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This post is part of my 2022 Word Project. You can read what that’s about here.

Saturday, June 10, 2023

It’s World Gin Day. I wasn’t going to write about gin, but then the universe got involved and now I have to.

This is what happened.

I was minding my own business, mopping the floor and thinking about making up a gin cocktail tonight so I could sip it while thinking of something else to write about.

Then I checked the mail, and there was a card from Kevin. It said

A banana has 108 calories. A gin and tonic has 91. Enough said.

It was just so karmic that how could I NOT write about gin now?

So I made up a cocktail with gin and sloe gin, black pepper syrup and orange bitters, a drop of saline and a spritz of rosemary. I called it Not A Banana.

It was good enough that I made another, and here we are.

I don’t have a long history with gin so I can’t regale you with stories of that one time, at band camp. I mean, if it was Goldschläger Day, that would be another thing…

I haven’t even drunk much gin until recently. All I can tell you is that it makes an excellent martini, and comes in some pretty cool bottles, of which I have a few. Some gin is even whiskey-colored.

Sloe gin is actually red. Did you know that? I did not. Apparently it is made from sloe berries. In the previously-unknown column put “sloe berries are a thing.”

Sloe berries are apparently thorny, bitter and useless. You can’t really eat them, so what did people do? Threw them into booze.

Sloe gin is more like a liqueur. It’s slightly sweet from being steeped with berries and sugar, and lower proof. It makes drinks quite pretty.

I bought it recently on a whim because I had heard of it all my life (think Sloe Gin Fizz) and was curious. It came in a dark bottle so imagine my surprise when it poured red.

On a gin brand’s website that I found today, they have a whole page of gin related jokes. This one was particularly apt:

They say gin can damage your short-term memory. If that’s the case, just imagine what gin can do.

I laughed out loud. And then forgot why I was laughing, but that’s me on any day.

Thing that makes gin gin: juniper berries.

No juniper, no gin. It’s the law.

Another thing in the never-knew column: juniper berries are seeds. Other than drinking them, I only ever used them once, in a brine for a Thanksgiving turkey. I much prefer them in a cocktail.

Gin gets a bad rap for making people stupid drunks, but that’s not fair because people are stupid anyway.

But seriously…

No, they really are.

But for real…

Gin went through its own moonshine phase during prohibition, so the same way that bad hooch made people blind, bad gin made people bad drunks and sometimes dead ones.

There is no scientific reason or evidence that being drunk on gin is any different than being drunk on anything else. There is a fair amount of evidence that being drunk makes you stupider, some of which I’ve contributed to science.

By the way, martinis should be stirred, not shaken.

Another funny from the gin website:

If you don’t drink lots of gin, how will your friends know you love them at 2am?

Think gin isn’t cool enough to sit at the cool kids’ table? In the 1800s it was mixed with lime juice and given to sailors in the Royal Navy to prevent scurvy. Now we call that a Gimlet and pay $14 for it.

Gin and tonics have a long history of being used to prevent malaria. The quinine in the tonic gets all the credit, but without gin as the delivery mechanism, who would drink it?

Plus juniper is full of antioxidants and is anti-inflammatory so the next time you have a cold, skip the Nyquil and pour yourself a martini.

Words of wisdom: Don’t cry over spilt milk: it could have been gin.

A lot of people will tell you that gin is nothing more than flavored vodka. To them I say… at least it has flavor.

Juniper berries aren’t even cultivated. They are primarily sourced from the wild, so gin is great for when you want to feel environmentally virtuous, too.

You can consider yourself a little bit smarter tonight, and if you make yourself a gin cocktail and remember none of what you learned in the morning, at least you will have a good excuse.

Last funny:

Woman: I love you.
Man: Is that you or the gin talking?
Woman: It’s me talking to the gin.


Photo: my gin shelf, and my new card of honor.