HISTORY OF GIN
The name ”gin” is a shortened form of the older English word genever, related to the French word genièvre and the Dutch word jenever. All ultimately derive from juniperus, the Latin for juniper.
Historically, the term “Dry Gin” came about with the advent of the Coffey still in 1832, long after the Gin Craze had driven London to distraction. Named after one of its early proponents and patent-holders, Irishman Aeneas Coffey, the Coffey Still was the first commercialized continuous still. Unlike pot stills, Coffey stills can be run continuously, with pre-heated mash introduced while the fractionating column continues to operate.
Prior to this, gin had been made quite rudely and was of such a poor quality that it needed to be jazzed up with plenty of botanicals with sweetening properties (like liquorice root) and sometimes even sugar or honey added post distillation to make it more palatable. Once the Coffey still came into action and a more neutral spirit of better quality was available, unsweetened gin started gaining popularity and became known as “Dry Gin”. As most dry gin producers were based in London, the products were sometimes referred to as “London Dry Gin.”