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

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

This is the gin quiz for you if love gin trivia, history and gin quotes.

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? We recommend York Gin London Dry for a classic G&T or York Gin Roman Fruit for a fruity version.

There are three sections to this gin quiz:

  • Gin history and facts
  • Gin quotes
  • York Gin trivia

You don't have to try all the questions or all the sections. It's all just for fun.

The questions are followed by all the answers - with lots of background info too. We hope you'll find it entertaining.

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.)


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

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

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.

3: Beer Street

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)

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.

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

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

If you're a bit thirsty after all that effort, take a look at our online shop

Round 2: Gin Quotes

Who said these famous 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


1: Humphrey Bogart / Rick Blaine - Casablanca

2: Winston Churchill

3: Raymond Chandler - Long Goodbye

4: Dennis Thatcher

5: WC Fields

6: Dorothy Parker

Round 3: York Gin specialist knowledge

If you haven't tried any York Gins - now is your chance. 
The online shop has the full range of six permanent ginsbeautiful gift sets and our best-selling Gin & Tonic Taster Set


1. What is the York Gin motto?

2. Name four of the York Gin's permanent range of six gins.

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?


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.

All York Gins that have entered competitions have won major medals - Old Tom holds the most gold medals.

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

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: Poppleton, York.

5: Rutterkin

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.

More fun and useful gin posts

Gin jokes, one-liners, quotes and puns

A very short history of gin

What is gin: London Dry, Navy Strength, Old Tom, Pink ...

What is the best glass for a G&T - Copa or hi-ball?

How to choose the best gin for you

The best garnish for a G&T

How to make the perfect G&T

19th Jan 2021 York Gin

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