Gin is very much in fashion, so on 19 March, the Worshipful Company of Actuaries met at the Merchant House, just off Cheapside (like the proverbial iceberg, small and unprepossessing above ground, but cavernous beneath) for a tasting masterclass!
Gin originated in the Netherlands, and the first two we tasted were along the lines of the original - tan in colour and tasting like a weak brandy.
London then became the gin capital, with the drink soon known as 'mother's ruin'. The clear London gins, flavoured with juniper berries, were a challenge to drink neat. We then tasted the Navy gin, which brought tears to our eyes. We were all crying out for tonic!
For those who think 'gin is gin', the Merchant House is worth a visit, boasting 300 gins, 400 brandies and 500 whiskies. So it would take a few visits for anyone completing the set!
We learned a great deal about gin from an excellent tutor and then enjoyed a good 'London gin and tonic'. Supper afterwards at the Ye Olde Wattling House pub rounded off a great evening.