The Botany of Gin by Chris Thorogood and Simon Hiscock, book review
A beautifully illustrated book that tells the story of this iconic drink, through the aromatic plants that are used in its production.
The Botany of Gin
by Chris Thorogood and Simon Hiscock
Bodleian Libraries in association with Oxford Botanic Garden
£15. ISBN 978-1851245536
I had the pleasure of reading this lovely book one hot afternoon in a shady spot of the garden. Naturally, I mixed myself a large G&T to enhance the experience and the more I read, the more I appreciated each sip. The introduction takes us through the fascinating history of gin that begins with its use as a medicine in Ancient Greece, then takes us through its introduction to England from the Netherlands in the 16th century and the ‘gin craze’ of the 18th century, which reduced London to ‘the most lawless and drunken city in Europe’, to its subsequent prohibition. Later gin saw a renaissance in the 19th century and its increasing popularity today. Methods of making gin are also discussed, resulting in the vast range of classical, contemporary and artisan gins we have today.
The plants truly tell the story of this complex drink
The majority of this book is dedicated to the botanicals, a huge and diverse range of aromatic plants. These are sourced from all over the world and are the plants that truly tell the story of this complex drink. Each plant has a page of its own, with detailed description, geographical distribution and information on its use. Chris Thorogood's exquisite botanical illustrations are almost reason enough to buy this book. Each one is a beautiful work of art. However, this is far more than a pretty picture book. Chris and Simon’s deep knowledge, understanding and appreciation of both gin and the plants, opens our eyes to the subtleties and complexities of the blending of this range of plant-based flavours.
Anyone who enjoys a good gin and tonic will enjoy this book, and its concise information about the extraordinary range of botanicals now used is likely to inspire further exploration of the many exciting varieties of this well loved spirit. The Botany of Gin will make a very welcome addition to the bookshelf in our bar at Gravetye Manor.
Don't miss our piece on the best botanical gins to buy
Head gardener at Gravetye Manor in East Sussex, Tom is currently developing William Robinson’s historic garden.
FIX YOUR PRICE FOR THE YEAR- HALF PRICE SALE!
Special offer to celebrate RHS Chelsea Flower Show! Get a whole year of Gardens Illustrated magazine for just £30 and FIX YOUR PRICE!- saving over 50%. Subscribe today and enjoy beautiful places, top planting ideas and expert advice for your garden. *Offer ends 1st July 2022. This offer is only available to UK residents paying by Direct Debit
Container Gardening Special Edition
The Gardens Illustrated Guide to Container Gardening. In this special edition, discover colourful flower combinations and seasonal planting schemes for pots designed by leading plantspeople, and essential know-how for container gardening success. Just £9.99 inc UK p&p
Gardens of the Globe
Discover some of the most glorious gardens from around the world.Find out more