This is not just a gin and tonic, this is Boe Superior Gin with ice and a slice

A splash and a dash of gin and tonic

A splash and a dash of gin and tonic

Gin and Tonic – the quintessential summer cocktail, and all year round!

But who was the clever person who invented it? . Despite conflicting sources, it originated in 1658 when a Dutch professor of medicine,  Franciscus de la Boe (1614-1642) was trying to concoct a cure for stomach complaints. He investigated the diuretic properties of juniper berries and unwittingly created this alcoholic infusion which he named Genever.

Franz de la Boe

Franciscus (Franz) de la Boe

Once introduced into Britain, there began a Gin Craze with high consumption across all classes leading to the term “Mother’s Ruin”.  A tax was introduced in 1736 but this merely encouraged people to distill their own illegal liquor and open secret gin drinking dens. Due to licencing laws, the gin craze ended by the end of the 18th century.

Gin palace pubs 18th century London

Gin palace pubs 18th century London

But it was the love affair of gin and tonic during the British Raj in India and across the Colonies, which developed the aperitif as a distinctly classy cocktail. Again this was seen as medicinal as a key component of tonic water is quinine, an anti-malarial alkaloid from the bark of the cinchona tree. With a slice of lime or lemon, (a daily dose of Vitamin C), it was the perfect tipple when living in the tropics.

The drink of choice of the British Raj in India

Classy, classic, the superior drink of choice

The light, dry and refreshing Gin we drink today is a spirit based on either grain or molasses which is tasteless. The flavour comes from Botanicals which vary from producer to producer and are regarded as very much of a trade secret. All gins include Juniper with a selection of herbs and spices – coriander, lemon peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel, angelica and cardamon. Typically, fine gin contains between six and ten botanicals.

It’s a fascinating history which keeps developing due to the ingenious gin distillers, many of which are based in Scotland.  World famous for Scotch whisky,  but today we are also renowned for producing the finest Gin – a new spirit for Scotland.

Boe Superior Gin

Boe Superior Gin

Boë Superior Gin, the premium spirit from Stirling-based VC² Brands, has been awarded Silver in the Contemporary Gin category at the 2014 World Gin Awards.

This very special, highly acclaimed gin created in the village of Doune is described as “Clean, spiced and strikingly refreshing”.

The World Gin Awards are part of the prestigious World Drinks Awards programme, launched in 2007 with the World Whiskies Awards and World Beer Awards. Presented by, the World Gin Awards select, reward and promote the best Gin Taste and Design.

Boë Superior Gin is of course named after the Dutch inventor, Franciscus (Franz) de la Boë, and the high a.b.v. (47%), reflects the original concept of the high-alcoholic Genever.

Distilled in small batches using the Carterhead Still ensures the botanical vapours are preserved. Boë has a distinctive flavour due to the selection of a dozen key botanicals, herbs and spices. Juniper berries are the essential ingredient together with an ingenious blend of Coriander, Angelica, Ginger, Orris Root and Cassia Bark – or Chinese cinnamon, Orange and Lemon peel, Cardamom Seeds, Liquorice, Almonds and the peppery tones of the Cubeb Berry.

Graham Coull, director of VC² Brands, commented: “To see Boë Superior Gin receive this accolade is a great day for our business and proves that Boë is a world class product capable of holding its own in the global drinks market.

gin lemon

So now for my own tasting and testing of this award winning World Class Gin, in the company of my sister in law, Ruth, a serious gin connoisseur.

After extensive research – ensuring correct measures of a splash and a dash, the gin and tonic, the ice & slice – we found the Boë gin to be extremely delectable to sip and savour.

With an abv of 47% it is strong on the alcoholic front but this comes through as warmth when combined with the right flavours.

Consisting of 13 botanicals there’s a multitude of flavours that come through – hints of vanilla, ginger and coriander but overall a clean, slightly spicy but refreshing gin.

We tried it on its own drizzled over ice and with cucumber, lime and lemon. Lemon complemented it the best – we then detected on the taste buds a soupcon of orange and lemon peel in it somewhere along the line.

gin with lemon

A slice of lime was too harsh a contrast and the cucumber just didn’t work at all. It just shows the extraordinary range of Gins where some brands can only properly be sipped with cucumber to bring out the depth of flavour.

When mixed with tonic again the lemon came out on top, but this makes sense if there are hints of lemon in the actual gin. It would probably mix well in cocktails too given the complex aromatic taste. (see recipes below)

And a final word from Ruth, the expert gin drinker ..

“As I nowadays only enjoy a gin with lime, it surprised me how much I enjoyed this one with lemon – I know shouldn’t be a gin snob! So overall a very pleasant gin, well balanced , fresh, citrusy and moreish!

And yes I would buy this one again – I prefer it to Gordon’s, Bombay and Edinburgh Gin – hard to beat Hendricks though – but two very different gins.”

The good news is that Gin is so, so glamorous and fashionable now with speciality gin bars, and expert mixologists suggesting selected styles of tonic, slices of apple, lime, orange or cucumber to match each distinctively different brand of gin.

A new Gin Craze is certainly here in Scotland – Cheers!
(And thank you Mr Franz de la Boë )

Boe Tahiti

  • 1 1/2 on Boë Gin
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp grenadine syrup

In a shaker half-filled with ice cubes, combine all of the ingredients. Shake well. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Boe Martini

  • 2 ounces Boë Gin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry vermouth or to taste
  • Olive or lemon twist

Stir Boë Gin and vermouth in a mixing glass with plenty of ice. Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the olive or lemon twist.

gin drink gin and tonic

About vivdevlin

I am an international travel writer, specialising in luxury travel, hotels, restaurants, city guides, cruises, islands, train and literary-inspired journeys. I review dance and theatre, Arts Festivals and love the visual arts. I have just experienced an epic voyage, circumnavigating the globe, following in the wake of Captain Cook, Mark Twain and Robert Louis Stevenson.

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