A Genteel Tipple through Gin Literature explores the history of the spirit
Sip your way through an alcoholic literary history with Hendrick's at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe
This article is from 2013.
When Samuel Pepys wrote in his diary, in 1663, that two friends 'did advise me to take some juniper water', he was documenting the most zeitgeisty drink of the time. A century later, Hogarth's Gin Laneengraving depicted the decay and devastation caused by excessive public consumption of the spirit. Gin slurs tipsily in and out of fashion and art across the ages, but though it hasn't always been trendy, it has always had a tale to tell.
A Genteel Tipple Through Gin in Literature, hosted by Hendrick's and moving from the Carnival of Knowledge at One Royal Circus to the Bon Vivant's Companion this week, gathers together a library of gin references and gin-fuelled storytelling in literature, served alongside some cocktails specially designed to complement the readings.
It's a chance to take a botanically scented trip through literary history, dropping in on Dickens and David Copperfield (with a taste of Mr Micawber's reassuring hot spiced punch), F Scott Fitzgerald's raucous parties at the home of Jay Gatsby, Dorothy Parker's pithy cocktail-soaked poems and Ian Fleming, whose hero drinks maybe the most famous gin cocktail of all: the martini. The organisers at Hendrick's are seemingly untroubled by the fact that James Bond himself specified a preference for Gordon's in Casino Royale.
Expect to be surprised by some of the more obscure literary allusions to mother's ruin, and do a little ruining of your own (responsibly, of course) as you sip your juniper. Pepys would surely approve.
Bon Vivant's Companion, 225 6055, until 15 Aug, 7pm, £12 (drinks included).