balloon glass from which we enjoy our gin nowadays.
4 It was during the mid-17th Century, when William of Orange, ruler of the Dutch Republic, occupied the British throne, that gin really exploded in popularity. In the following spell of 1695-1735, thousands of gin distilleries and shops sprang up throughout England - this was a period known as the Gin Craze. There would be one in every street in the City, benefiting from the spices and citrus fruits coming into London.
6 Gin became so popular that during the 18th century, Parliament had to pass eight major acts to control consumption. After the Gin Act 1751, the Gin Craze ended and there were only a few distilleries left. For nearly 200 years, there was not a single distillery in London, until in 2012, the City of London Distillery opened.
7 Today, the world's biggest gin market is the Philippines, which accounts for 43 per cent of the world gin market.
8 The word 'gin' is a shortened form of the older English word genever, which is related to the French word genièvre and the Dutch word Jenever. It ultimately derives from juniperus, the Latin for juniper.
9 The juniper berry is actually a seed which looks like a berry - gin must have a 'predominant juniper flavour' that has other botanicals added, such as anise, lime peel, saffron, baobab, coriander and frankincense.
10 In 2016, the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) announced British Gin drinkers bought 40 million bottles of gin, with sales exceeding £1bn.
11 Famous gin drinkers in the UK - past and present - include Winston Churchill, Philip Larkin, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ginger Rogers, The Queen, JK Rowling, Kate Moss and Madonna.
12 A high quality gin will be spoiled without a good tonic. Now, they come in a variety of flavours, including basil, cucumber and hibiscus.
13 There's a current trend for gin to be mixed in cocktails, as opposed to simply pairing it with a tonic.