1897 Quinine Gin is named to commemorate the work of Sir Ronald Ross, who in 1897 discovered how malaria is transmitted by mosquitos. Unfortunately malaria is still with us today, which is why a percentage of the profits of this gin go to Malaria No More UK (at least £5), which is enough to buy, deliver and hang a mosquito net to a family living at risk from malaria in Africa.
1897 Quinine Gin includes a range of botanicals - juniper, coriander, angelica, nutmeg, cassia, cinnamon, orris, liquorice, pink and white grapefruit, orange and lemon peels. The unique ingredient however is cinchona bark, that magical bark that was once used to treat fever and which gave birth to the quinine tonic we so love to have with our gin. In essence this is the history of gin in a bottle. This bounty of ingredients is distilled to strong 45.8%. The bottle itself looks solid and robust, with an intricate art-nouveau like label, which makes it stand out from the crowd.
Let us start with a lesson in folklore. The legend of Silent Pool goes back to the 13th century (or the Ye Olde days to you and me) and tells of a young woodcutter's daughter who lived in the local forest.
She was bathing in the pool (as young maidens often seem to do in these stories). Whilst going about her medieval oblations she was alerted by the sounds of approaching riders. Being somewhat naked she moved to a deeper part of the lake to protect her modesty. The stranger on the horse saw her, and his thoughts moved on from his daily horse ride on to other things. He tried to lure her out of the water which panicked the young woman who moved further into the lake where, unable to swim, she drowned. The horseman galloped away, and disappeared into the forest.