The Ori-Gin
26 January 2022
I’m not big on firewater. It’s just not my vice. Very occasionally I may enjoy a lovely Chilean Red wine (my favourite) – or perhaps, for something stronger, a Plymouth Gin. Gin was once a controlled-term of origin – capable only of being produced in Plymouth – like Champagne must be from a certain place. But somewhere along the line, every Tomas, Dean and Hagar got to make gin, probably in an effort to please the French. Why Plymouth lost the right to keep it all in house, is probably a nasty story full of backstabbing, Here, though, in the cobbled walkways of the Barbican, you can still find the grand old distillery – the place where world-famous Plymouth Gin was made, since 1793. Gin went wherever the Royal Navy went – you can still get ‘Navy Strength’ gin – called that because you can light up gunpowder with it. I have a bottle, and every now and then dilute it with some cucumber and elderberry tonic water. Gin also kept away mosquitos, if I remember correctly, and if the stories are true. Either way – my city still exports its famous brand around the world. And while I border just on the unsaved side of teetotaller, I’m as proud of the gin as I am of our yachts, our navy ships, and everything about our city.

Peter van der Walt is a fiction author, although you may find some non-fiction and the odd essay out there. Fans can find his newsletter, posts, updates and developments at Currently, he is hard at work on his next story. When not writing, he has far too many interests to reasonably keep up with. He lives with his partner in Devon, England.