A Brief History of Gin

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A Brief History of Gin
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A Brief History of Gin

Read on to learn more about gin.

According to the Oxford Wine Company, gin was invented in 1550 by Franciscus de la Boe, a professor of medicine. He was trying to create a concoction to cure stomach problems.

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The first official production of gin began in 17th century Holland, where it was used as a medicine to treat stomach problems, gout and gallstones. According to GinVodka.org, there are claims that gin was made in Italy beforehand.

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Thanks to the Thirty Years War, the British were introduced to gin, or Dutch Courage. They began bringing it back to England, where the drink became a favorite among the poor.

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By 1730, there were over 7,000 shops that sold spirits in London. Alcohol abuse among the poor became common. The Gin Act was enacted to make gin much more expensive, in the hopes that it would quell the growing problem, but instead it backfired causing riots. Eventually the act was repealed in 1742.

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Even though Britain's temperance movement should have halted the production of gin, it actually refined it. The movement forced authorities to better define what was alcohol and regulate its production better.

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Now that you know more about the history of gin, read on for some fun facts about gin.

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Gin Is For Cocktails

There are tequila shots and vodka shots, but have you ever heard of a gin shot? Probably not, because gin is intended to be mixed.

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Scurvy Cure

Gin and lime were commonly consumed by the navy as a way to prevent scurvy, according to The Oxford Wine Company.

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Gin is the Most Mixed

According to Food Republic, more classic cocktails are made with gin than other spirits. These drinks include the Tom Collins, Gimlet Negroni and more!

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Most Consumed in...

Turns out, the Philippines drinks the most gin. 60 million cases of gin are sold globally and nearly half of those go to the Philippines, which accounts for 43 percent of the gin market.

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Gin is Just Like Vodka.

Gin is basically flavored vodka. Gin is made from juniper berries and often a mix of spices like cardamom, coriander and aniseed. It's distilled from grains like barley and rye, which is pretty much how vodka is made.

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The beloved half of a gin and tonic has actually been around for centuries, and was even the cause of some pretty major riots in Britain. So, break out the classic martini and celebrate with this brief history of the popular spirit. (Please, drink responsibly!)

Check out the slideshow above to learn more about the history of gin.

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