Gin and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • Did you know that gin is flavored vodka?

    It’s a Dutch invention. The word itself comes from the Dutch word jenever, which in English is genever, in French genievre — all of which derive from the Latin juniperus — and this goes far in explaining why the predominant flavor of gin is juniper berry.

    The word gin is simply a truncated version of the word genever.

    A Dutch physician named Francois de Boe Sylvius, who, incidentally, was one of the earliest defenders of the theory of blood circulation, did not invent gin, as is often supposed. But he did create his own recipe, and in so doing he did much to popularize the spirit.

    The English discovered gin when, in the 17th century, the were fighting the Eighty Years’ War, and they saw Dutch soldiers drinking jenever before going into battle. This is also where the phrase “Dutch courage” comes from: Dutch courage is liquid courage.

    The martini is essentially a Manhattan, but it’s made with gin instead of whiskey.

    Nobody can pinpoint for sure the precise origins of either cocktail, but one thing is almost universally agreed upon: the Manhattan came first.

    Here are some gin cocktails you’ve probably never had before:







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The sawed-off shotgun of literary pulp.

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