Mother’s Milk or Blue Ruin, Dutch Courage or Cuckold’s Comfort – the fanciful nicknames that gin has acquired only hint at its colourful story. The story begins with the aromatic juniper berry originally used by the Dutch to flavour the whisky-like genever. The drink then made its way to Britain, where cheap imitations laced with turpentine and other caustic fillers made it the drink of choice for poor eighteenth-century Londoners. Eventually replaced by the sweetened Old Tom style and then by London Dry, gin was introduced to the wider world by means of the British Empire, and during the Jazz Age became a mainstay of a new drinking culture: the cocktail.
Today classic cocktails like the Gimlet and the Negroni are embraced by drinkers who enjoy a new breed of modern gins, and gin has reclaimed pride of place in the world of mixology. Gin: A Global History will attract both cocktail aficionados and lovers of food history as it chronicles gin’s evolution from cheap liquor to modern alcoholic marvel.
About Lesley Jacobs Solmonson
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Published May 1, 2012
by Reaktion Books.