Gin: that glorious spirit with a refreshing bite that turns a day at the beach into a hazy, half-remembered blur of pointless arguments,botched attempts at sexual congress, and ultimately, tears. Why we love this unholy spawn of the juniper berry.
The word gin comes from the French word for juniper, genevrier. It was reputedly invented by Dutchman Franciscus Sylvius in the seventeenth century, when it was marketed as a cure for everything from gallstones to gout. The English navy, after getting its ass handed to it one too many times by the Dutch navy, decided that the only way a man could possibly fight that hard was if he was shitfaced, which is where the phrase "Dutch courage" originated. (After all, it couldn't be that the English were a bunch of panty-waisted fops who were about to lose a war to one of their own colonies half a world away or anything) By the time Britain got around to conquering half the world, it realized that malaria was rampant in tropical climates, and the limey bastards lacked the sickle cell trait that protected members of the indigenous tribes from harm. Some pharmaceutical genius figured out that dissolving quinine in carbonated water protected one from the ravages of the disease, but how could a nation famous for ingesting such monstrosities as kidney pie and blood pudding ever stomach the awful taste of this so-called "Tonic water?" Simple: by adding it to gin, a staple of the British diet. ("Throw in a lime and we've got scurvy beat too- hot damn I'm on a roll!" -pharmaceutical genius, 1847) Thus was born the Gin and Tonic, a drink so good that it actually saved lives during the nightmarish period historians call "The Nineteenth century." Moving on, we have Gin and juice, a drink popularized by mixologists Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre sometime in the early 1990s. We here at Cracked are uncertain if anyone had previously experimented with the simple combination of gin and juice prior to their discovery of it, but what cannot be denied is its ability to make one feel "laid back;" it has also been known as a favorite beverage of accountants, bankers, and anyone else interested in fiscal affairs, causing the imbiber to put his "mind on his money and his money on his mind." Finally, we have the cadillac of gin drinks, the martini. While recent years have seen a resurgence in flavored martinis largely made with infused vodkas, we all know that gin can mop the floor with vodka any day of the week and must be regarded as the kingshit of martini ingredients. A delicious combination of gin and dry vermouth garnished with an olive, this drink helped to sustain the mid-twentieth century American business world's obsession with alcoholism (popularized in the sadly extinct "three martini lunches) and has been a national favorite for over a hundred years. Although typically associated with the upper class, the martini's combination of booze with more booze originally bore the slogan, "It'll fuck you up," but it was quickly retired after an enterprising glass maker figured out he could sell a shitload of top heavy glasses likely to spill if he could only reach the coveted "rich asshole" demographic. (The slogan was changed to "Makes you appear classy, wealthy, and a little bit like a jerk"- he sold a million glasses and retired to Amsterdam, where he joined the Dutch Navy)