Genever: a delightfully herbal concoction made from juniper berries. This name may be unfamiliar to you, but its anglicized cousin you’ll likely recognize: gin.
Originally brewed by monks and alchemists across Western Europe for medicinal purposes, it quickly caught on in the spirits industry, particularly in England, where gin shops grew to comprise over half of the nation’s 15,000 drink shops. Its popularity was largely due to how cheap it was to make and buy. Relaxed English laws also meant it could be produced without a license. During the height of the “Gin Craze”, a pint of gin was cheaper than a pint of beer. If it sounds too good to be true, it sort of is. Unfortunately, this gin didn’t taste very good. In the 18th century, a new variant was introduced: Old Tom Gin. The addition of sugar created a milder, sweeter flavor.
Over the next centuries, more varieties were introduced, with the addition of different fruits, sweeteners, and botanicals for a more complex flavor profile. In the modern era, gin has become a staple liquor of bars and mixologists around the world. It’s a good thing, too! Without it, we wouldn’t have the bitter negroni, the fruity Tom Collins, or the classic Gin & Tonic! Here’s another fun fact for you: gin was used in tropical British colonies to deliver anti-malarial drugs. Quinine was dissolved in tonic water and mixed with gin to mask its bitter flavor, so the original G&T tasted a lot different than the one we know and love today.
Watch the video below for a simple Nick & Nora recipe served in our Luigi Bormioli Nick & Nora glass from our Mixology collection. You can see more of Luigi Bormioli's offering in their catalog.