Despite already being an on-trend drink for many years, gin remains as trendy as ever. And it’s becoming increasingly local. The latest trend sees it moving away from its roots.
No one thought that the hype would last this long. Gin continues to be a hit with consumers. At the start of the gin wave, lots of industrial products were added to the glass, while nowadays, gin drinkers are more interested in craftsmanship and content.
Monkey 47 distiller Christoph Keller from the “Stählemühle” distillery had a nose for this style of gin very early on. Monkey 47 was the original cult gin and can still be found on the shelves of most trendy bars. Keller has since closed his distillery – but the fame surrounding the legendary Black Forest gin lives on.
Lots of small distillers have jumped on the bandwagon and taken on the gin challenge. Almost every city now has its own local gin – Zurich, for example, has birthed “Turicum”. In most cases, local means that the gin is distilled there. Sometimes local herbs and spices – known as botanicals – are used. The producers in Zurich use hand-picked lime blossom and spruce tips for their “Turicum” gin. Pure alcohol serves as the basis for almost all gins, however, and is bought in. The gin produced by distiller Urs Lüthy from Muhen AG is an exception. He distils the base alcohol himself using sugar beet molasses.
A new gin known as western-style gin has recently emerged. Unusually, juniper berry is not the overriding flavour. It tastes more of berries or rose petals. Experts are disputing whether it’s even a gin at all. This is because the name gin derives from “genever”, the Dutch word for juniper.
In Switzerland, western-style gin is not as widespread as in the English-speaking world. We’ll have to wait and see whether our local distilleries will one day follow suit, or whether they will remain true to the original.