Gin, gin…is a wonderful thing

One of the great things about writing this blog is the opportunity to learn about a topic I didn’t know much about before, whether that be the history of the ferry, just yards from our front door or the vineyards of Devon. This post however, is dedicated to the wonderful drink that is gin. Here at the Passage House Inn, we think you just can’t beat a good gin and tonic on a sunny summer’s day and so much do we love it that we’ve now got an entire menu dedicated to this most tasty of liquors. So I thought I’d do a bit of digging on the origins and development of gin to see if I could discover any interesting facts to share with you all.

For some unfathomable reason, I’d assumed that gin was a British invention but alas, I was mistaken. Early records show that the first confirmed date of production was in Holland in the early 17th Century where ‘it was produced as a medicine and sold in chemist shops to treat stomach complaints, gout and gallstones. To make it more palatable, the Dutch started to flavour it with juniper, which had medicinal properties of its own.’ In fact, the phrase ‘dutch courage’ comes from soldiers in the Thirty Years’ War who were given gin in the damp weather for it’s warming properties. Eventually, they started to bring it home with them and so it arrived in England. Gin was then fully embraced by William of Orange who dropped tax on spirit production ‘for the health of the nation’ when he came to the throne in 1689. In 1731 gin was paired with gingerbread, a partnership that lasted for over 150 years before fizzling out. Not quite sure what I make of that myself…

And finally, finally, in 1850, the drink that we all know and love was born; gin and tonic. It was actually created as an anti-malarial for British troops in India but was such a tasty combination that it caught on and became a favourite drink of many. And whether you have it in this infamous cocktail or on it’s own, we wanted to be able to offer you a selection of some of the finest gins on offer. From the well known Gordon’s and Plymouth Gin to the lesser known but equally tasty Fever Tree Tonic (spot the reference?!) and most recently launched Pinkster, we really do have an incredible selection (if we do say so ourselves!) So why not come down and join us for a tasting session, try a few out and decide which is your favourite. The only question is, how will you have it? With tonic, in a martini or neat? The choice is yours… There’s a gin for everyone here at the Passage House Inn.


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