Happy World Gin Day! As if we needed any excuse to drink the good bevvy…
While you’re making a special gin cocktail to celebrate, here’s a little history for you:
Gin had its origins in the Middle Ages. There’s a reference in a 13th Century Flemish manuscript to a spirit made from grains such as rye, malted barley, sometimes even corn that was the basis of gin.
By the 1600s, it were the Dutch who were producing the world’s greatest variety of gin, with hundreds of distilleries in Amsterdam alone.
Gin was primarily produced as a medicine since when consumed in large quantities, it helped numb the symptoms of ailment – like most alcohol would.
Once the liquor crossed the English Channel it went gangbusters, and by 1720 it was estimated that as many as a quarter of the households in London alone frequently produced their own gin.
Nowadays, the production of gin is widespread the world over, with gin distilleries having popped up from Scotland (for old-school) to Spain (just over a litre per person consumed), Belgium to Beijing, and in Australia from Margaret River to the Yarra Valley.
At the start of this decade, there were fewer than 10 gin distilleries in Australia; now there are more than 180.
One more fun fact about gin: If you thought the British or Indians drank the most gin, think again. Taking up about 44% of the global gin market, the Philippines guzzle up the most of this clear spirit.
If you’re looking for more information on the clear drop, visit www.worldginday.com.
Image courtesy Sin Gin Distillery, Perth.