Gin Books Issue Seven

Poolside Reads

Ditch the summer novel as we look at your next gin read

It’s getting to that time of the year where we are turning our attention to summer holidays. For many that means grabbing a book for just about the only time of the year, to enjoy by the pool or on the beach. Rather than going for the run of the mill novel or titillating text, why not check out one of these recent gin reads?

Gin Distilled
Gin Foundry
Ebury Press

Gin Foundry

From the team at Gin Foundry, Gin Distilled is arguably the connoisseur’s choice for a read dedicated to your gin and tonic. It’s a succinct guide to modern craft gin that is bound in a way that make it a perfect gift option for the juniper enthusiast in your life. 

Totalling 128 pages, the guide begins at year 1950, so sets its stall out a little later than many of the other books dedicated to gin. It explores the various triggers for the modern-day gin-boom and the factors that have swept us into a new gin craze. 

Gin Distilled then explores how gin is made and the different legalities that surround botanicals, before delving deeper into the numerous categories, including cocktail recipes for classics and modern takes. A nice touch is a section dedicated to perfecting your G&T with garnishes, tonic and glass shapes.

Available to purchase through and other retailers, this is a great option for those who are familiar with the early history of gin and looking for a close analysis of its more recent history. 

If you’re a fan of the writing style, Gin Foundry also produce the Gin Annual, and 2018/19 is a retrospective of the year just gone. It’s a broad take on the previous 12 months, in this case looking at Hayman’s #CallTimeOnFakeGin campaign, launches including KOVAL’s Raspberry number and stories including life as a brand ambassador for Beefeater. 

These guys really know their stuff and across their titles they’re happy to share that knowledge with you.

Gin A Short History
Moses Jenkins
Shire Publications, Bloomsbury

Gin – A Short History

If you want to understand where gin is today, you could do worse than understanding where it was in the past. While many of us are familiar with Hogarth’s Gin Lane and the less than salubrious history of gin, Moses Jenkins dedicates time and sense to outlining basic principals of gin production, its decline in the 18th century and rise today. 

Breaking up the factual and historical elements are simple cocktail recipes that are likely to give the reader, now furnished with gin knowledge, an opportunity to explore the spirit at their leisure. The guide, which is pretty much pocket sized, takes in brands, cocktails and producers from across the globe. 

With this in mind, Gin, A Short History is a great introduction to gin and its past. Jenkins manages to avoid letting things get too heavy and therefore it’s a perfect read for a simple summertime moment. 

Moses Jenkins works in the field of building conservation and gained a PhD in traditional brickwork in 2016, so it seems that he approaches gin as a topic of interest, rather than with a history in the industry and the passion for the spirit is clear. With this in mind, he reaches out to the reader new to gin with a clarity that makes the book approachable and interesting in equal measure. 

The Gin Clan Scottish Gins and Distilleries
Fiona Laing
Great Northern Books

The Gin Clan

If you have a basic understanding of gin already, then Fiona Laing’s The Gin Clan – Scottish Gins and Distilleries is an excellent tome for narrowing down your enthusiasm for a more specified approach. 

With a thriving gin scene in Scotland, Laing suggests that her research revealed 23 Scottish distilleries went into production in 2018, with 2019 likely to see the ribbon cut on a further 12. With this in mind, focusing on Scotland is an ideal place to start levelling up your gin knowledge, as it increasingly grows as a hub for premium gins. 

Laing opens with an introduction to Scottish gin, the botanicals frequently used in production and speculates on its future. Laing then takes an encyclopaedic approach to listing many of the Scottish gin producers that are out there.

Author Fiona Laing has been writing about Scottish fare for over a decade, initially focusing on whisky, due to connections with an India-based distiller. Having travelled the world, other spirits soon became a subject of interest.

If you’re enthusiastic about Scotland and particularly Scottish fare, or perhaps visiting the country this summer, then grab a copy and start learning more about gin north of the border.

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