With it's popularity growing and a 50% growth in gin bars and handcraft micro distillers popping up, it is said that Gin is the new Whisky. Since the revival in 2015 the UK saw sales of gin hit over £900m ($1284m) in 2016. Did you know that Gin is made from botanical's? How can Gin be bad for you? Surely it's medicinal? haha Here is what you need to know about Gin.
Gin Tasting ©Lunya
Gin The New Whisky
Ingredients of Gin
All gins include juniper as an ingredient: other botanical's used are coriander,angelica, orange peel, lemon peel, cardomom, cinnamon, grains of paradise, cubeb berries and nutmeg. Typically a fine gin contains six to ten botanicals.
History Of Gin
Did you know that Gin was first produced in the early 1700's in Holland? Although some have said it might have been produced in earlier times, in Italy! It was sold in chemists as medicine to cure stomach complaints, gout and gallstones.
In 1731 when the weather turned you could see the crowds gathering along the River Thames for the London Frost Fairs, where everyone would sip hot Gin and gingerbread.
It has taken 3 decades since Gin was first referred to as 'mother's ruin', when many of the people living in London were in dire poverty and gin 'mother's ruin' was the cheapest way to forgetting your worries.
History of the Thames ©Pinterest
Gin In Scotland
Over 70% of UK Gin is produced in Scotland and with the distillers favouring Gin to Whisky, as it's less expensive and quicker to make, it looks like Gin is here to stay. One of the first on the Isle of Harris is of course the Isle of Harris Distillers Ltd. seaweed instead of the usual heather or milk thistle.
The Scottish Ginfographic. ©5pm.co.uk
Isle of Harris Gin
One of my favourites in Scotland is none other than the Isle of Harris Gin, distilled on the Isle of Harris off the north west coast of Scotland. The distillery opened in October 2015 and since then has been bottling not just Scot spirit but the essence of the Isle of Harris. A social distillery at the heart of the island, sharing it's magic throughout the world. Produced with hand harvested sugar kelp alongside 8 other carefully chosen botanical's.
Isle of harris Gin ©MDHarding
Top Gin Bars In Edinburgh
There is a host of top gin bars throughout the city of Edinburgh, one of my favourites is Panda and Sons, unlike "some of the other great cocktail bars in Edinburgh it would be very easy to miss Panda & Sons. Deliberately set up as a modern day speakeasy - a gin joint that pretends to be something else to fool the Killjoys and Miseries of the prohibition era - the façade is reminiscent of some dodgy Chicago barbershop straight out of the Untouchables. Down some carpeted stairs (very Morningside) and you're confronted with a door disguised as a bookcase, with askew books acting as handles. Pull on the books and step on through" - Panda & Sons
Did you know that the Head and Tales Bar is home to two Edinburgh Gin stills?