5 Things You Never Knew About Gin

We can’t get enough gin. From martinis to gimlets to whatever your cocktail nerd bartender wants to cook up, gin is a fresh, herbal staple. But gin’s not like the rest of those other liquors! She’s different!

Here are five things you never knew:

1. Gin is from Holland, not Britain


SHOP Bombay Sapphire Gin

Though many people associate gin with the United Kingdom, it actually originated in Holland. The Brits discovered the Dutch booze in the 17th century, during the Thirty Years’ War, and over time adopted it as their national beverage. And spoiler: not all London Dry gin is actually from London.

2. There’s no solid definition of gin.


SHOP Tanqueray Gin

Unlike Scotch, Bourbon, tequila, and most other spirits, gin doesn’t have a solid definition (ingredients, location of origin, etc.) Gin just has to have a “predominantly juniper” taste, so that’s why there’s so much variety between brands.

3. Gin was historically used for all kinds of medicinal purposes.


SHOP Gordon’s Gin

The rise of gin’s popularity in Britain corresponded with British imperialism and the spread of the British Empire. Britons abroad encountered all kinds of new diseases, and gin allegedly assisted their medication—gin gimlets (gin and lime) were used to fight scurvy, and gin and tonics (with Quinine-containing tonic) were for malaria…. which explains a lot of imperialist decision-making.

4. It’s super popular in the Philippines.


SHOP Boodles Gin

The Philippines account for about 43% of gin consumption in the world.

5. It’s not meant to be taken straight!



SHOP Hendrick’s Gin

There are so many gin cocktails out there because that’s where gin truly comes alive. Of course you can take it straight (no one is stopping you), but we encourage at least a little tonic.


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