Gin: The Spirit of Westminster

‘History in a Glass’; the gin story crosses continents, oceans and a time period of 300 years, from the gin craze of the 18th century to the 21st century ‘Ginaissance’. Discover more about gin’s extraordinary heritage: a rollercoaster of a tale involving religion, medicine, empire, Westminster’s Georgian slums, the royal family and the Royal Navy. Gin’s origins lie in the Geneva spirit introduced to England during the Glorious Revolution by William III.

 

Learn how, just 60 years later, the gin craze became a social catastrophe, epitomised by Hogarth’s iconic print ‘Gin Lane’ (1751). The long road to respectability took in new distilling processes and, with Gordons and Beefeater leading the charge, the G & T went global, whilst dazzling Victorian gin palaces appeared in London. Gin in the 20th century is a transatlantic tale featuring Prohibition, the Bright Young Things and the Savoy Hotel amid the ebb and flow of cocktails.

Just in time for the Millennium, super-premium London Dry gins began to appear, such as Hendricks and Sipsmith. London's second gin craze is now in full flow. Martin Miller’s quote sums up our tale - “Gin has created social revolutions; made laws and broken laws....it’s not just history in a glass, it’s romance and adventure too.”

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