Gin is a liquor made from juniper berries and popularly drank as a highball cocktail combined with tonic. It is a well-enjoyed drink with the internet abounding with personalized gift bottles and gin-themed decorative sets for all the gin lovers out there. Even the elegant gin labels reflect its status as a spirit of luxury and class.
However, few know about this spirit’s original intended purpose. Before gin drinking became a widespread phenomenon, gin was used to treat gallstones, kidney ailments, gout and the likes way back in the mid-17th century Holland.
However, it’s alternative uses are still relevant today.
Read on to know more about the different ways you can use this drink in your day-to-day life besides drinking.
Gin in Cooking
It is well-known that alcoholic drinks are often used as flavoring ingredients to cook up delicious meals. Since gin has strong herbal and floral flavors, it is wise to use small quantities so as not to overwhelm the other flavors of your dish.
Gin works well with lean meat like chicken and also goes nicely with seafood like Crayfish and shrimp. If you are interested in experimenting with gin in your cooking, you can make dishes such as Gin-Gingered Prawns and Pasta with Creamy Gin Sauce.
Since alcohol evaporates at a lower temperature than water, replacing a portion of water with gin as an ingredient of your pie crust will result in a more flavourful and flakier crust. This will especially work great with savory pot pies.
Besides savory dishes, you can also make a number of desserts using gin as an ingredient. Good news for all those with a sweet tooth out there – desserts like Gin Cheesecake, Gin and Tonic Cake, and Rhubarb and Gin Sorbet actually exist!
If you are fond of pickles, you will love this tip. You can make your own pickled cucumbers at home by adding gin, tonic water, and lime juice to cucumber in a jar.
You can also add a shot or two of gin to store-bought pickle jars to give the flavor a boost.
Gin-pickled cucumbers are great for the summers as they give a cool and crunchy edge to your burgers, sandwiches, and salads!
Arthritis Pain Relief
Dealing with arthritis pain? Don’t worry, the anti-inflammatory properties of juniper berries are here to the rescue.
Eating golden raisins, soaked in gin for about a week, works miraculously to cure that stubborn arthritic pain allowing you to go about your day-to-day activities without a hurdle.
Neat spirits have higher levels of ethyl alcohol giving them bactericidal properties. So if you hard pressed to find a regular mouthwash nearby, we recommend using a bit of neat gin.
Its antimicrobial properties will help cleanse your mouth and leave a refreshing herbal taste in your mouth.
You can also add a few drops of thyme oil to enhance the herbal aftertaste.
If you’re looking for the piney aroma of juniper to invade your home, here’s a quick homemade recipe for an air freshener.
Mix 1 oz of gin with 6 oz of filtered water and 20-30 drops of essential oil. You can use it in a regular spray bottle or a diffuser.
Jasmine or peppermint oil will work great in this combination, however, you can always experiment with other essential oils depending on your taste.
Gin works as an excellent cleaning agent. You can clean your jewelry by soaking it in gin and using a soft toothbrush to give the jewels a polished look.
Gin, thanks to its high levels of alcohol, can also be effectively used to clean stains left by red wine. And lastly, you can use the liquor in a spray bottle to clean your windows.
Let the dirt soak in gin for a while before wiping your windows with a lint-free cloth.
As stated earlier, gin has antibacterial properties which makes it a great additive to soaps. You can add a bit of the liquor in the liquid soap in your home.
Besides battling bacteria, the gin will also lend a lovely scent to your soap.
Tinctures are medicines made from herbs steeped in a solvent such as alcohol, glycerine or vinegar. The most common solvent used is alcohol because it has the ability to dissolve both acidic and basic constituents.
Gin is one of the ideal liquors for making a tincture because it is usually bottled between 80 and 100 proof which rids one of the necessity to further ass water in the process.
To make a herbal tincture using gin, place 2 handfuls of fresh herbs or 2 ounces of dried herbs in a jar and add about 1 pint of gin to cover the herbs completely.
After a few weeks, the mixture must be strained through cheesecloth and filter paper after which it can be used. It can be consumed directly or in combination with water and honey or fruit juice.
Gin truly seems to be a versatile drink with the number of uses you can put it to at home.
So feel free to experiment!