Considered a quintessentially British drink, our beloved G&T actually originated in Holland known as Genever, a juniper infused malt wine-based liquor believed to have first been created in the 16C for medicinal purposes – although there is even earlier evidence of tonic wine infused with juniper berries as a treatment for chest & stomach ailments & Italian monks infusing spirits with juniper in the 11C. The term ‘Dutch Courage’ was first coined by English soldiers fighting the Spanish in the 30 Years’ War fought in central Europe between 1618 – 1648, and this version of Gin (Jenever) found its way back to England when they returned.
So why London Gin? So-named after the Worshipful Company of Distillers was formed by King Charles I in 1638, giving its members a monopoly on the distilling trade within just 21 miles of London and Westminster. London gin doesn’t have to be made in London – it refers to its predominant juniper flavour and strict regulations regarding production. It must be re-distilled from a neutral base spirit and all botanicals must be added during, rather than after, distillation.