Gin, A Mother’s Ruin, and the Dutch
Gin, Mothers Ruins, Dutch Courage, call it what you may, but this popular white spirit is one of our most common orders over the bar showing that our appetite for Gin is anything but limited. But do we really know anything about its chequered past?
Is it a Berry?
Traditionally, Gin derives its flavour from juniper berries which are not actually a berries at all. They’re actually a female seed cone and primarily used as a bitter spice. Juniper berries have been known to provide many health benefits and from this traditional pairing, gin was historically used for medicinal purposes.
Worldwide, Gin infusions are now diverse and have grown to include lavender, olive, dandelions and almond shells. Australian distilleries are now embracing our local botanicals with flavour infusions of wattle seed, cassia bark, cinnamon myrtle and even our bush tomato. Fortunately for those Gin enthusiasts (and Gin haters about to be converted), the flavour possibilities go beyond these infusions.
The Bartender’s Choice
It is said Gin’s complexity of flavour only truly emerges when paired with other ingredients and for this reason it is also titled as a bartenders or mixologists favourite spirit; definitely a Sixteen Antlers favourite spirit. Take your pick from your classic G&T served with a squeeze of fresh lime or slice of cucumber, to your classic dry gin martini, a Negroni with a zesty orange flavour or a sweet citrus-y Tom Collins.
Drink Your Medicine
Now, drawing attention to the phrases Mothers Ruins and Dutch Courage mentioned at the start, some may be wondering where these names have evolved from. Mother’s Ruins was derived from a period in time in the 1700’s, of a so called gin-craze sparking a drunkenness epidemic and to no surprise, creating major social issues for England. Over the time of this gin-craze, parliament had to pass legislative acts in an attempt to control the excessive consumption of gin. On a slightly more positive association, the more commonly known phrase of ‘Dutch Courage’ is the name derived in the 17th Century where gin was given to British troops to keep their spirits up during the time of the Anglo-Dutch wars. Either way, gin has written an interesting story on the pages of history.
May I Have This Dance?
Up at Sixteen Antlers, we love to experiment with gin and have created some tempting flavours for our gin based cocktails. The Sloe Dance combines our two favourite gins, Bombay Sapphire and Hayman’s Sloe gin, with a zesty lemon finish. Or, for the chocolate lovers out there, the 21st Century combines gin with both Frangelico and white chocolate liquer, leaving you with a slightly sweet and chocolate-y aftertaste.
Nowadays, yes we can drink it for a bit of Dutch courage, and it can lead to some interesting nights, but it’s mainly for the pure enjoyment of the taste, right?!
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