Gin 101: Unlocking the Secrets of this Versatile Spirit

Calling all Gin lovers! If you’re like us, then you appreciate the unique flavor and versatility of gin. This spirit has a rich history and has gone through a lot of changes over the years. From its humble beginnings as a medicinal tonic, to its popularity as a refreshing cocktail ingredient, gin has come a long way. Let’s explore the basics of gin, including its history, popular styles, and some tasty cocktails you can make with it. Plus, we’ll throw in a surprising fact that even seasoned gin collectors may not know. So, let’s raise a glass and dive into the wonderful world of gin!

A Brief Background

Let’s talk history. Gin has been around for centuries and has an interesting history. It originated in Holland in the 17th century as a medicine made from juniper berries. However, it was when the British got their hands on it that gin became a popular spirit.

In the 18th century, gin was seen as a cheap alternative to beer and was consumed heavily by the lower classes. This launched a gin craze, leading the British government to try to regulate gin production in order to curb its perceived negative effects on society. Today, gin is a beloved spirit enjoyed around the world.

Let’s Dive Into the Popular Kinds

Gin can come in various styles, but the most common are London Dry, Old Tom, and New Western. London Dry is the most classic style of gin and is known for its juniper-forward flavor profile. Old Tom is a slightly sweeter style of gin that was popular in the 18th century and has recently seen a resurgence in popularity. New Western gin is a newer style that emphasizes the use of botanicals beyond juniper, resulting in a more complex flavor profile.

Gin-spiration for Cocktails

Gin and Tonic — a classic and simple cocktail perfect for a hot day. Mix gin with tonic water and garnish with a slice of lime.

Martini — a timeless cocktail that’s been around for over a century. Mix gin with dry vermouth and garnish with an olive or a lemon twist.

Negroni — a bold and bitter cocktail that’s not for the faint of heart, but it sure is delicious. Mix gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari, then garnish with an orange peel.

Bee’s Knees — a sweet and citrusy cocktail ideal for those who don’t like bitter drinks. Mix gin, honey syrup, and lemon juice, then garnish with a lemon twist.

A Fun Fact

Here’s something that may surprise even gin aficionados—not all gin is clear! Old Tom gin is slightly sweeter than London dry gin and has a subtly golden color. It gets its name from the tomcat-shaped signs that were used to advertise gin during the 18th-century gin craze. Old Tom fell out of favor for many years but has recently made a comeback thanks to the craft cocktail movement.

Whether you prefer a classic gin and tonic or a creative cocktail with a unique twist, there’s no denying that gin has a versatility that sets it apart from other spirits. With its rich history and various styles, gin truly is a drink that has stood the test of time. So go ahead and experiment with different gins, mixers, and garnishes, and discover your own signature drink. We’re here to help at New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlet. Cheers to the wonderful world of gin!

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