Gin fun facts that will blow your mind! Just when you think you know all there is to know about gin!
Versatile, surprising and steeped in history, gin is one of those spirits that will never stop surprising you!
Here at Exmoor Distillery, we have a deep-seated knowledge of the gin world, and we want to share some of that knowledge with you! So, take a look at these 50 gin fun facts that are sure to blow your mind!
1). Gin Fun Facts: Gin doesn’t have a shelf life!
Do you still have that bottle of gin tucked away in the back of your cupboard? Well, we have good news! It hasn’t gone out of date! The worst that can happen to a bottle of gin is that it might lose a few flavour nuances or it might deplete slightly in alcoholic strength. It might be time for you to open that bottle!
2). Your gin won’t freeze
That’s right, you heard us! Science, ey? Because of its high ABV (alcohol by volume), your gin won’t freeze in the freezer. It will be nice and crispy-cold though!
3). Gin is one of the healthiest spirits around
Now we’re not saying that you should drink it all the time (or maybe we are!), but thanks to juniper berries – known as a super fruit – gin may just be what the doctor ordered!
4). Gin can help you to lose weight
All this time we’ve been stocking up on kale when we should have been kicking it back with a G&T! According to researchers at Sigulda University, gin and tonic can actually help you to lose weight!
5). The gin hangover is a curious thing
Gin is both more and less likely to give you a hangover. It’s less likely because, like vodka, it is a clear and pure spirit. However, the key ingredient, juniper berries, can cause a depletion in the body’s water retention – something you don’t want when already dehydrated by alcohol. We recommend taking it easy!
6). People love to drink gin straight
Not as a shot, of course! High-quality spirits are often drunk neat. Gin is best served with a wedge of lime and some ice!
7). Holland is credited as the birthplace of gin
The dutch word for juniper is genever, and it’s thought that this was shortened to gin overtime. Even as a British national favourite, gin didn’t actually originate on our shores!
8). Gin fun facts: gin as a herbal medicine
Imagine if the doctor prescribed you gin! Well, in the Middle Ages people didn’t have to imagine! Gin was prescribed for infections and circulation issues.
9). Juniper berries are what sets gin apart
Juniper berries are an essential ingredient in gin, and they’re unique to gin as well!
10). Gin’s versatility is what makes it so popular
Much like wine, gin can come in many different flavours, textures, strengths and tones. People just love to try out different gins, testing them to find their perfect tipple!
11). The invention of gin
The spirits inventor is thought to be physician, Franciscus Sylvius, who is said to have used the concoction for medicinal purposes back in 1550!
12). Gin’s history as a mother’s ruin
Believe it or not, at one point gin was known as the bane of British society. Gin joints became some of the first places where women drank alongside their male counterparts and this led to the belief that they were neglecting their children and turning to a life of debauchery. Hence gin’s nickname, Mother’s Ruin.
13). Cleaning silverware with Britain’s favourite spirit
It’s been said that the royal family cleans their silverware with gin! A few drops of gin on a cotton pad can make your jewellery sparkle like a royal!
14). Gin can help you sleep
Drinking copious cocktails before bed will keep you tossing and turning. Why? Sugar. Gin, on the other hand, can be a great help! Mix it with soda water instead of tonic and get the shut-eye that you need!
15). Gin was sold in pharmacies
Hard to believe now, of course, but back in the day gin was actually sold in pharmacies to cure all sorts of ailments!
16). The first pink gin was invented in 1826
Aboard the H.M.S Hercules sailing toward the Caribbean, Henry Workshop and Captain Jack Bristow are thought to have concocted the first-ever pink gin! Well done, lads!
17). Gin was once the best hangover cure
Talk about the hair of the dog! In New York in 1928, gin and tomato juice was all the rage as a hangover cure. That was even before the infamous vodka-based bloody mary!
18). Gin fun facts: Juniper is almost all wild
Most ingredients nowadays are cultivated. Not juniper berries! Almost all junipers are wild.
19). British naval officers used to get a daily ration of gin
You’ve probably heard of the rum ration, but have you heard of the gin ration too? Known for its medicinal benefits, Gin was rationed out to naval offers to keep them healthy!
20). The Philippines consumes the most gin per capita
We love gin here in Britain, but in the Philippines, they love it more!
21). Bathtub gin was distilled during prohibition
Have you ever heard of bathtub gin? The name originates from the distillation of gin in bathtubs during the prohibition! Now that’s a bath we’d like to take!
22). The Hot Gin Twist was the most popular gin in London in 1823
So popular, in fact, that it was celebrated in many poems and newspapers of the time!
23). Juniper as protection
During the plague, doctors wore masks filled with juniper berries! The berries were thought to fight off the plague and people even bathed in juniper oil!
24). Juniper berries are not actually berries
Deceptive as the name may be, Juniper berries are not, in fact, berries. They’re actually just fleshy cones of female junipers that have an appearance very similar to berries!
25). Using gunpowder to determine the quality of gin
That’s right! Naval officers used to test the quality of their gin with gunpowder! They’d pour some gin onto their gunpowder and test the quality by seeing how well it lit! This also led to the birth of the name ‘Navy Strength’ gin. You can try our very own Navy Strength Gin to get a feel for its high ABV. Though we wouldn’t recommend mixing it with gunpowder these days!
26). We almost lost gin entirely
A fungal disease took hold of the juniper plant in 2015, and it was feared for some time that Britain would lose its remaining possession of the plant!
27). Dr Suess and his relationship to gin
Have you ever wondered how the creator of ‘green eggs and ham, that sam I am’ got his name? Well, after being caught drinking gin in University, he was banned from contributing to the university’s humour magazine. So, he began submitting pieces under the name Suess. This became Dr Suess, which went on to be his life-long pseudonym!
28). The debate over gin’s heritage
Gin is well-known as being founded in Holland, however, there is some debate over whether this is actually true! In fact, we may never know for sure where the popular spirit was born!
29). Gin fun fact: gin led to riots
In 1736, the gin act was introduced to help curb the overconsumption of the spirit. It saw a rise in tax and the introduction of a gin licence! This led to rioting from the public and it’s even believed that only two of the licences were ever purchased!
30). Gin was once thought of as flavoured vodka
Though we now see gin’s vast distinctions from vodka, it was once seen as a flavoured vodka!
31). There’s an ongoing debate around drinking gin straight
Some gin-enthusiasts insist that the spirit should ‘banish the tonic’, while others are sure that it was created to drink with tonic! Which do you prefer?
32). Gin cocktails are all the rage!
Cocktails are great for a taste sensation, but did you know that there are more cocktails made with gin than with any other spirit?
33). Gin’s favourite dish might surprise you a little
With all those sweet and mellow flavours, gin is renowned for going great with the back-of-the-throat spice that comes with a great curry!
34). The best way to taste gin
Gin tastings are on the rise, but what’s the best way to taste gin? Try out those flavours at room temperature and with equal amounts of water to get the best experience!
35). There’s a law about gin’s flavour
It is written in law that gin must have a predominantly juniper flavour in order to be sold!
36). Gin led to the ice ball
The need to drink gin cold and with lots of ice led to the invention of the ice ball in 2009! This was where one large ball of ice was placed in a tumbler to enjoy a drink on the rocks. The ball itself was created to release water at a slower pace into the drink!
37). The first known use of the word ‘gin’ was in 1714
In The Fable of the Bees or Private Vices, Publick Benefits, written by Bernard Mandeville it says “The infamous liquor, the name of which derived from Juniper-Berries in Dutch, is now, by frequent use… shrunk into a Monosyllable, intoxicating Gin.”
38). The move from sweet to savoury
In America in the late 1800s, there was a move in popularity from sweet to savoury flavours. This led to the olive being used as a garnish in gin!
39). Gin fun facts: gin has many names
Gin has been called many different names over the years, including ladies delight and flashes of lightning!
40). Gin is popularly drunk with gingerbread
Gin and gingerbread have become something of a tradition in Britain, and it’s thought that this flavour pairing led to the consumption of gin with ginger ale!
41). Winston Churchill praised gin!
Winston Churchill once said: “The gin and tonic has saved more Englishmen’s lives, and minds, than all the doctors in the Empire.”
42). Juniper is a natural flea repellent
So much so that people used to use the plant to combat the smell of rotting bodies.
43). The Copa Glass originates in Spain
Gin is infamously drunk from a Copa glass. This glass was actually born in Spain and was created in order to hold more ice! Check out our very own Exmoor Distillery Copa Glasses!
44). Martinis are made with gin, not vodka
Some prefer vodka over gin, but Martinis are actually meant to be served with gin, vermouth and a garnish!
45). Sloe gin is gin’s winter counterpart
Sloes are fruits related to the plumb, and they are used when creating the popular sloe gin! It is thought that sloe gin is most popularly drunk during winter. Some people even have hot mulled sloe gin at Christmas!
46). Gin became a social issue
Gin was thought of as a mass social issue in the 18th century. Many people were drinking gin as a result of overcrowding and poverty in London.
47). A whole lot of gin was sold in the UK in 2019
In fact, The Wine and Spirit Trade Association said that 76 million bottles were sold in the UK in 2019! Now that’s a lot of gin!
48). Where is London Dry Gin made?
Only a small handful of London Dry Gins are actually produced in London. In fact, they come from many different parts of the world!
49). No two gins are alike
No two gins are ever exactly alike! In fact, the versatility of gin is often what makes it so popular!
50). What came first, the gin or the tonic?
Gin was actually added to tonic, not tonic added to the gin!
So, there we have it! 50 facts about gin that will blow your mind!
Here at Exmoor Distillery, we are always learning about new gin facts! Do you have a gin fact not listed above? Maybe you have a particular favourite fact that blew you away? Let us know on our social media pages!