Gin, Glorious Gin
WE SERVE 18 VARIATIONS OF GIN FROM HENDRICKS TO MONKEY 47!
GIN PRODUCTION DATES BACK TO THE EARLY 17TH CENTURY IN HOLLAND.
Produced as a medicine and distributed from chemists, it was used to treat stomach pains, gout and gallstones.
The medicine was flavoured with juniper to make it more palatable.
British troops fighting in damp weather conditions during the Thirty years’ War, were given Gin due to its warming properties. They brought it home with them, where it was already being sold in chemist shops. The drink soon became popular, particularly with the poor.
Members of the formation by King Charles I of the worshipful company of Distillers held the right to distill spirits in London and as a result the quality of gin started to improve.
When William of Orange became king in 1689, he also encouraged the distillation of English Spirits through a number of commissioned statues.
Anyone could then distill, after simply posting a notice to the public.
The abuse of alcohol by the poor soon became a big problem however and the Gin Act was introduced in 1739 to combat the issue. This made gin highly expensive and did not sit well with the common people. Riots broke out and laws were broken.
11 million gallons of gin were distilled in London around this period, the equivalent of 14 gallons for each adult male!
The Act was repealed in 1742 and a new policy was introduced. This brought about reasonably high prices, reasonable excise duties and licensed retailers, which mirrors the situation we see today.
Many companies cemented their status as well-to-do manufacturers and gin was finally viewed as a high quality drink.