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Pardon me, but The Gin Whore Tour may have affected my ability to form coherent sentences. Alas, I must dry, I mean try! There I was, together with a handful of brave – or plain thirsty – people, sipping my way through the history of the juniper berry, and it wasn’t even 1pm. We enjoyed a tasting, a history lesson and stand-up comedy in one and half hours of gin infused banter.

the most interesting part – besides the gins – was the social history linking gin with prostitution

Gin is a great pastime activity, but some have worked it into a real profession. Our host Kate O’Neil started a mobile cocktail bar fifteen years ago, and before long she was catering for the Rolling Stones, Downing Street and thousands of corporate events. She has hosted over 45,000 guests at her tastings. Kate’s sidekick, gin gigolo Philip David, was a good match, highly skilled in the technical side of distillery.

I quickly discovered that I didn’t even know how to drink gin properly: taste with the top of your mouth, roll under your tongue, swallow and breath through your nose. This new gin and distilling trivia will drive my friends mad for years to come. But the most interesting part – besides the gins – was the social history linking gin with prostitution.

British troops discovered gin during the 30 Years’ War, where Dutch soldiers were given a pint of gin a day, hence the saying Dutch courage. The Brits brought juniper berries back with them with grave consequences, as the nation quickly grew a massive appetite for gin. Women were literally lusting after the juniper spirit and at the height of the Gin Craze of 1750, 1 in 4 women in London prostituted themselves to fuel their addiction.

While digesting these bitter facts, we enjoyed four tasters of gin. The oldest was Genever with original malt wine base, followed by London Dry which used local grain to give it a cleaner crisper taste. Another historical type was Old Tom, sweetened with sugar, and the last was One Gin from the local Blackdown Distillery, with a range of botanicals giving it a distinctive flavor. All wonderful discoveries.

Even though it was the Bank Holiday weekend, the 1 pm slot at the Warren studio was not the best settings for the tasting, which desperately craved a dimly-lit speakeasy cocktail bar. Put that aside, Kate’s captivating tales of hooch and harlots went down a treat. And it doesn’t look like she’s going out of business anytime soon. There are millions of aspiring gin whores to be educated as much as entertained by her natural talent for comedy.


27th May 201712:45pmThe Warren: Studio 2
St Peter's Church North, York Place, Brighton
27th May 20174:15pmThe Warren: Studio 2
St Peter's Church North, York Place, Brighton
28th May 201712:45pmThe Warren: Studio 2
St Peter's Church North, York Place, Brighton
28th May 20174:15pmThe Warren: Studio 2
St Peter's Church North, York Place, Brighton

The Blurb

Historical tales of hooch and harlots, paired with the very best gins in this slightly naughty one-woman show. This 90-minute show covers the history of gin, from its origins in genever liquor to the modern gin renaissance. Hear about famous hookers and their links to the juniper-flavoured spirit. Learn about the production of gin – including historical styles, and modern techniques – and enjoy a tasting of four gins, two tonics. You’ll even get a professional tasting glass to take home! There’ll be tips on becoming a modern gin whore - from where to drink, to the trouble you’ll have dating, and how to become a professional ‘Old Tom’.

Call Sheet

Producer
The Gin Whore

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