Sunday Sips – Pass the Gin

ginhendricksEarlier this month a note from the late Queen Mum to her assistant asking him to “pack the gin” sold at auction for $32,000 US. Dorothy Parker’s relationship with the spirit is more associated with speakeasies and bathtub stills. Originally medicinal in origin when first created in Holland in the 17th century, by the 20th century, gin was a flavourful and unique beverage consumed by sophisticated people, the most notable of them women.

During the 30 Years War, British troops took a liking to the “Dutch courage” and brought it back to Britain with them where distillers continued to sell it for medicinal purposes, and individuals made it at home, with estimates of 1/3 of all homes at the times creating their own gin, which was said to be very bad. The spirit was popular among the poor, including children, and was the cause of rampant addictions and alcoholism. King Charles 1 passed the gin act which regulated producers, created a better quality product and used surplus corn and barley grown by English farmers.

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Sunday Sips – Hendrick’s Gin

martiniOkay, that’s it, I’m done. I think we’ve all been more than patient with this weather thing, but really, enough is enough. I’m just not going to acknowledge it anymore. Instead, I’m just going to pretend that summer is here. I’m going to drag out the sunscreen and capri pants, and I’m going to pour myself a nice cold gin and tonic.

My choice of gin is an obscure one, with an unusual flavour profile. Made in the Scottish village of Girvan, Hendrick’s Gin is distilled in a restored 19th century still that processes the soft Scottish water and unique botanicals slowly to ensure full instillation of the flavours. Aside from the traditional juniper berries and citrus peel, the addition of both cucumber and rose petals to the distillation process creates a gin with a sweet floral undertone that blends well with a variety of fruit flavours. The dark, stout bottle alludes to an old tyme apothecary and the healing medicinals of the day.

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