Exploring The History And Comeback Of Navy Strength Gin
Image Credit: iStock

Gin is a popular alcoholic beverage among Brits, and they take their gin extremely seriously. Gin has been a British staple for centuries, and the Victorians were well-known for indulging in it. Gin was commonly consumed instead of water because it was cleaner.

Recently, there has been a renaissance in the spirit, with several artisan producers producing handmade, locally produced Gin. With so many distinct alternatives, which one should you choose next? Many Brits would recommend trying Navy Strength Gin.

When it comes to distilled spirits, few terms evoke as much strength and tradition as "Navy Strength" Gin. This distinct classification has a rich history rooted in naval tradition, and it has become a symbol of quality and potency in the world of gin production. Let's look into the history of Navy Strength Gin and discover the stories behind this iconic libation.

What Is Navy Strength Gin?

Even the most resilient sailors would have hair on their chests from drinking Navy Strength Gin, which has a high-proof level of 114 and an ABV of a minimum of 57%. Due to its blend of grains grown locally, the spirit is well-known for its purity and can be enjoyed as an evening sip or as the ideal mixer for gin connoisseurs.

Throughout naval history, "Navy Strength Gin," which was created in the eighteenth century, has been crucial. It was preferred by the British Navy because it provided a safe drinking alternative for the crew and was used to dilute the unpleasant-tasting quinine that sailors were required to take as a preventative measure against scurvy.

The quality of the libation, however, was debatable. Some people had problems with the gin's potency, and occasionally the spirit was excessively runny. The sailors were not fools, and they refused to pay for the overpriced, inferior beverage. So they devised a method to determine the high-proof level of their gin.

Gin was tested by combining it with a small quantity of gunpowder, then using a magnifying glass and the sun's radiation to light the concoction. The key indicators were a hazy flame or an inability to ignite. This indicated that the gin's strength was insufficient. If the gin burned, the spirit met the required proof level, which is at least 57% ABV.

History Of Navy Strength Gin

British Navy sailors were issued a daily ration of rum beginning in the middle of the 1700s. A "tot" was what they called it, and up until July 31, 1970, the custom of distributing "tots" every day endured for over 200 years. A great deal of leftover rum was present when it finished, in addition to a lot of dejected British sailors. Since its flavour was superb and the techniques for distilling it were no longer in use, a large portion of it was sold for exorbitant amounts.

It was logical. Water, beer, and wine would spoil swiftly in the past when liquids were kept in wooden barrels on ships. Something that had a lot more alcohol wouldn't be able to spoil. The solution was rum. And it was beneficial for morale because getting the sailors wasted every day prevented them from deserting.

However, Royal Navy officials drank gin, while sailors drank rum. Imports from Asia and Africa made it feasible to use unusual spices in gin. Part of the reason gin is so popular worldwide is that sailors discovered many new towns on new continents.

Why Is It Called The Navy Strength Gin?

The term "Navy Strength" refers to gins over 57% ABV that has a stronger flavour and, in contrast to London Dry Gin, a creamier, richer flavour. In recent times, there has been a little resurgence of interest in Navy Strength Gin due to its smooth taste that goes well with cocktails and has been a favourite among the British for hundreds of years.

How To Drink Navy Strength Gin?

There are two main motivations behind distillers producing Navy Strength Gin. A lower ABV means missing out on the subtleties of this unique kind of gin. In addition to the gin's richer, warmer mouthfeel, more alcohol alters how botanicals taste and respond. Navy Strength Gin is frequently "dryer" as well, so if you enjoy Martinis, this style will be perfect for you. A Negroni goes well with Navy Strength Gin as well.