Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Raise a Glass

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Raise a Glass

Article excerpt

Byline: with Jane Clare

TODAY, my dear friends is World Gin Day. A day to celebrate the lovely spirit which eases us at the end of the 9-5; which is delightful with ice on a summer's eve; and is a relaxing sip with pals. Yes, it has its own day.

I spoke to the enigmatic Gin Monkey (I'm not revealing identities) who now organises World Gin Day, The concept of the day is simple, says Gin Monkey.

It is to get people drinking gin and "celebrate the spirit in all its juniper-filledglory".

OK, Gin Monkey, explain the history of G&T and why we Brits love it so much.

"The history goes back to India and the army of the British East India Company.

"Malaria was rife, and quinine powder made from the bark of a native tree was known to prevent the disease.

"The problem was that the powder had a very bitter flavour and was therefore often mixed with sugar and carbonated water to make it more palatable, effectively creating tonic water.

"Given the army received a gin ration, it was only a matter of time before the spirit was incorporated.

"When the army returned to Britain, they brought a taste for this drink with them and the rest, as they say, is history."

|Road " So, I asked, it's about botanicals. Is that right?"Absolutely, the botanicals are what make gin different from other spirits, and particularly the juniper berry. Without juniper your spirit is merely a flavoured vodka."

Gin and tonic is the popular way to enjoy gin, but Gin Monkey says a great alternative is a Tom Collins, a mix of lemon juice, sugar syrup, gin and soda water.

Says Gin Monkey: "It's long and refreshing like a G&T. I often recommend it for people who don't like tonic water.

"There are hundreds of classic cocktails that feature gin. In the cocktail 'golden age' of the 1930s vodka was pretty much unheard of in the western world. …

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