The original martini.
Historically made in Holland, England, Belgium, and even the bathtubs of America during prohibition, Gin and its predecessor, Genever is a juniper berry flavored botanical spirit distilled from a grain base of typically wheat or rye. Gins and Genevers have their own recipes for the botanicals they can add to their stills, from as few as four to as many as 15 that include: anise, coriander, cinnamon, orange peel, cassia bark, and angelica bark, almond, and licorice root.
London Dry Gin remains the most popular worldwide today. Plymouth is slightly full- bodied, while Old Tom is the only reminder of the sweeter gins produced during the 18th Century. Genever or “Holland Style” is distilled from mash wine, in a process more similar to the production of whiskey.
Some say the English fell in love when British soldiers brought back the “Dutch Courage” from Holland. And thanks to English colonialism, Gin got to see the world. George Washington and Paul Revere were noted fans in the American colonies and in India gin was used to disguise the bitter taste of the anti-malarial quinine for the soldiers, which they added to their tonic water.
Traditionally served: London Dry Gin lends itself to mixed in countless cocktails, the most popular being the martini, Gin and tonic, or a gimlet.
“The proper union of gin and vermouth is a great and sudden glory; it is one of the happiest marriages on earth, and one of the shortest lived.”
~ Bernard De Voto, American historian and author