This June, we're getting excited about Gin.The British public's thirst for this juniper based spirit is at an all time high and shows no sign of slacking, and the options available on our shelves are more varied than ever before. Gin is made all over the world, and distillers seem to have endless ideas for weird and wonderful combinations of botanicals to flavour their products.
Here at The Oxford Wine Company, we are huge Gin-thusiasts, and have grown our range of gins to a staggering 85! We stock Gins from all over the world - from France, to Sweden, to South Africa - and, of course, several from Oxford itself.
To encourage you to join us in our gin-thusiasm, we're offering a 10% discount on all Gins throughout the month of June - just enter the discount code 'GETINTHESPIRIT' at the checkout of the online shop.
Gin originates in Holland back in 1550 when professor of medicine Franciscus de la Boe was trying to concoct a cure for stomach complaints using the diuretic properties of juniper berries and stumbled on this wonderful infusion which he named Genever. It soon became popular as an approachable alcoholic drink. The migration back to the UK with this new style liquor came from troops returning from the 30 years war who were given rations of gin to keep out the cold before battle. The love affair had started, and the product termed Dutch courage was enthusiastically brought back for consumption at home.
The name gin is an anglicised version of the Dutch Genever but the modern day product is very different. Dutch gin is thick rich and very full whereas London Dry gin is fresh dry and light.
What is Gin made from?
Gin can be made from any spirit alcohol of at least 96% volume. This spirit is from a base of either grain or molasses and has no flavour.The flavouring for Gin comes from Botanicals; these vary from producer to producer and are regarded as very much of a trade secret. All gins include Juniper and other botanicals include coriander, lemon peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel, angelica and cardamom to name but a few! Typically fine gin contains between six and ten botanicals.
Gin has seen a colossal uprising in popularity in the past six years and while there are several reasons why it has been so successful, one of them is that it can be made to look so beautiful with the simple addition of tonic water and a garnish.
Garnishing your Gin
It is becoming more apparent that a garnish isn't just a pretty bit of colour and a sharp sweetness to mask certain flavours in the drink. Nowadays a garnish is a key part to enhance and complement the unique style of gin you are drinking, as such a little bit of research is required when choosing a garnish. Find out the main botanical's (natural flavourings of gin) and you will find that using one of those as a garnish uplifts the characteristics and gives you a more concentrated taste. Here are a few examples to go with.
Cotswolds Dry Gin
Works great with Pink Grapefruit Peel and a Bay Leaf. Along with the usual botanicals found in a traditional dry style gin Cotswolds Distillery use hand-peeled grapefruit and lime skin, lavender, bay leaf, black pepper and cardamom.
Professor Ableforth's Bathtub Gin
Goes brilliantly with Orange Peel and Cloves. Bathtubs base gin has additional orange peel, juniper, cassia, coriander, cloves and cardamom steeped into it giving it the vibrant hue. Any sweet spice goes great with this gin e.g. cinnamon, cloves, star anise...
Can't get much better with Raspberries and Mint. Pinkster macerate fresh Cambridge raspberries into their gin giving it a super fresh fruitiness. The mint simply compliments that fruitiness and adds depth.