The end which started the beginning
…and so with a tax put on Gin by the government there were a lot of withdrawals which turned into a lot of riots and over the next 18 years much anarchy, for the price of gin – which was the tipple of the lower classes – overnight became the drink of choice of the elite.
Along with Whisky of course.
Seeing that this was not a good move politically, the government, 18 years later, (Yes, they move about as fast as they do today) repealed the Gin act and once again the development of Gin began to thrive once more.
One of the positives to come out of the governments debacle was a number of regulations and standards which are still in place today.
For example the ABV% must be 37.5% or more, and to be called gin it must have Juniper berries.
This along with certain ratios of juniper to other botanicals such as Coriander, Angelica and Orris Root helped to standardise and improve both the quality and drinkability of Gin.
One of the first gins that became a staple around the world was the London Dry Gin and that along with the original Genever, (which is still made today) became the two original recipes of note.
Of course, today there is a myriad of different styles of gin including contemporary, botanical, spiced, barrel aged, sloe and many others.
There are also a huge array of botanicals that are infused, macerated or steeped in the process and even on gin that has over 40 botanicals.
Irrespective though, they all have one thing in common – the distinctive aroma and taste of Juniper.
In New Zealand there has been over the last 5-6 years a huge revival of gin and from only 5 or 6 distilleries 6 years ago there are at last count now just over 40.
Where all this is going, who can tell but one thing is for sure, people have never had it so good in terms of choice of the excellent world class gins made right here on our door step.
At Waitoki Washhouse we are just pleased to be a part of it all.