The Art of Gin
It's World Gin Day on Saturday, 12 June 2021! This year, we’ll take you through a short history of this celebratory day and crafty drink. We’re also sharing some easy G&T cocktails you can make at home, championing our New Harbour gin range. So, grab a glass and go on a gin journey with New Harbour Distillery.
What is World Gin Day?
World Gin Day was founded by Neil Houston in 2009 and is now run by Emma Stokes aka the Gin Monkey! World Gin Day has become a global phenomenon. It’s always on the second Saturday of June, where people from all over can celebrate their love for this spirit with other like-minded individuals – whether you're already an aficionado or just seeking to discover what it's about.
What is gin?
The Ginnaisance has taken the world by storm, with gin all over the map. Gin is a delicate yet bold-tasting spirit. A high-strength alcohol that can range anywhere from 43%, it's usually mixed with tonic water or other mixers as part of a cocktail recipe. Gin's simplicity is what makes it so unique. It tastes distinctly of juniper berries, which are mixed with other botanical flavours to create a diverse range of gins that have entirely different profiles and characteristics in terms of taste and aroma – sometimes wildly so!
A short history of gin.
It is believed that this spirit was first created in the Middle Ages. Records of its existence date back to the 13th century but it wasn’t until three hundred years later that a name stuck: genever, Dutch for juniper. Gin lovers from the Netherlands and Flemish Belgium soon shared their love with others by sharing their drink across Europe.
Dutch courage – the drink before a battle
During the 17th century, British soldiers who fought alongside the Dutch became rather fond of the Dutch genever drink, which the British called “gin”. It soon became a national obsession when English soldiers brought it back to their home.
Gin’s best friend – tonic
When the British began to rule India in the 19th century, they suffered hugely from malaria. Enter: tonic water. The quinine in tonic is extracted from cinchona bark and was traditionally used to help fight and prevent malaria. Quinine has a very bitter taste, so to make it more drinkable, the British mixed it with carbonated water and sugar. The mixture then became well known when officers started mixing it with gin while on their travels, giving rise to one of today's most popular cocktails: The G&T!
“The Gin and Tonic drink has saved more Englishmen's lives, and minds, than all the doctors in the Empire.” – Winston Churchill
Celebrate Gin-loving Culture with Easy G&T Recipes
Mix one part Maroela Gin to 4 parts of your favourite Indian tonic.
Floral: Kappertjies or mini roses
Fruity: Nectarine slice
Herbal: Thyme or micro herbs
Mix one part Spekboom Gin to 4 parts of your favourite Indian tonic.
Garnish with berries or fig.
Mix one part Rooibos Gin to 4 parts of your favourite Indian tonic.
Garnish with a slice of orange and cinnamon stick.
Warm yourself from the inside out with this Hot Toddy recipe laced with Rooibos Gin.
You can also substitute Indian tonic with our Tonic Cordial.
Happy World Gin Day, gin-lovers!