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GINUARY | The History of Gin

January has rolled around again and as always, everyone’s celebrating it in their own way, from Veganuary to Dry January. For us, there’s only one thing we want to focus on this month: GIN. 

Behold… GIN-UARY! 

But how did our favourite spirit become the brilliant drink we know today? Let’s have a look at the history of gin.

 

Dutch Beginnings

We’ve said the word gin plenty of times now, but where does the name even come from? We can thank the Dutch for the origins of this name. 

The word ‘Gin’ comes from the Dutch word ‘genever’, which translates to ‘Juniper’. The Dutch used juniper berries to distil spirits in the Middle Ages. This gives us a pretty good indication that this is where gin first began.

At this time, juniper was believed to prevent illnesses like the Black Death, which is why it was so popular. However, people began to realise that the actual benefit from the spirits were that they could get you drunk rather than this myth about warding off diseases. 

17th Century English Soldiers that fought in the Thirty Years War gave genever the nickname ‘Dutch Courage’ and loved it so much that they brought it back to England. Thus began the journey of gin. 

 

England’s First Gin Craze

It was in the late 17th century that England that heavy taxes on wine and beer became introduced, alongside tax breaks on spirits production. This led to a period where a pint of gin was cheaper than a pint of beer. Sounds ideal right? 

Unfortunately, it led to the poorest drinking gin much less responsibly, so much so that government had to step in. Gin distillation was a free-for-all which meant it was often distilled with nasty things like sulphuric acid and turpentine, then mixed with large amounts of sugar to hide its awful taste.

The government had no choice but to introduce taxes and restrictions on distillation to put a stop to irresponsible gin drinking and making.

 

The Gin Comeback

It wasn’t until the 19th century that distilling technology came into its own, with liquor production being revolutionised and a much cleaner spirit being produced. This is when the famous ‘London Dry’ was born.

For Brits in tropical areas of the Empire, they drank tonic water with the anti-malarial ‘quinine’, but it had a very bitter taste. Luckily, gin helped to smooth down that harsh taste. This is when the classic G&T was born!

 

Modern times: The Gin-aissance and Didsbury Gin

Since the 19th century, gin has been one of the most popular spirits in England. Our country’s love for the spirit has allowed for countless improvements, concoctions, and innovations.

Gin in the 21st century has given us the best quality and unbelievable amounts of choice – which is where we come in!

We started from a living room in 2017, with two best friends Liam & Mark craving a fresh, crisp taste that they just couldn’t find in the existing market. Like countless gin lovers before them, they wanted to take gin to the next level. This meant getting rid of the artificial flavours and introducing 100% natural ingredients for a brilliant-tasting gin.

From our very first batch to each bottle made today, each bottle of Didsbury Gin is packed with flavour. No synthetic flavourings, just ethically sourced, natural ingredients. With their commitment to quality, Liam and Mark take great pride in the innovation of gin and their place in a long history of its distillation. 

Didsbury Gin is made for gin lovers, by gin lovers. It’s gin, but not as you know it!

 

We want to see you celebrating Didsbury Gin this month, so make sure to tag us across socials.

Find us at @Didsbury_Gin on Instagram or @DidsburyGin on Twitter. 

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