After years of in the shadows of the likes of vodka, gin is now officially the most popular alcoholic spirit in the UK, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).

‘Hooray!’, gin lovers all over the country are rejoicing as it’s finally the time for gin to shine.

It hasn’t been plain sailing in its rise to the summit, though. In fact, it’s had a pretty infamous history since its creation in the 16th century.

For example, did you know that gin can lay claim to the term ‘Dutch Courage’? No, neither did we.

It is believed that English soldiers were drinking Jenever, the traditional liquor of the Netherlands and Belgium from which gin evolved, during the Dutch War of Independence in the 16th and 17th centuries to calm their nerves and warm their bodies before battle. Alternatively, others believe that it was the brave qualities shown by their Dutch, Jenever-drinking counterparts that was dubbed ‘Dutch Courage’. Either way, we have gin to thank.

It became increasingly popular in England in the 18th century and can be blamed for several riots and acts of crime during what was known as the Gin Craze. At this point it was considered a ‘poor man’s drink’ due to its relative low price. But following the Gin Act of 1751, where laws were put in place about its production, gin slowly but surely made its way to the high society that we saw it feature in television programmes such as Downton Abbey.

There have been several other high-profile film and television appearances for gin in recent years. The rejuvenation of James Bond under Daniel Craig, similar to that of the drink in question, saw the creation of his ‘Vesper’ cocktail in Casino Royale. Even Mary Berry got excited about gin during an episode of the Great British Bake Off that produced a ‘gin & tonic drizzle cake’. You can’t deny that does sound tasty.

And we’ve got the perfect recipe too…

Our Gin Palace at The Royal Cambridge Hotel has the sublime combination of comfort, decor and, of course, gin. We currently have 25 different gins available? and are always on the lookout for new recruits for our list. It’s just the tonic for an ideal evening of enjoyment with friends and family; however you wish to spend it.