The first fact we are about to reveal is this; we like gin.
We know what you’re thinking – that’s not surprising.
That’s why it’s not one of our five main facts because they will surprise you.
They aren’t so surprising that you’ll fall off your chair or anything, but they may cause the odd raised eyebrow here and there. So prepare yourself because without further hesitation, here are The Bowgie Inn’s 5 surprising facts about gin.
1. Juniper is special.
The fresh pine and citrus notes of the juniper berry are what give gin its distinctive taste. Juniper has always been rather special. Way back in 1665 doctors used masks filled with juniper in an attempt to fend off the plague and some began eating juniper, drinking wine infused with juniper, bathing in juniper and covering themselves with juniper oil as they thought the pleasant smell would protect them. It may not have helped to protect them from the plague, but juniper oil is an effective insect repellent so that’s one bonus at least. Talking of insects, that’s how the original ‘gin and tonic’ first gained popularity in the British colonies. They had been advised to drink quinine to repel mosquitoes but it wasn’t a pleasant medicine to swallow. After some trial and error, the colonials found Mary Poppins to be incorrect – it wasn’t a spoonful of sugar that made their medicine go down, it was a generous measure of gin!
2. It’s all in the name.
The name ‘gin’ comes from the old English word ‘genever’… which shares origin with the dutch word jenever…. both of which derive from ‘juniperus’ which is the latin word for Juniper and as well already know, it’s juniper that makes gin special! Without it, gin is just plain old vodka and that doesn’t bare thinking about.
3. The Dutch know a good thing when they drink it.
Although the Brits like to claim gin as its own invention, we do believe the Dutch actually beat us to it – in 1269 as a Dutch publication refers to juniper-based health-related tonics. It is said Dutch soldiers would often swig a drop of gin before battle to calm the nerves hence the phrase ‘Dutch courage’. We feel this is an appropriate point to say that if you are ever in need of a spot of courage, we have an ample supply.
4. Gin is Cool.
Just as avocados are the hipster food of choice, gin is the on-trend drink in the UK right now. We bet that somewhere someone (probably with a trendy beard) has invented an avocado infused gin. However, despite the UK’s current gin obsession, the Philippines actually beats us as the world’s largest gin consumers.
5. Blind Drunk was an actual thing.
In 1920’s prohibition America, Bathtub gin gained popularity. As its name suggests it was a cheap, homemade gin produced in the bath. Unfortunately, its lethal side effects caused by methanol content meant that enjoying a tipple wasn’t as relaxing as a soak amongst the bubbles. It caused blindness or even death… thus the phrase ‘blind drunk’ was born.
Here we conclude our gin facts, we hope you are all feeling enlightened and in need of a glass of the good stuff. Head on down to The Bowgie Inn, Crantock, to sample our range of gins and share with us any more gin fact you may have.
We specialise in Cornish gin and have Tarquin’s and Trevethan to name just two. Head down to see us and beGIN!