• HAYES Gin


As it’s Sunday, the perfect day for a Gin & Tonic, we thought we would start our new HAYES Gin Blog with a brief history of our favourite drink. Gone are the days of drinking your G&T in a short Tom Collins glass with ice and a slice, as I remember making for my grandmother on a Saturday night. Today’s craft gins have more high quality botanicals that bring new complex flavour profiles to this simple cocktail.

Brief History of Gin & Tonic

The earliest known written reference to gin go as far back as the 13th century in Belgium. In the 17th century, besides the juniper berry, the Dutch added aniseed and coriander and it was sold in pharmacies as a medicine for gallstones, indigestion and gout. During 1700-1735 thousands of gin shops opened across London as there was no tax on gin and the consumption of gin increased rapidly. Scenes of drunkenness across London led to the Gin Act of 1736 which imposed high taxes on the drink and led to riots in the streets.

Scottish doctor George Cleghorn discovered that quinine could prevent and treat malaria. In the 19th century British officers in India were instructed to take quinine, however its bitter taste was unpleasant leading them to mix it with water, sugar, lime and gin and the Gin & Tonic was born. More recently around 2000, after gin had long fallen out of favour with consumers, craft distillers saw a blank canvas and started experimenting by adding new flavours to gin. This has led to the gin renaissance with consumers now having an amazing choice of craft gins.

Who Created the Perfect G&T?

The Dutch popularised gin, the British added the tonic, but it’s the Spanish who perfected how to serve a perfect Gin-Tonic in a Copa de Balon (a large bowl glass), with large ice cubes and peeled fruit garnishes that are tailored to the flavours of the gin. The Copa de Balon originates from the Basque region of Spain. It is said that the glass became popular when Michelin star chefs from the Basque area started drinking their Gin-Tonics in Copas de Balon to keep it cool in the hot kitchens. Filled with ice and because the long stemmed base helped keep the drink away from hot kitchen counters, the drink remained cold until end.

Why drink HAYES Gin & Tonic almost naked.
Almost naked HAYES Gin and Tonic

Why use a Bowl Glass?

There are two main reasons why you should drink your G&T in a Copa de Balon. Aromas form up to 80% of our food and drink taste. The large and wide bowl glass enables us to take in those aromas as we drink, improving the experience and helping to truly capture the gin's botanicals. The large bowl glass also allows for big ice cubes. These cubes take longer to melt therefore allowing us more time to enjoy our drink without it getting diluted. If you don’t currently use a Copa de Balon with large ice cubes, give it a try. It will completely change your G&T drinking experience forever…… size really does matter!

The Garnish

Today’s handcrafted gins from independent distilleries have many high quality ingredients and botanicals. Different garnishes are able to bring out aromas and flavour profiles from these caringly crafted gins. Orange, grapefruit and lemon peel zests, cucumber, mint and other garnishes can enhance the gin and tonic experience. However, we try to discourage people from having the uncontrollable urge to put half the content of their fridge in our gins. HAYES unique complex flavours should be enjoyed almost naked (no, not topless or in a pair of Speedos) but simply with just lots of large ice, premium Indian tonic and a little of your favorite garnish.…..

Where can you buy Copa de Balon.

Many large high street retailers now stock Copas de Balon. The HAYES Gin Shop also stocks very high quality blue and red stem Copas de Balon. We also sell custom glasses which are hand painted and make great gifts.

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