Gin is one of our favourite spirits here at GB Hospitality. We love it in cocktail form or topped with cold lemonade and plenty of ice. Although we tend to drink it quite a lot(!), we never really know exactly where and when it had originated from and how it’s been drank throughout the years, que this blog post!! T urns out it has quite an interesting history, one that we had to share with you.
It was created in Holland
Although Gin is one of the UK’s most popular drinks, it actually originated from Holland way back in the 17th Century - despite some arguing it came from Italy centuries before. What’s most surprising is that it started out as a medicine being sold across pharmacies to help with stomach pains. It was often mixed with Jenever to make it a little more bearable and Dutch soldiers would drink it before heading into battle, hence where the phrase ‘Dutch Courage’ comes from. The English soldiers saw this and began drinking it too! Soon enough it was brought back to the UK, distilled and enjoyed by many - especially the poor because it was so cheap. And it took 150 years to make it into the drink we all know and love today.
When Gin first arrived in the U.K. in the 17th Century...
There were 10 million gallons of it being made a year, and it quickly became one of the most popular choices of drinks- as other alcohol including wine and beer were just too expensive for ordinary people to afford. However, when the government realised just how much was being consumed, they decided to put a tax on it as birth rates were going up much more quickly than death rates!! This sent everyone into panic with many people seeking it from the 'Black Market' for a very reduced rate. In 1736, The Gin Act was put in place to make sure anyone selling would take out a licence for £50 (although this didn’t work)! However things did calm down when the beer bill was lifted, meaning everyone could enjoy a drink. Phew!
Although it was a much more popular drink in the good old days, it's still a very common choice today.
If you’re looking for the perfect gin cocktail recipe, discover our guide here!