Mar 08 2020
Over a thousand years ago Benedictine monks were infusing wine with juniper berries, the essential botanical in gin giving it its distinct flavour and aroma, producing a tonic wine. However, the benefits gained from this particular tonic wine have not been substantiated.
A precursor however to the malt wine infused with a generous number of junipers produced by the Dutch in the 17th century called Genever. Once again it was touted as having some health benefits, and it is thought the juniper berries were used to disguise the harsh quality of the alcohol. Urban legend has it that William of Orange (William III) was responsible for introducing Genever to the masses of England. High taxation on the importation of French wine and brandy and a tax break for those who distilled spirits meant that gin (which it was quickly shortened to due to the clumsy British pronunciation of Genever!) became cheaper per…