The York Gin Quiz of gin history, gin trivia and gin quotes

If you love gin trivia, gin history and gin quotes this is the gin quiz for you.

Why not sit down with a G&T - and try your hand at some or all of the questions. Or invite family and friends for a Zoom Gin Quiz?

There are three sections - gin history and facts, York Gin trivia, and gin quotes. You don't have to try all the questions if you don't want to! It's all just for fun.

The questions are followed by all the answers - that have lots of background info too. We hope you'll find it entertaining. Good luck!

With our Zoom Tasting Events, we run a similar quiz halfway through. Read details of these very popular online events here

Round 1: Gin history and gin-fo

1. Which distillery - opened in 2008 - was the first to open in London for 200 years?

2. A machine was used to buy gin discreetly in 18th Century London. What’s this ingenious invention called?

3. Hogarth’s famous picture Gin Lane - drawn in 1751 - is part of a pair. What is the other picture called?

4.Why did the British in India make the gin and tonic their drink of choice?

5. Which ingredient is required for a drink to even to be described as ‘gin’?

6. What is the minimum strength of Navy Strength gin?

7. What is a Pink Gin?

8. Which country has the highest per capita gin consumption? (Latest data published 2018 - Statistica.)

Round 2: York Gin specialist knowledge

1. What is the York Gin motto?

2. Name four of the six gins we make.

3. How many grams of juniper and how many grams of pepper do we use per run of York Gin London Dry?

4. Where in York is the York Gin Distillery?

5. What is the name of the cat on the York Gin logo?

Round 3: Gin Quotes

1. 'Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, and she had to walk into mine.'

2. 'The gin and tonic has saved more Englishmen’s lives, and minds, than all the doctors in the Empire.'

3. A real gimlet is half gin and half Rose's lime juice and nothing else.'

4. 'I don’t know what reception I’m at, but for God’s sake - give me a Gin and Tonic.'

5. I exercise strong self control. I never drink anything stronger than gin before breakfast.'
Multiple Choice: Oscar Wilde - W.C Fields - Nigel Farage - Noel Coward

6. 'I like to have a martini. Two at the very most. After three I’m under the table. After four I’m under my host.'

Multiple choice: Dorothy Parker - Marilyn Monroe - Quentin Crisp - Mae West

Round 4: Bonus

York's famous Evil Eye cocktail and gin bar holds the Guinness World Record for the most number of different gins in one place at one time.

How many did they have on sale in their shop to win that world record?


Round 1

1: Sipsmith was the first gin distillery in London to be established since 1820.

Background info:

The law changed early in the 2000s as a result of Sipsmith's efforts to allow small batch distillation.

In 2009 co-founder Fairfax Hall said: 'Hopefully we'll be at the leading edge of a wave of small distilleries.'

And how right he was! There's been a huge increase in small distilleries in the UK and a Second Gin Craze - of which we are very happy to be a part. All hats off to SipSmith.

2: Puss 'N' Mew

Background info:

When buying gin from small distilleries was banned in the Gin Act of the early 18th Century, people found ways around the law.

One famous way of avoiding detection when buying gin involved the first ‘vending machine’.

The drinker would put a coin in the mouth of the Puss & Mew - and the seller would pour the gin through the spout.

As a result, the drinker wasn't technically buying from anyone he or she could identify! Clever eh? And also one of the reasons cats are associated with gin.

And now the York Gin shop has its very own Puss 'N' Mew machine - to allow for socially-distanced gin tasting.

3: Beer Street

Background info:

Beer was considered to be much healthier than gin - and with good reason!

4: Quinine in tonic helped to ward off malaria-carrying mosquitos. Gin helped to get rid of the bitter taste of the tonic.

5: Juniper.

The name Gin is a shortened form of the older English word genever, related to the French word genièvre and the Dutch word jenever.

All ultimately derive from Juniperus, the Latin for juniper.

6: 57% (114 proof)

Background info:

There are lots of stories about this - and probably the truth has been lost in various of them stories but … apocryphally, officers of the British Navy were paid a portion of their wage in gin.

Alcohol on board naval ships was decreed to be a minimum of 57.7% ABV to ensure gunpowder stocks stayed flammable if contaminated by any leaky gin barrels.

Never ones to be short changed, sailors would light a small amount of gin-soaked gunpowder, therefore obtaining ‘proof’ their ration had not been watered down by a scrimping Navy.

Mind you, before we move on from all the geography, it’s worth noting that those soldiers, given tots of jenever to ward off the effects of the damp conditions in the Low Countries, were participating in the process that gave us the expression Dutch Courage.

Note: It could also have been a marketing ploy by Plymouth Gin in the 1990s trying to create a new market - and they’re by the sea!

7: Gin, Angostura Bitters, (soda) water.

Background info: Slightly controversial these days with so many on the market claiming they are ‘pink’.

Sir Francis Chichester claimed his successful solo circumnavigation of the globe was due to a daily pink gin – gin, water and Angostura Bitters.

He also said that the saddest day of his nine-month-and-one-day voyage was, inevitably, the day the gin ran out.

8: Spain

Background info: The data varies, and the Philippines used to hold the crown.

Round 2

1: History in the Tasting

2: York Gin London Dry, York Gin Old Tom, York Gin Outlaw, York Gin Roman Fruit, York Gin Grey Lady and York Gin Chocolate & Orange.

Background info: All York Gins that have entered competitions have won major medals - most recently Old Tom and Outlaw won Best English Gins at the World Gin Awards 2021.

3: 2,400 grams of juniper and just 24 grams of black peppercorns.

Background info:

When we were creating the recipe for York Gin London Dry, it became a matter of taking things out rather than adding them.

However, it was very clear that when pepper was missing, the gin wasn’t nearly as interesting as when they were included!

In our first test batches in our 2-litre recipe still, the difference between 1,2 or 3 peppercorns was significant! Pepper is wonderful, but powerful.

4: Acaster Malbis, York.

Background info: The distillery is about 4 miles south of York Minster, a mile from the Archbishop’s palace. Within the city limits.

5: Rutterkin

Background info:
Rutterkin means ‘Swaggering gallant’ - and he was a familiar of a group of ladies known as the Bottesford Witches. One of the items of witchcraft they were accused of was bewitching the Earl of York and his family.

No doubt, poor Rutterkin came to a sticky end. One of York Gin’s charities is York Cats Protection - helping York’s cats today.

Picture: The Bottesford Witches - Margaret, Joan and Phillipa Flower and their familiars, including Rutterkin the cat.

Round 3

1: Humphrey Bogart / Rick Blaine - Casablanca

2: Winston Churchill

3: Raymond Chandler - Long Goodbye

4: Dennis Thatcher

5: WC Fields

6: Dorothy Parker

Round 4: Bonus

Answer: 1,026. An impressive range of gin, by anyone's measure.

Thank you for playing. By all means, feel free to browse for some York Gin

19th Jan 2021 York Gin

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