Distilled spirits have been with us for a very long time, and all of them have rich histories covering the sometimes mysterious origins of their use. While spirits have long been used medicinally, only one started as a medicine and then became a mixer for one of the most important medicines in history. This delicious, smooth drink is distilled from the berries of the Juniper tree, and can trace its origins back to an older drink from Denmark known as Jenever.

History of Gin Day

Gin Day was established by England’s own connoisseur of the juniper-based drink, the Gin Monkey. Emma, the titular Gin Monkey, has been a huge fan of cocktails of all kind and has worked throughout the Newcastle, London, and Leeds area in multiple cocktail bars. Taking this experience to the streets she created her Gin Monkey site, put together with the intent of saving intrepid bar-hoppers from finding the worst of the alcohol joints at their destination.

After having had an incredibly hard time finding anything worth drinking when she first arrived in London, she decided someone had to solve this problem for other travelers, and it might as well be her. Since then she’s taken a dedicated role in providing independent and impartial views of the gin joints in her area… well, they serve more than Gin, but one is allowed to have a favorite, wouldn’t you say?

But Gin has had a noble history as a medicine as well, or rather, as a way to make medicine more palatable. Quinine is the distillation of the ground bark of the cinchona tree, which produced a tonic that was capable of treating Malaria. Unfortunately, the quinine was incredibly bitter and gin was used to cut it. The flavor caught on, and to this day the Tonic in the Gin and Tonic contains the slightest bit of quinine to capture the flavor of the original.

How to Celebrate Gin Day

Celebrating Gin Day is best done by diving straight in and experimenting with some of the drinks that Gin has made amazing. Take a look at Buzzfeed for a list of drinks that are out of this world, and don’t forget to check in with the Gin Monkey to get the updated list of the best places in the world to have a smashingly good cocktail! Gin Day is the best day (other than yesterday and tomorrow) to have a nice Gin Cocktail!