Luxebook June 2023

BY SCHENELLE DSOUZA Tracing the history of Gin GINFOGRAPHIC Discovered in Netherlands One of the most popular spirits today, gin has numerous origin stories. The oldest and most common one however, can be traced back to the 11th century Italy when the Benedictine monks of Salerno used juniper to distil spirits as a cure for stomach, liver and kidney conditions. Moving forward to the Middle Ages, a 13th-century Flemish manuscript referenced a liquor scented with Genever (a juniper-flavoured Dutch liquor) although the first ever recorded mention of Genever as a beverage distilled with juniper was in the 17th century in a book titled Een Constelijck Distileerboec. The distillation of Genever had become a popular practice by the 1600s when the Dutch were producing gin in earnest, with hundreds of distilleries in Amsterdam alone. This fact was enough to refute the popular theory that gin was originally produced in England. Migrating to England Gin arrived in England during the Thirty Years’ War (16181648), when English soldiers were sent to assist the Dutch in an uprising against their Spanish Catholic rulers. Here is when the British are said to have tried gin for the first time. The English troops noticed their Dutch soldiers sipping Genever before heading into battle which they said helped them to relax and strengthen themselves; they called it “Dutch courage.” British soldiers returning to England brought the spirit back with them. They gave it the name Gin to refer to the GIN FACTSHEET 11th century - Benedictine monks of Salerno (Italy) used juniper to distil spirits as a cure for stomach, liver and kidney conditions. 13th century – A Flemish manuscript referenced a liquor scented with Genever (a juniperflavoured Dutch liquor) 17th century – the first ever recorded mention of Genever as a beverage distilled with juniper in a book titled Een Constelijck Distileerboec. 1600s – The Dutch begin producing gin in earnest, with hundreds of distilleries in Amsterdam alone. 1618-1648 – British soldiers try gin for the very first time when assisting the Dutch during the Thirty Years’ War. 1689 – William of Orange ascended the throne in England and imposed severe taxes on imported spirits like French wine, Brandy and Cognac, promoting gin production in England. 18th century – The “Gin Craze” began in England with more than one thousand gin shops opening all over England. The craze led to poor oversight which led to the use of low-quality grain with bulking agents like turpentine and sulphuric acid. 1736 – The 1736 Gin Act required manufacturers to possess a licence to produce gin along with exorbitant fees and taxes. Bootleggers began the illegal sale of gin from their own homes. 1751 – The Gin Act of 1751 encouraged the “respectable” sale of gin with a lowered license fee and minimal taxes. 19th century – The column still is discovered which allowed for a continuous distillation process to obtain a 'clean' base alcohol for gin. 8|LUXEBOOK|JUNE 2023 JUNE 2023 |LUXEBOOK|9

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