From Winston Churchill to TS Elliot, JG Ballard to James Bond, gin has been the staple palate-pleaser of legends both real and imagined for generations. Eschewing the macho swagger of whisky and seductive urban joie de vivre of vodka, gin has always been a sophisticated spirit that whispers rather than shouts, quietly content to take a back seat to its sexier and more popular cousins – until now.
Gin is undergoing a renaissance. A resurgence in cocktail culture and its relative ease of production have giving rise to waves of new artisan gins from all over the globe. “Gin is – and has been for four years at least – our most popular spirit category. It’s also showing no signs of slowing as it grows by around 30 per cent yearly,” says Chris Hysted-Adams, general manager of Melbourne’s famous Black Pearl bar.