A Toast, To The Next Gin-eration
Author: Taylor Date Posted:24 September 2020
While most people know gin as a popular alcoholic beverage, its original purpose was far from it. Gin originates from Franciscus Sylvius, a 17th-century professor of medicine from Holland. In fact, gin actually gets its name from the Dutch word for juniper, genever.
If Franciscus’ profession didn’t give it away, gin was originally made for medicinal purposes. The juniper berry — the key ingredient in gin — was distilled with spirits to produce a medicine with the diuretic properties of juniper-berry oil. Some say that there was a rise in patients with certain “ailments" because they wanted to try out this new medicine.
The popular saying ‘Dutch courage’ actually relates to gin-drinking British troops during the Thirty Years War back in 1618, and the phrase was meant to keep their spirits up. And speaking of keeping your spirits up, gin is one of the most popular liquors to use in cocktails - martinis, negroni and Tom Collins are all classic cocktails prepared with gin.
Botanicals are one of the most important elements of the gin-making process, with juniper berries (or juniper extract) being the most prominent botanical in all gins. However, there are many other botanicals used in gin. Many of the plants and herbs that are in a specific gin are often local to the area or distillery - the gin made from these ingredients often speaks to that area. For example, Australian distilleries often use native flora in their gins like wattle seeds, angelica root, cassia bark, Australian bush tomato, and even grapefruits.
Best Gin Botanicals
- Coriander - adds a complex taste that’s a little spicy and citrusy, or even nutty when crushed.
- Cardamom - is highly aromatic with a strong flavour.
- Orris Root - an earth and woody flavour, the floral and sweet aroma is also a common ingredient in perfumes.
- Lemon - zesty and sweet and accentuates the citrus flavours.
- Orange - can provide bitter citrus or sweet notes, depending on the variety of orange used.
- Licorice - creates a more syrupy texture.
- Cinnamon - This spice complements the sweeter notes in gin by adding a fiery, spicy tone.
- Chamomile - adds floral and sweet undertones.
- Caraway - peppery, menthol taste and creates a freshness to gin.
Regional products are also an important aspect of the Australian gin distillery sector. One of South Australia’s best gins is from Twenty Third Street Distillery in Renmark. Their signature gin blend uses juniper berries, coriander and Riverland mandarins for a citrusy flavour. This popular drink also comes in a gin & tonic can!
Another popular Australian regional gin is Giniversity Botanical Gin, made at the Margaret River Distilling Co. in Western Australia. The Botanical Gin is specifically made to reflect the native flora of Australia. Juniper, sandalwood, boronia, lemon myrtle and eucalyptus are the botanicals infused to create a distinctive Australian style.
Gin Cocktail Recipes
The Classic Gin & Tonic: According to the professionals at Giniversity, a gin & tonic is made with one part gin to two parts high-quality tonic. Pour the gin over ice and top with tonic.
The Classy and Citrusy Negroni: The Negroni is a popular Italian cocktail and is considered an aperitif — a drink that takes place at the end of the workday and is a warm-up to dinner. You can make a Negroni with a 1:1:1 part recipe of gin, vermouth, and Campari. Garnish with a slice of orange or an orange peel.
The Traditional Martini: A martini made with gin is actually the classic martini - not the vodka variation - and can be made with only two ingredients - just gin and dry vermouth. The Gin Foundry likes their martini made with 50ml Gin, 15ml Dry Vermouth and lemon zest as a garnish.
Pour the gin and vermouth into a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Stir well, then strain into a Martini glass. Garnish with the lemon zest peel.
French 75: The French 75 is comprised of gin, lemon juice and sugar or sugar syrup, topped off with champagne and is often garnished with lemon zest.
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp sugar syrup
- 50ml Gin
- Lemon zest
Pour the first three ingredients together into a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake well and then strain into a glass (champagne flutes are the preferred option). Top with a little champagne, but make sure to let it settle as it will bubble up, then fill with more champagne. Swirl gently with a cocktail stirrer and garnish with the lemon zest.
Every occasion is a gin occasion! Gin can be the best birthday or any other celebratory gift, or you can make an occasion out of it! Grab a Gin Gift Hamper or Gin Treat Gift Box and create a cheese board and drinks to have at home or to take on a picnic! Going to a party and need a stand-out, fun gift? Surprise your host with The Ultimate G&T Hamper. The hamper includes the iconic Giniveristy Botanical Gin, tonic, ten delicious Lindt chocolates, a ‘Better than Water Gin Drink Bottle’, and a fun party-game based on an iconic-twist on beer pong, but it’s GIN PONG; How fun!
For more smile creating gift ideas, follow us on our socials below.