All you need to know.
Gin now has its own geek's bible, a heady cocktail of information, enthusiasm and authority.
-- Observer Food Monthly
All alcohols have a social history and this book tells the story of gin. The spirit has a long and lively history and its popularity has waxed and waned over the centuries. But it is in demand again -- and rising -- and many would say that only now is it getting the recognition it truly deserves. At the same time, new makers populate the scene, many of them small, craft distilleries. The great G&T (gin and tonic) has earned new respect and is more fashionable now than when it was created by the English during Queen Victoria's reign.
From Glenfiddich Food & Drink Award-winning writer Simon Difford comes this beautiful guide to the 'juniper jewel.' Gin brings comprehensive coverage of the white spirit. It provides a detailed history of the rollercoaster ride gin has taken over the centuries, a full explanation of gin styles and production methods, in-depth reports on 16 distilleries, and production and tasting notes on nearly 175 different gins. It is a true celebration of arguably the world's most dynamic and fashionable spirit.
For the great many aficionados of gin, new and veteran, Gin is a lively, informative and affectionate history of the heart and soul of the G&T.
Simon Difford is a drinks industry celebrity. His experience includes running his own bar, founding his own import company and establishing brands. He is a Glenfiddich Food and Drink Award winning writer and lives in London, England.
As a born-and-bred Londoner, I feel something of a patriotic affinity for gin. Although the Dutch can rightly lay claim to having created the first popular juniper-flavoured spirit, what is unquestionable is that the modern style of gin mostly enjoyed around the world today has English origins, in London to be specific. And what a journey it has had -- a veritable rollercoaster ride over three centuries.
When gin first hit the capital, it was popular with the masses but shunned by the gentry. Over the years, it struggled to find acceptance by the upper classes, but by the days of the British Raj, polite society had properly accepted and adopted it into its noble ranks, peaking in the 1930s cocktail era.
During the dying decades of the 20th century, gin then suffered in the fashion stakes as vodka's star shone ever more brightly, but the turn of the millennium seems to have heralded a new enthusiasm for gin once again. Today, gin might be considered the most fashionable and dynamic spirit category of the moment.
Despite my patriotic affinity for the spirit, I also feel sad that the term 'London Dry Gin' is not protected by an appellation and can be adopted by gins made all over the world. It also pains me that precious little gin is now produced in our great capital.
This book is a celebration of gin, and I hope that it helps gather support for the idea of creating a protected appellation that finally acknowledges the city's role in today's drinking culture and affords it the recognition it deserves. Just as the 'New Western Dry' category articulates a trend for New World gins, so the London-born old-school tradition of gin-making should now be properly protected.
Thankfully, trend-setters are now calling for their gin of choice and the great British G&T is arguably more fashionable than it was when it was first created during Queen Victoria's reign. Long live gin, and long live the G&T!
Simon Difford firstname.lastname@example.org
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