20150612

GIN COCKTAILS, Quotes, Trivia and History

 http://themartinidiva.com

Today I'm having a celebration of all things gin, after all it's Gin Day so what better to time to celebrate such a venerable spirit?

Herein lies some great Gin Cocktails, a few gin quotes and a little trivia and information on this wonderfully herbal and drinkable potable.

What is gin? It's a clear alcoholic spirit distilled from grain or malt and flavored primarily with juniper berries though many other botanicals come into play. It started out, like many other spirits, as a medicinal cure, having originally been tinctures, infusions and decoctions of ethanol juniper and other herbal extracts.

If you think you don't like gin, rethink and try some of these cocktails. If you've been infusing your vodka with things like juniper berries, rosemary, cardamom, lemon peel or a few other botanicals you've started making gin! Basically (and I'm probably going to get lots of haters for this) gin is pretty much flavored vodka. Don't believe me? Check it out, that's what it is. 

Gin is probably the biggest player of all in classic cocktails most likely from it's bastard child, bathtub* gin from Prohibition. Though most people think of gin as an English spirit it was originally from Holland. The English just stole it from them when they saw Dutch soldiers having a little genever aka "Dutch Courage" during the Thirty Years' War in the 1600s. But to give the English their due, they do well by their gins and even started a whole category called London Dry Gins.

There are more types of gin than any other spirit and we're not including "flavored" spirits here. Genevers (or Jenevers), Old Tom Gin, Plymouth Gin, London Dry Gin and New American or International Gin. Most are juniper forward except for the last group where other botanicals are more prominent than the juniper.

Gin is an acquired taste. You have to grow up and develop an adult palate to appreciate the lovely notes of all the different gins available on the market today. Once you do you'll discover a whole new world of drinks and cocktail enjoyment.  In my opinion, gin is not a sipping spirit, it's a mixing spirit and is best served by a great supporting cast of fresh juices, crisp sodas, rich spices, just plucked from the garden herbs and an attitude of adventure.

So, come on a gin adventure with me today.


SOME CLASSIC GIN QUOTES:
Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.
~ Rick Blaine, Casablanca

When a man who is drinking neat gin starts talking about his mother he is past all argument.
~ C.S. Forester, The African Queen

I exercise strong self-control. I never drink anything stronger than gin before breakfast.
~ W.C. Fields

A perfect martini should be made by filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy.
~ Noel Coward
(I totally disagree with this. If you remove the vermouth you're drinking gin, not a martini!)

Gin is a confusing drink. It’s the only liquid that’s both wet and dry.
~ Jarod Kintz, 99 Cents For Some Nonsense

Follow your fate, and be satisfied with it, and be glad not to be a second-hand motor salesman, or a yellow-press journalist, pickled in gin and nicotine, or a cripple - or dead.
~ Ian Fleming, From Russia with Love


GIN TRIVIA:
  • As early as the 11th Century juniper berries were being used to flavor distilled spirits by Italian Monks.
  • Gin was used as a cure for the plague.
  • It's said that Old Tom gin got it's name from a tom cat.
  • Slow gin is not gin, it's a gin based liqueur flavored with sloe fruit.
  • Gin gets it's name from the juniper berry. The original drinking gin, genever or jenever, is from the Dutch "jeneverbes" for juniper berry. The French call juniper berries "baies de genièvre" and the Italians call them "bacche di ginepro".
  • Gin was added to mask the bitterness of quinine water which was used by the British as an anti-malaria drug. I was the birth of the Gin and Tonic!
GIN COCKTAILS

ABSINTHE MINDED LEPRECHAUN
THE AVIATION
BASIL CUCUMBER MARTINI & BASIL INFUSED GIN
Spiced Lavender BEES KNEES
BLACKBERRY & BLACKCURRANT GIN & TONIC
BLACKBERRY NEGRONI
BOOMERANG COCKTAIL
CHERRY DIAMOND RAMOS FIZZ
CLOVER CLUB COCKTAIL
The COCKTAIL PURPLE
CORPSE REVIVER LIVES AGAIN
ENCHANTED FAERIE
GINJA NINJA SLUSHY
GOLDEN RAMOS FIZZ
GONE WITH THE GIN
SMOKY DIRTY MARTINI
The GIBSON, REINVENTED
CUCUMBER INFUSED GIN and TONIC
WATERMELON ROSEMARY GIN SOUR
DUTCH TRADEWINDS MARTINI
HOT CHA CHA CHERRY MARTINI
CLASSIC DIRTY MARTINI
FILTHY MARTINI
COOL AS A CUCUMBER MARTINI
GIMLET
VESPER, James Bond Cocktail
TERRI'S CHERRY (French) 75
THYME FOR A LEMON CHERRY SLING
HIBISCUS HEART FIZZ
TUXEDO COCKTAIL
SAUCY CHRISTMAS CRANTINI 
PINK LADY
TRUE BLOOD MARTINI 
 ARMY NAVY COCKTAIL
LILAC BLOSSOM
ORANGE BLOSSOM
U.S. MARINE CORPS MARTINI

HOW TO MAKE GIN FROM VODKA

It is now officially Gin O'Clock. Get out there and buy some gin and start your adventure!

Cheers, M'Dears!

* Bathtub gin was not always made in bathtubs, in fact rarely.  It just got that name because of the nasty, even dangerous, home brewed versions that abounded during Prohibition, some of which did get made in a few bathtubs.

PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY
Updated January 2017

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