London 1639: The Guild Company of Distiller was founded. In order to regulate the production of spirits and liquors and guard the secrets of distillation, it published ‘The distiller of London’ for the sole use of members of the guild.
Given that Gin was a relatively new and profitable trade, the Guild had a vested interest in educating its members. The decision to write in code of course, was the most logical way to restrict its readership post publication: a decision that ended up being very frustrating for us who are keen to relaunch the gin from when it all started!
To break the code, we headed to the British Library in London to look at the records of the Company of Distillers to unravel the secret. These records dated all the way back to the 16th century.
After trawling through hundreds of documents, we still hadn’t found the key and we hit a dead end. Therefore, we decided to seek the help of one of the British Library’s curators who happened to be a respected food and drink historian. Yet even then, after months of research, we still weren’t able to break the code! It seemed the secret had disappeared in history!
This was the moment the Gin1689 team made the decision to use the ingredients mentioned in the old recipe. And for the specific amounts we used the knowledge of our distillery partner Herman Jansen –based in Schiedam, Holland, the Gin & Genever capital of the world- whose experience dates back to 1777.
So after 350 years, we are proud to present to you Gin1689: a gin based on recipe XXXIII of ‘The distiller of London’.
Gin1689 beautifully combines juniper with dried quince and pippin (apple), lemon and orange peel, nutmeg, aniseed and clove.
It's as modern as you like!