The Liverpool Confidential introduces us to a new organic Liverpool gin with a little bit of history on the side:
Organic Liverpool Gin is being produced by Belvedere pub landlord John O’Dowd in a joint venture with Liverpool Organic Brewery.
Shaken not stirred: John O’DowdThe new still is based in Kirkdale and will be producing a “super premium” product made from organic spirit and organic botanicals, including, of course, the juniper berry.
In times gone by, all the big port cities produced their own gin. British troops fighting in the Low Countries during the Thirty Years’ War were given ‘Dutch Courage’ during the long campaigns in the damp weather through the warming properties of gin. Eventually they started bringing it back home with them, where already it was often sold in chemists’ shops. Distillation was taking place in a small way in England, but it now began on a greater scale, though the quality was often very dubious.
Nevertheless, the new drink became a firm favourite with the poor, so much so that in the 18th century, Lord Hervey declared: ‘Drunkenness of the common people was universal, the whole town of London swarmed with drunken people from morning till night.’
William Hogarth in his ‘Gin Lane’, an engraving of about this period, portrays a scene of idleness, vice and misery, leading to madness and death.’ And we all remember the Mathew Street Festival.
For a pub best known for its real ale drinkers, they do pour a very classy gin and tonic in the Belvedere these days and the Organic Liverpool Gin, refreshing and deliciously dry, is set to become a feature in bars around the city.