If you don’t know me, my name is Aimee and I love gin.
This probably isn’t a surprise, especially if I told you that I’m in my 30s, have two small children and spend an awful lot of time on the Internet (well social media and ASOS). Because that’s basically the demographic for gin, as the spirit formally known as Mother’s Ruin has actually become Mother’s Saviour.
I didn’t used to like gin, in fact I hated it, old/posh people drank it didn’t they? But after my dad died, I thought it would be a fitting tribute to learn to like his favourite gin. When I’m on a mission I work hard, and so I was (what the gals at Parent Apparel would say) GIN AND ON IT. I started to ease myself in with lemonade, then with bitter lemon, before eventually graduating to slim-line tonic, where I happily stay.
But as time goes on gin has become so much more than just a rather misguided tribute to my father, personally it’s become something that people associate with me (is this a good thing?) I have a gin for every occasion, my day-to-day necking is a good old glug of the Aldi £10 (tastes better than Tanqueray IMO), then on the days I feel some success my current favourite is Bloom and strawberries, and the day my five-year-old-son came home and asked for a Jesus themed birthday party (complete with fancy dress, and equivalent party games – I thought about just drinking wine and hanging all the kids from the fence so I didn’t have to control them) I turn to Hendricks.
But it’s not just me who loves it, gin’s rising in popularity – in the twelve months to the end of January 2016 gin sales in the UK shops reached £401m, up 10% on the previous year.* Everywhere I look – much to my delight – gin is popping up. Every day somebody tags or posts on my social media a new gin THING. This makes my day probably more than it should be, I end up think TWENTY PEOPLE SAW THAT TEACUP WITH GIN ON THE SIDE AND PUT IT ON MY TIMELINE (yet not one of them have bought it for me yet – JUST SAYING.)
So why the shift into what was probably perceived as an old/posh person’s drink?What’s made it into something that us sassy mothers turn to when the kids are (supposed to be) in bed? What has caused the bottle of Gordon’s on the shelf at the offie to be replaced with hundreds of different brands of botanical infused craft gins, all tasting slightly different, to be mixed with different mixes and different fruits?
Was there a gap in the market? Did Vodka come across as too piss-head? Were brown spirits too masculine? Did gin fit the market of not being a “girls’ night out” drink so therefore became more socially acceptable?
I don’t know. I’d like to say it was me, obviously, but I have my suspicions it’s down to the power of social media and people talking about it more, and removing whatever stigma it had.
I could delve deeper; I could get my investigative head on, and get ON IT, like I did when I first started my mission into the gin world. But if I’m honest, I don’t actually care. Its popularity has opened the doors for it to be acceptable for me to have nine different gins on the go at one time, and more importantly, for me to disguise a much needed slurp in the summer holidays as fizzy water.
So to all you gin lovers out there, I raise a glass of Mothers Saviour (totally think it needs to be given this as its new modern-day nickname) and good luck with your evening, because before you know it, it’s the morning and we have to survive the day all over again.
*Source: The Guardian