“When a man who is drinking neat gin starts talking about his mother he is past all argument.”
C.S. Forester, The African Queen
I love gin, gin does NOT love me though. Why else would it taste so good but turn me to the dark side. At one point in my life drinking a certain number of G&T’s in a night changed me. It was a sort of Jekyll and Hyde situation where by I would be aware and happy, laughing and joking with friends and the next thing I would awake with a hole in my memory and feeling, shall we say, not quite tip-top. I was never there through the memory loss, someone else was in charge. So different was I that my friends took to calling this alter ego “Gordon”. A fitting title but nowhere near as cool as Mr Hyde. Anyway the details are all very ungentlemanly and my gin drinking no longer leads to such states so I’ll keep “mum” with the details like any true Brit.
The recovery from gin is dreadful. As we all know, recovery is always tough after consuming a few too many anythings the night before. Picking yourself up after a gin night is harder, as not only is there the usual physical symptoms but there is also a sadness. I’m speaking of the gin blues and if you are ever in such a place, I offer some advice. Avoid ALL sad movies or movies about loving your mother….trust me, sobbing is not an option, it will happen.
Is this why some call it Mother’s Ruin? Apparently not, not even close. All the reasons I have read for the nickname are far more sinister and go way back to before I was wallowing in my gin blues. There is not one definitive answer although explanations include, gin was as a remedy for an unwanted pregnancy, gin renders women infertile and drinking gin can result in pregnancy, boys and girls tend to loosen up after a few gins…allegedly. After reading the possible explanations I found and knowing that most reflect poor life choices or have no medical legitimacy to them. I have decided to stick to why I think gin deserves the alternative moniker, it can make grown men cry over their mothers.
No matter what you call it, gin tastes great and is so beautifully distinct. Gin has worked its way up from a poor man’s drink to a tipple considered to have a touch of class and this is why am writing about it now. There are few drinks better to enjoy on a summer day that compliment a gentleman’s lifestyle. There is also something to be said about the kind of man who drinks gin. I don’t want to get all analytical about it but think about the strength of flavour and that touch of refinement, a good gin has both and so should a modern gent.
Gin has an interesting history and there is a good time line for it here, if you fancy some facts. Whilst reading up on the history of gin I discovered that for some time in the middle of the eighteenth century consumption of gin in England was so high that “the average Londoner drank 14 gallons of spirit each year!” history-uk.com. That’s 52.9958 litres. A litre a week campers.
It seems there might be some catching up to do so I’ve including two classic gin recipes one with a twist to get the ball rolling:
James Bonds Recipe for a Vesper Martini …THIS GUY!
1 oz Vodka
1/2 oz Lillet® Blanc Wine
1.Pour the gin, vodka and Lillet blanc into a cocktail shaker half-filled with cracked ice.
3.strain into a chilled martini glass
4.Garnish with a twist of lemon, and serve.
The Perfect Gin and Tonic
50ml(ish) Gin of Choice
Lemon twist or wedge of lime
1.Fill a thin-rimmed highball glass up to the top with very cold ice cubes (a pre-chilled glass is even more ideal).
2.Pour in a double measure – 50ml – of gin.
3.Top off with tonic water to taste.
4.Garnish with a wedge of fresh lime or a lemon twist: make sure all of the pith of the citrus has been removed, and run quickly along the lip of the glass before garnishing, or with a simple wedge of lime.