from the aromatic juniper berry, which has been a curative for all many
of ills dating back to the ancient Egyptians, gin (or its more potent
ancestor, genever) was being prescribed as a preventative for scurvy,
headaches and other disorders more than 400 years ago.
"Where modern gin is essentially flavoured vodka, genever is headier
stuff, having more in common with fine whisky than the clear-coloured
aromatics of English gin," food writer Lesley Jacobs Solmonson explains
In the book, Solmonson journeys into gin’s past, revealing
this spirit has played the role of both hero and villain throughout
known as jenever, junever, genièvre, Holland gin, square gin
many other nomens, this is the juniper-flavored liquor from which gin
evolved and where gin cocktails began.
origins as a distilled juniper-flavored distillate date to 16th century
Holland, a world power at the time. A maker of juniper-laced tonics,
Dr. Franciscus Sylvius, has been erroneously identified as "the Father
of Dutch Gin," according to author Lesley Jacobs Solmonson:
he was indeed serving up genever as a medicine for kidney complaints
and for the tropical fever attacking Dutch settlers in the East Indies,
a true inventor he was not... In 1623, when Sylvius was just a lad of
nine, we find what is thought to be the first printed reference to
genever as a recreational drink."
classic London Dry
or dry gins are defined by botanical focus on juniper, modern day gins
- while still employing juniper - playfully break the rules, both
botanically and in terms of distillation.
(USA): Released back in
1998 by Anchor Distilling, this was the first of the new crop of gins.
While still relying on juniper as the predominant botanical, Junipero
has a subtle spiciness that comes from various proprietary ingredients.
London Dry (UK): This gin,
named after its wealthy and famous
founder, is made in England with traditional botanicals. It is then
shipped to Ireland, where the soft, glac ier-fed water of Selyri
Springs reduces the spirit's proof, producing a smoother taste.
Gordon's Gin Martini
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A Global History
by Lesley Jacobs Solmonson
Marvel Bianco, Barbi Vodka, Nintendo Mario London Dry Gin