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…
Mar 07 2020
An enterprising Cypriot and the founder of Kean soft drinks named Takis Christodoulou is renowned for assisting in the defeat of Rommel at El Alamein by Field Marshall Montgomery.
Cyprus was already involved in the story of the desert campaign. Cypriot donkeys aided with the logistics of moving supplies across this hostile environment. One essential item was sadly missing. Montgomery was rumoured to have done his best thinking after a gin and tonic (or two.)
Due to blockades and the presence of u-boats, London gin could not reach the Sahara! Here, Takis valiantly comes to the rescue. First, he uses his soft drinks knowledge to produce a quinine enriched tonic.
Takis then tackled the gin itself. He re-distilled zivania to produce a purer spirit, using juniper berries gathered from the Aoratos trees on the Akamas. He distilled a gin that was transported to Alexandria on caiques before fittingly, being carried on Cypriot donkeys…