How Gin Found Its Way Back To The Top of the Shelf
We've been blown away by people's reaction to Sip & Share. You lot love gin. But more importantly, you share our love of well-made, uniquely brewed, artisan gin. Despite the pandemic, the 'Ginaissance' shows no signs of sloeing/slowing down.
The gin boom back in 2010 saw the rise of the independent distillery, and the market is still growing. In 2020, the UK saw an extra 124 distilleries open their doors which is a growth of 28% on 2019.
With record numbers of distilleries opening all over the UK, gin is clearly the drink of choice. But that hasn't always been the case. Like everything, drinks go in and out of fashion. The 1990s were all about vodka (unsurprisingly found in the cocktail of the decade – the Cosmopolitan). Then came the rise of craft beer. Suddenly, people wanted to drink small-batch, local brews.
If you go back further back in the history books, you'll find gin.
Easy to make, gin was the popular choice during Prohibition in the 1920s, although the quality was somewhat dubious at times. Bathtub gin, anyone?
Then, back in the 1700s, gin was most definitely the drink of choice. With only unclean water or beer available, gin consumption in London rose from 2.5 million gallons in 1720 to 8.2 million gallons in 1743.
That's a hell of a lot of gin.
It's no wonder gin became widespread. It's easy to produce. And it's cheap to make, especially if you are mixing it with sulphuric acid or turps. Yes, people did that!
It wasn't long before gin became synonymous with depravity. Known as Mother's Ruin, laws were put into place, halting gin's cheap unregulated production.
How did it shake off this reputation?
Some say nostalgia boosted gin’s reputation. Downton Abbey and The Great Gatsby both glamourised the drink, providing it with the Hollywood idea of luxurious debauchery.
However, gin’s comeback results from a lot of lobbying and legal battles to get laws changed.
In 2006, the Gin Act of 1751 – the act to stop the depravity and debauchery around London's more impoverished areas – was still in place. It was finally repealed in 2008, and small-scale distilleries were able to set up shop in the city once again.
In 2009, Sipsmith became the first distillery in London to open since 1820, inspiring others to do the same. The City of London Distillery opened in 2012, bringing gin production back to London’s historic square mile after a 200-year absence. When you browse the list of distillers we collaborate with, I guess you could say the trend took off.
Why is artisan gin so popular?
Honestly? We are simply more discerning these days!
We want to know where our food comes from and how it's been produced. The same goes for our drink. Ingredients matter. Where they are sourced from matter.
We're no longer looking for cheap, mass-produced booze. We understand the craft and appreciate small, independent distilleries that push boundaries and experiment with flavours.
And we love variety. Gin is such a versatile drink. You can add whatever you like and get such different flavours.
It means there's a gin for everyone.
How do I choose?
That's where Sip & Search can help. You love gin. We love gin and have a relationship with over 100 distilleries, so we can match you with the perfect drink.
When you become a member, we'll talk you through the products, you'll be invited to all our exclusive events, and you'll get to choose from some of the best gins on the market at discounted prices.
It's not about a box of gin being delivered. It's about introducing you to the brand so you can enjoy high-quality craft spirits. Sign up and try our free 2-day trial here.