How Gin Became the Meth of 18th-Century England
Today, the gin and tonic seems such a safe, civilized concoction. But when gin first hit England, it caused a swath of drunken destruction.
It doesn’t get more classic than gin. The spirit is, of course, what super spy James Bond orders in Casino Royale and the base of countless snooty country club concoctions. (Care for a Gin Martini or a Gin & Tonic?)
And recently, thanks to the rebirth of the cocktail, the liquor is the darling of the current generation of mixologists and distillers.
So the next time you’re feeling all high and mighty at a faux-speakeasy as you enjoy a $15 White Lady or Gin Gimlet made with a spirit infused with more than a dozen botanicals from a tiny producer in, say, the Pacific Northwest, you might want to consider gin’s much humbler origins.