It’s always good when a friend casually mentions that their brother-in-law makes gin. It’s even better when you find out that they don’t just play with primitive homemade gin but make real, proper award-winning gin! This is how I was introduced to Hawthorn’s London Dry Gin, but the real story is even more of a family affair.
With recent reports claiming that us Brits are currently spending £1million a day on gin, and drinking 19million litres of mothers’ ruin annually, there is little escaping that we seem to be in the midst of a new gin craze. The original Gin Craze took place in the first half of the 18th century when gin consumption hit record levels, particularly in London, where it was estimated that one in every four properties housed some sort of distilling equipment. The Government was forced to introduce eight Gin Acts between 1729 and 1751 before the Gin Craze was brought under control, although not without rioting in the streets of London and a mock funeral for the spirit’s personification, Madame Genever! Then, as a consequence of new distilling methods, and the arrival of gin palaces on our streets, there was a gin resurgence during the Victorian era. Launched in 2015, during this most recent gin renaissance, Gin Lane 1751 brings together all these moments in the history of gin.