January is a month that sort of has a split personality, which is kind of fitting because it’s named after the Roman god Janus, a deity that is not only known as the god of beginnings but is also known as the god of duality.
We say that this month has a split personality because on one hand it’s observed as Dry January and on the other hand it’s observed as Ginuary — a month-long celebration of gin and gin-based cocktails. This is a month to enjoy this distilled alcoholic beverage that derives its flavor from juniper berries and makes a mean gin and tonic, gin fizz, or Tom Collins.
The History Of Ginuary
The origin of gin has been attributed to Franciscus Sylvius, a professor of medicine at the University of Leiden in Holland during the 17th century. He distilled juniper berries with spirits to make an inexpensive medicine that had the diuretic properties of juniper berry oil.
The beverage quickly became popular and was introduced to England when soldiers returned from the Low Countries. This drink got its name from the French name for juniper berry Genievre. This was shortened to genever by the Dutch and then shortened even further by the English to create the word gin.
Some Quick Facts About Gin
What’s more irresistible than a nice gin-based drink? How about some nice facts about gin? We’ve assembled quite a few of the facts that we uncovered while researching this holiday, and we think everyone reading today will appreciate them.
- Technically, Genever is the spirit of the Netherlands, and Gin was developed in London.
- Gin was born in 1689, or around that time.
- The Hot Gin Twist was a popular drink in London in the 19th century.
Ginuary is best observed with some good friends and some high-quality gin. Once those two things have been assembled, people can throw a party and make a variety of gin-based beverages. Some of our favorite gin-based drinks include an Aviation Cocktail, French 75, Bramble, and Greyhound Cocktail. No matter what gin-based drink you enjoy just be sure to use the hashtag #Ginuary to spread the word about this month far and wide.