Jabbering Journo column: Gin-eration of trendy botanical boozers

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I like a gin and and tonic as much as the next woman.

After all, it even inspired the name of the radio show hosted by myself Gemma Ray on BBC Radio Lancashire - Grin and Tonic - see what we did there?

(Erm, shameless plug)

Anyway gin is just massive, its popularity this decade rivalling the bad old days in the first half of the 18th century when it became practically a social plague and blamed for an epidemic of extreme drunkenness and general unrest.

It was then the Gin Act of 1751 was brought in, targeting distillers, and aimed at controlling consumption of grain-based booze for which ‘jenever’ shortened to ‘gin’ was the common term.

This worked until the resurgence of ‘gin palaces’ in Victorian times - and until the current ‘ginaissance’, sparked by a loosening of the rules which means distilleries are popping up everywhere.

(You’ll notice the same is not happening with whisky because of strict laws.)

Gin is so popular right now that the spillage of 32,000 litres of the stuff on the M6 the other day in Lancashire registered thousands of comments from readers and world record-breaking numbers of gin jokes.(Fetch me a straw, etc)

But it does beg the question - why is a drink which is basically vodka with botanicals ( a fancy name for herbs and flavours like juniper and coriander) so popular right now?

I mean, I like it, but British sales peaked at £2.2 billion last year- that’s 60 million bottles.

And it’s not cheap like in the old days, averaging at about 20 quid a bottle for your bog standard brands.

You do the maths.

We are all going to be rioting on the streets if history repeats itself.

It could be as simple as old-fashioned stuff, such as dark furniture and boot-cut jeans, are fashionable again.

Or that the current political chaos has pushed us all into a desire for gin-soaked oblivion.

But a lot of people are making a lot of money out of us lot who have moved on from half a lager to alco-pops to Pinot Grigio to Gordons to pricey designer ‘craft’ gin in that order.

We are a new ‘gineration’ of terminally skint fashion-victims - but at least we had a botanical.

READ: 32,000 litres of gin spill on M6