Gin exists as a favourite drink for many Australians. But, do you know the true and unique history of Navy Strength Gin?

“The gin and tonic has saved more Englishmen’s lives, and minds, than all the doctors in the Empire”

Winston Churchill
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Gin is a versatile drink that can be just as easily enjoyed on a beach with your closest mates spinning tales of past adventures and on a night out to your favourite bar and club. Yet, many do not know the history of this gin that is making a modern resurgence. That gin is the infamous Navy Strength Gin, and, if you take a closer look you may notice the alcohol content…

Navy Strength is a mighty 57% ABV

It is a well known fact that alcohols such as Vodka and regular strength Gin are hard hitting at 40% ABV. Navy Strength, by definition must be at least 57.15%.

Gin and the Royal British Navy

HMS Victory work starts to prevent warship's collapse - BBC News
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The popularity of Gin is in large part due to its dispersion and integration into foreign cultures at the hands of the Royal British Navy.

Enlisted soldiers drank rum, and Naval officers drank gin.

And this 57% ABV is due to a more obvious reason than you may initially suspect.

In the times when Gin and Rum were consumed on-board naval vessels, it was stored in barrels below decks alongside gunpowder. Had the barrels been broken during battle or started leaking due to the wears of time, naval officers had to know that the gunpowder was still usable.

Gin that was over 57.15% ABV allowed Gin contaminated gunpowder to still be lit and used effectively.

What is proof?

In the U.K. and its various colonies, ‘proof’ is a direct throwback to the ability for Gin not to render gunpowder unusable.

Therefore, at 57.15% Navy Strength Gin is 100 proof whereas a spirit like Vodka would only be 70 proof.

How do I drink Navy Strength Gin?

Remember that all Gins taste different! And, that alcohol content changes the flavour of Gin. Navy Strength Gin goes perfectly in a G&T and I personally prefer it over normal strength Gin in a G&T. I find that the flavours are more unique and enhanced and I like the extra kick that it seems to provide. This being said, do not forget that Navy Strength sits at a formidable 57% ABV.

Stay safe and enjoy responsibly!

Thankyou for reading about the unique history of Navy Strength Gin!

Read more about Navy Strength Gin in my recent review of Botanic Australia Navy Strength Gin!

Copyright: Mt. Uncle Distillery

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