W.C. Fields claimed he never drank anything stronger than gin before breakfast; Dorothy Parker joked that three martinis put her under the table, and four put her under her host. But the juniper spirit wasn’t always looked at with such fondness (and wit): It had a particularly bad rep in 18th-century England, when the popularity of the drink and the resulting social problems caused a strong moral and legislative backlash. Find out more at this illustrated lecture by historian and author Richard Barnett. Stick around afterward for free Hendrick’s Gin cocktails; if you’ve got the gall, order your martini the way Winston Churchill took his: without the vermouth.
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