Gin, which is a contraction of the French word for juniper,
genièvre, is originally from Holland. The invention is attributed to a
professor of medicine, Fransiscus Sylvius in Leiden, which in the 1600s used
alcohol mixed with juniper berries as a great remedy for kidney pain. It spread
to England after the Dutch William of Orange came to the British throne in
1689. British soldiers were given during the religious wars taste for it. Gin
was like other spirits sold on drugstore and used against various plagues.
Dutch gin or genever, is quite different than English gin, as we know it today.
It is produced from barley and stored among the barrels. It gives a flavor
reminiscent of whiskey.
Gin is mostly used in aperitif drinks, such as gin and tonic, dry Martini and
Tom Collins - but also in cocktails like Long Island Iced Tea.
Gin may be produced as a by-product in the distillation of
whiskey. The last portion of the distillate in the production of whiskey has
low alcohol content to be used for whiskey. Instead it is used for gin, which,
for example, was used by the Scots, who spent the extra profit of gin to pay
the high taxes that the British had put on the distillation of whiskey.
All types of gin juniper berries, but some producers also add such. coriander,
licorice and cardamom.
Elizabeth I let his subjects drinking sherry (Falstaff sack). Her successor,
James 1, putting tax on wine and sherry, so the lower classes had to make do
with drinking beer. Gin became quickly popular in England after it was allowed
to produce without a license, at the same time as imposed high tariffs on all
imported spirits. In 1690 it adopted a law that encouraged the distillation of
spirits from grain. King William had found a solution to the annual problem of
overproduction of grain.
Thousands of gin-shops popped up all over England, and there was also a market
for grains of poor quality, which was unfit for brewing beer. In 1740 was made
six times more gin than beer. Out of 15,000 drinking establishments in London
were over-half gin-shops. Gin was cheap and popular among the poor. The beer is
preserved nevertheless its reputation as a healthy drink, it was often safer to
drink enn water. Gin was contrary to blame for several social and medical
problems, and gin craze (= gin madness) may have contributed to an increase in
mortality, which meant that London's population growth stopped. In 1743,
Londoners drank an average of about one liter of gin each of the week. In 1751,
nine thousand children in the city of alcohol poisoning. "Time for a
penny, dead drunk for two pence, and the hay is free", was written on a
sign in a pub in the poor district of St Giles. The hay was to fall on in, and
the one who did not have a whole penny to be full of, could buy a ginvædet las
to suck on.
Theft was so common that in 1699 saw the need to introduce a law that punished
the theft of items worth while more than five shillings, with hanging. On that
contributed to the apprehension of a thief got in return various tax breaks.
Burglary carried out by looters were as common as it had been before the Black
Death, and at the same Saturday in 1693 saw that a highwayman named Whitney was
arrested after having been fighting for an hour; that another highwayman was
arrested in St Martins Church; that a gang of seven broke into the lady
Reresbys home in Gerard Street, tied her and her family, and emptied the house;
that three vehicles en route from Epsom were looted; and that three thugs had
shattered windows in Holborn and stabbed a guard man down with a sword. Crime
during Queen Elizabeth had been as widespread, but much less serious. Another result was lawsuits like the
one who sentenced Judith Delfour to death. Delfour had left his two year
old daughter Mary in the home of labor in London. 27.februar 1734 she took her
daughter out into a few hours. They
met a third person and Delfour explained in the Old Bailey: "On Saturday
night we took the baby out in the fields, dressed it, and tied a linen cloth
hard around the neck of it, to prevent it from crying, and laid it from us in a
ditch". The child's clothes they sold and bought gin for money.
Children were taught pickpocketing, and also served gin in prostitution.
Henry Fielding, who was magistrate in 1740, wrote about all the children who
were "eaten up by the ugly disease" (syphilis). The authorities'
response was to execute almost anyone who was brought to court. In 1722, killed
a gang of poachers in Waltham in Hampshire guardian that surprised them. They
had blackened faces to be invisible in the darkness. It then adopted Act was
therefore called Waltham Black Act, and resulted in the death penalty for any
poacher. Had the law been around since Shakespeare was arrested for poaching on
Thomas Lucy's because we had not had his plays. Henry Fielding believed that
100,000 of London's inhabitants existed mainly of gin. An observer outside a
gin-shop for three hours a night, claimed to have counted 1,411 people who went
in and out. Most bought only a penny gin, then entire families, children and
adults, sat on the sidewalk and drank himself into a swoon.
Hogarth's Gin Lane
The artist William Hogarth made the engravings Beer Street and Gin Lane to show
how much better beer is for the health and well-being. Beer Street shows a
harmonious cityscape prosperous and contented people, while Gin Lane shows
dilapidated houses, a drunken mother with syphilis sores on legs that loses her
child in her lap, and people who gnaws on the dog bone.
Gin Act, introduced in 1736, put high taxes on trade to reduce consumption, and
led to street riots. The charges were progressively reduced and abolished in
1742. A new law of 1751 was more successful: it ordered distillers to sell only
to dealers licensed and brought gin-dealers under public control.
Illegally produced gin, which was translated illegally, were often added
turpentine and sulfuric acid. As late as in 1913 oppgir Webster's Dictionary,
without further comment that "ordinary gin is usually flavored with