Gin is one of the oldest and arguably most underrated liquors. While perhaps not the first spirit you’d pick off the shelf, gin has recently been enjoying a resurgence in popularity due to a growing interest in craft cocktails. Because of its light, botanical, fruity or floral notes, gin is a go-to spirit for warm weather, especially when mixed in a refreshing cocktail like a martini, Tom Collins or Gin and Tonic. People drinking the botanical booze for the first time may be a bit surprised by its evergreen notes — some people say it tastes like pine trees. We have some basic information to get you started on your gin-enjoying journey:
Like other spirits, most gins start as a clear, flavorless liquid, distilled from fermented grain. But gin has special rules: once distilled, it has to be redistilled with juniper berries. The berries — long known for their medicinal properties — are responsible for gin’s very distinctive flavor. Other ingredients, such as botanicals and citrus, can be added, leading to a wide variety of notes and undertones depending on the brand. Some people say that without the addition of juniper berries, gin would simply be vodka.
Gin has been around, in some form, since the Middle Ages. By the 11th century, people were fermenting medicinal juniper berries, using the byproduct to ward-off illness and disease. By the 17th century, the Dutch began redistilling malt or wine with juniper and herbs, selling it as a medicine called genever. In England, low-quality grain not fit for beer or ale was used to make a simpler form of genever. The name was shortened to “gin,” and It became wildly popular due to the ease of making it — and getting drunk from it. From there, British soldiers took gin to the tropics, where it was used to help mask the bitter flavor of quinine, a medicine used to fight malaria. At the time, quinine was dissolved in carbonated water, which is now known as “tonic water.” Sailors also used gin with various citrus to ward off scurvy, a disease caused by a lack of vitamin C. These were the beginnings of many modern-day cocktails.
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Lincoln Road Package Store is here to serve the adult beverage needs of Hattiesburg, MS.