Red Bean Gin Smash Recipe
1 1/2 oz Gin (One of my favourites in Hendricks, infused with rose petals and cucumber)
6 oz of Soda Water (use can also use Tonic, but I like to save the calories)
2 x Fresh Basil Leaves
2 Slices of Fresh Cucumber
1 Slice of Fresh Lemon
1 Slice of Fresh Lime
In a low ball glass place some ice, pour gin over. With the back of your knife on a cutting board ruff the basil sprigs around.
(This opens up the aroma and intensifies the delicious favours).
Add the basil, lemon, cucumber and lime.
Top with soda water (or Tonic) and enjoy.
A LITTLE HISTORY LESSON……
Reposted From Vin Pair
THE COMPLETE AND SLIGHTLY INSANE HISTORY OF GIN
Of all the various spirit categories that make up the dynamic culture of drink around the world, gin has arguably the most storied past. Its English heritage tells the story of British aristocracy, class warfare, technological innovation, the maritime industry, and more.
Let’s go back to the very beginning, shall we?
FIRST COMES THE DAWN
“[Gin’s] core ingredient, juniper, has been combined with alcohol as far back as… 70 A.D.,” Simon Ford, co-founder of The 86 Co. (Fords Gin, Caña Brava Rum), says. At that time, a physician named Pedanius Dioscorides published a five-volume encyclopedia about herbal medicine. “Within his papers is a detailed description of the use of juniper berries steeped in wine to combat chest ailments,” Ford says. “In 1055, the Benedictine Monks of Solerno, Italy included a recipe for tonic wine infused with juniper berries in their ‘Compendium Solernita.’”
Ford laughs, adding, “I think they were onto something here.”
Fast-forward to the 16th century, when the Dutch began producing a spirit called “genever.” It essentially consisted of a malt wine base and a healthy amount of juniper berries to mask its harsh flavor. It was, of course, a “medicinal” liquid like its predecessors. By the 1700s, it had taken on a new form: gin.
“The first known written use of the word ‘gin’ appears in a 1714 book called ‘The Fable of the Bees, or Private Vices, Publick Benefits’ by Bernard Mandeville,” Ford says. “He wrote: ‘The infamous liquor, the name of which deriv’d from Juniper-Berries in Dutch, is now, by frequent use… shrunk into a Monosyllable, intoxicating Gin.’
“What I take from this is that the British were too drunk to pronounce genever so they abbreviated the word to ‘gen,’ which eventually gets anglicized to the word that we use today.”
Everything pretty much went downhill from there.
THE GIN CRAZE
The late 1600s were pivotal for the upswing of gin in England, and not in a good way. William III of England, a Dutchman originally known as William of Orange (“Sounds very ‘Game of Thrones,’ doesn’t it?” Ford says, rightly) became King of England, Ireland, and Scotland in 1689.
“He began his reign by implementing trade-war and protectionist-style economic tactics against France that might make some modern politicians jealous,” Ford laughs. “He enforced blockades and introduced heavy taxes on French wine and Cognac in an attempt to weaken their economy.”
At the same time, William III instituted The Corn Laws in England. These decrees provided tax breaks on spirits production, resulting in what Ford calls “a distilling free-for-all.”
“This led to a period in England that is often dubbed the ‘Gin Craze,’ a period where a pint of gin was cheaper than a pint of beer,” Ford says.
Sound like a dream? Sure. But with it came a new set of problems.
England’s poorest people began drinking more gin less responsibly (a futile lack of social mobility can do that to a person). Meanwhile, royalty and high society sipped tamely as more of a fashion statement than an emotional or psychological release.
According to Jared Brown, master distiller at Sipsmith, the “gin and gingerbread” phenomenon began in 1731. “Whenever the weather turned, crowds would gather to explore the stalls and tents selling hot gin and gingerbread that popped up along the frozen River Thames,” Brown says. “Enterprising Londoners looked to make a quick shilling out of what became known as the London Frost Fairs.” Sounds innocent enough, but stay with us.
A “gin and gingerbread”-era etching depicts Londoners on the frozen River Thames. Credit: The Trustees of the British Museum
Five years later, the government started to realize that society had a problem on its hands. The people of England began to either go totally insane or just die. Gin distillation was, again, a free-for-all, with things like turpentine, sulphuric acid, and sawdust going into the juice.
As a means of getting the country’s gin-obsessed drunkards to tone it down a bit, a distiller’s license was introduced. The price tag was £50, an exorbitant cost at the time, and the industry plummeted. Only two official licenses were issued in the next seven years. The business of informing, however, boomed in tandem. Anyone with information on illegal gin operations was compensated £5.
FELL ON BLACK DAYS
Things took a turn for the weirder in 1751, hallmarked by a series of very dark etchings (read: propaganda) by William Hogarth. “Beer Street,” displayed on the left side of the top of this article, depicted the relative safety of beer drinking.
“Gin Lane,” on the other hand, on your right, shows a rather depressing scene of people losing their literal minds to gin. In “Gin Lane,” a gin-drunk mother drops her baby over the side of a staircase, an inebriated man beats himself over the head with some bellows while toting a baby impaled on a spike, a suicidal barber, lots of syphilis sores, and other charming moments.
These etchings came in response to stories like that of Judith Defour, a silk-thread spinner from Spitalfields. Defour was supposedly driven so utterly mad by her gin addiction that, in 1734, she took her 2-year-old daughter Mary to a field with a friend named Sukey. The two women removed all of the toddler’s clothes and abandoned her in a ditch. The pair then proceeded to sell the clothing for money to purchase a quartern of gin. Poor Mary died and her mother was promptly sentenced to death by hanging.
“During the 18th century, gin was by and large the most heavily vilified spirit,” Erik Delanoy, New York brand ambassador for Oxley Gin, says. “It was blamed for the death of thousands by overconsumption, murder, negligence, and insanity, which incited measures to outlaw its production and consumption, but to little avail.”
Then came the Gin Act 1751, a parliamentary measure intended to crack down on spirits consumption. It raised taxes and fees for retailers and made licenses more difficult to come by. In addition to beer, the consumption of tea was promoted as well.
“By 1830, beer became cheaper than gin for the first time in over a century,” Brown says. “England became, for a few minutes, a nation of beer drinkers once again.”