June 9, 2018
It’s World Gin Day and an excuse, as if one were needed, to celebrate this most intriguing of spirits. Today we’ll be joined in our Heathrow Clubhouse by premium tonics and mixers brand Fever Tree, who’ll be pairing selected tonics with a number of gins to create some truly wonderful flavour profiles.
If you find yourself in our award-winning lounge today you can look forward to travel and adventure while sipping a handcrafted, superior gin and tonic. If that isn’t restorative and good for the soul, we don’t really know what is.
Gin was first sold in Dutch pharmacies in the 1700s and attributed with many medicinal qualities. It’s thought because of these claims gin didn’t get taxed as much as regular alcoholic drinks when it was first imported to London. The result was a massive surge in popularity, especially among the capital’s poor. In just a few years over 1,600 gin shops sprung up all over the city and started the Brits’ love of gin that endures to this day.
The idea that gin is good for you probably arose because one of its key ingredients, the juniper berry, has long been thought to have a number of medicinal properties. In medieval London, it was claimed the berry could cure the plague and prevent flea bites. Today’s alternative health proponents claim it is an antioxidant which can help with arthritis, gives you a glowing complexion and aids indigestion. In New York in the 1920s, gin and tomato juice was even sold as a hangover cure (we think we know how that one always works out).
In Victorian times the Brits took these medicinal assertions one step further, adding their favourite spirit to anything with vaguely health-related benefits. Yet some of these ideas appear to be more than just soldiers and sailors justifying their alcohol intake. Some served a genuine need. The British navy, for example, mixed it with lime juice to help prevent scurvy, in a cocktail known as a gimlet. But the defining moment for gin came about when the British Army in India found that quinine helped prevent malaria. The bitter taste of quinine was much improved with some added sugar and subsequently became known as tonic. It was even more palatable when gin was added, and the classic gin and tonic was born.
In recent years gin has undergone a huge renaissance, especially among millennials. Enthusiasts are discovering the limitless combinations of tastes that can be created by combining different botanicals (but always juniper berries) and adding them to a distilled spirit. Fever Tree have played a massive part in driving this resurgence, with their creative reinvention of plain old tonic water into a series of high quality, botanical-rich, preservative-free mixers, all of which enhance the sophisticated gins of today.
Check out Spirit of the Clubhouse magazine’s latest edition to find out more about our Clubhouse bar team and the work they do.