If I haven’t already lost you with this title, please stick with me. For over a decade I was one of those of the mindset that gin had its place on the shelves for a certain group of folks and that group wasn’t me. I’m not sure who I thought those folks were, but what I did know was that gin was likely the LAST spirit that would be showing up on my bar bill. Like, I wasn’t even sure that I trusted a “gin drinker”. Maybe it was related to the fact that it was used for two out of two club initiations in college, or maybe I thought college-staple vodka was the king of cheers for a long while and why look elsewhere…
These days I remain on my Vitamin T Tequila rant….being the “upper” of boozes with health and medicinal qualities. I like the history and comfort of it. However, I can always make room for more “spiritual” frands!
Here’s how and why I arrived at my seat on the gin train.
It was one of those days when you have long awaited plans with the girls that evening. It’s the light at the end of the day, or week in some cases. Burning through your to-do list at the speed of light, resilient to challenges– because you have: GIRLS NIGHT. Nothing cracking your mood. Albeit rushed, getting that deserved shower-time with an actual real lather and maybe even a shave. Spinning into some huggy jeans, over-sized earrings and dancy heels. Slinging some thawed dinner at the kiddos while being overly cheery, knowing you should feel guilty for leaving, but actually feeling guilty for NOT feeling guilty. Otherwise known as the “Sorry Not Sorry” syndrome. Blowing kisses flyyying out the door, because even though you’ve been counting down the minutes, something is always holdin’ yer a$$ up.
Finally, you have arrived at your destination. Your friends. Feels of those awkward, over-dramatic tears welling up because the summer schedules have pulled everyone in different directions and now you get to see some of your true blues in the flesh!
On this particular night, with all of the day’s chaos and build-up of emotions, my mind pinched up a little when the sweet fella tending bar asked for my order. As he reached over to give my gal pal (MJM!) her heavenly beverage, I was delightfully suffocated with the wafting aroma of a refreshing summer breeze and cozy happiness.
WHOA- what is that magical concoction, I inquired. The answer: Hendrick’s Gin. And I don’t mind if I do.
In addition, I was just with my mother (long time, vodka devotee) this weekend and long story longer, the same scenario went down. I ordered a Hendrick’s martini, she, shocking herself, fell in delight with this as surprisingly as I did.
I’m telling you. It is darn good. And even better– gin, made from the juniper berry, has many a health bennie (in moderation, blah ;). (side note: The ironical bit for me is that I often pause to think when something has a health benefit, you may have to consume a tank full of it to get said benefit…Thus, if nothing else, maybe this will help you feel better on those mornings when you feel guilty for overdoing it on the gin?) TBD.
- Juniper Berries are a superfood boosting cell regeneration in the skin which help wrinkle reduction and improve skin elasticity. (This appeals to my mom as well, who stated she is no longer accepting health tips at this stage in her life; she has requested “beauty tips only”. ;)
- Juniper Berries are antioxidants that increase the number of enzymes that aid digestion by breaking down food (and helping your body absorb more nutrients), as well as fight infection and build immunity.
- Juniper Berries reduce water retention and help flush out other toxins and bacteria faster than any other booze. (Take that!) This function also assists achy joints, arthritis, gout and inflammation.
- I’ve never tried it out in this sense, though it is saaaaid that the oils in the berries can help relieve coughs and sore throats (especially when mixed with ginger). (worth a shot. literally.)
- Gin neat (or with soda) is one of the lowest calorie drinks on the menu. Additionally, even though the ingredients include wheat, nutritionists say due to its distilled process, it falls in the gluten-free category.
I asked the bartender what went into the making of my delicious little martini the other night. He confidently informed, Hendrick’s Gin, olive juice– then a beastly shake. I’m always a fan of that short and simple ingredient list. (He said vermouth is a thing of the martini past?)
If you want some goodness in your happy hour, shake it up a little while ginnnnning.