Mixology 101: Gin

Updated: 30 Jul 2012

Don’t be ginger with your gin. Drink up this bold, old spirit, says Rachel Jena

Juniper and more
Can’t put your finger on its flavours? That’s because gin varies from maker to maker. Juniper, of course, is its main ingredient, but each brand of gin sets itself apart with different distillation processes and auxiliary ingredients.

Good enough for the Queen
Queen Elizabeth II is purportedly a big fan of gin, with claims that she has some before lunch every day. How does she have it? The same way her mum used to: 30 per cent gin and 70 per cent Dubonnet, a sweet wine based aperitif, with a slice of lemon under the ice. Takes a strong one to down a glass so early in the day, but we’d expect nothing less of a royal family matriarch.

Not the lonesome kind
Gin isn’t the best company when it’s alone. One of its best buddies is tonic, and they’re a rather famous duo that call themselves gin and tonic. And when gin decides to fraternise with others, it goes by some familiar names like martini, Tom Collins, and long island iced tea.

Great for gallstones
Gin is old. Dating back to the Middle Ages, its earliest role was medicinal; it was a potion that allegedly cured lumbago, gallstones, and even ‘the insufferability of being trapped in one’s own body – forever’. Today, there are more reliable methods to cure the first two problems, but drink enough gin and you


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