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Did you know that gin was born as a medicine?
It sounds unbelievable, but it really is! And that's not all: his place of baptism is Italy. Yes, because it is at the Salernitana Medical School - the first and most important medical institution of the Middle Ages - that alcohol is distilled for the first time together with the pampering of juniper.. The original purpose was to preserve the therapeutic properties of juniper, making it available at all times of the year. Even today gin is dominated by the scent and flavor of juniper berries.
An ancient tradition attributes the invention of gin as we know it today to the Dutch alchemist Franciscus Sylvius de Bouve. Although it is a fascinating legend, the fact is that a distilled malt-based drink called "Jenever", softened with juniper berries that reinforced its medicinal effect, was used in the Netherlands as a drug as early as the 16th century. .
It was in the seventeenth century, when the Dutch Republic allied with England in the war against Spain, that the British learned about Jenever and modified its recipe, creating a new distillate which they baptized "gin". However, classic Jenever is still drunk and enjoyed in its native country.
Alembic for the distillation of alcohol in an eighteenth-century print