deVine Thoughts

July 28, 2015

deVine Guide to Gin

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 9:42 am

african_queenAuthor: Jim Phelan

In just less than one month, deVine Wines & Spirits will be hosting a guided sit-down Gin tasting. Gin has not only become a craved bartending staple with a renaissance of the cocktail scene, but has experienced one of the most storied and fascinating histories of perhaps any alcoholic beverage. Don’t believe us? Here’s just a bit of an, ahem… taste.

Did you know:

Did you know gin was originally administered to combat soldiers in the age of colonialism? It was a delivery mechanism for quinine, which reduced pain and inflammation, while combating fever, malaria, and cardiac arrhythmia. Consumption was regimented ritually during the morning call to just before raising the flag, which indicates everything you need to know about how foul these early cordials tasted. Eventually this tonic became a better mix of soda and sugar that turned into today’s ubiquitous gin & tonic.

Did you know that the first product placement on the big screen was for gin? In 1951’s The African Queen, film legend Katharine Hepburn empties and tosses bottles of Gordon’s Gin overboard, informing her sailing companion that “This a dry ship.” Believe it or not, the brand agreed to this!


Keeping with our sailing themes, did you know that Gin became Britain’s adopted spirit when British soldier fighting alongside the Dutch noticed the effects the liquid courage had on the Netherlands’ soldiers when they took a swig before battle. The British of course sailed the spirit home and found that when combined with angostura bitters, the resulting cocktail also made an effective respite to sea sickness. This was Pink Gin.

Did you know that the gin-based Tom Collins cocktail came from a rather silly hoax? Across 1874 New England, strangers at a bar would start a conversation with “Have you seen Tom Collins?” When the listener would reply that they know no such man, the speaker’s goal was to agitate the listener by details the ways Tom Collins was belittling the listener behind his back, and that Mr Collins was just around the corner. The goal was to enrage the listener so much that they would run out trying to chase down this non-existent man. The hoax became so popular that in 1876 the Tom Collins cocktail, comprised of gin, simple syrup and lemon juice, was born in New York City, (probably) based of the same hoax.

“Tom Collins Still Among Us.” “This individual kept up his nefarious business of slandering our citizens all day yesterday. But we believe that he succeeded in keeping out of the way of his pursuers. In several instances he came well nigh being caught, having left certain places but a very few moments before the arrival of those who were hunting him. His movements are watched to-day with the utmost vigilance.” – Article from The Decatur Daily Republican in June 1874.


There’s far more where that came from, in addition to some wonderfully tasty spirits! For more information and to sign up for the devine Guide to Gin tasting on Saturday, August 15th, 2015 at 7:00pm, click here..

here. Cheers!

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