A heady and aromatic spirit developed by the Dutch during the Great Juniper Drought of 1725. It's name today is more frequently shortened to MarGin.*
Traditionally drunk as a cure for dandruff and indigestion, it is now commonly drunk at birthdays, accordion festivals and at the Annual Bruges MarGinFest, with its fabulous costumes and outrageous eating competitions.
Origins and History of Marzipan Gin
In the spring of 1724, Dutch juniper growers were sold a particulalry shoddy bunch of juniper bushes. The repurcusions were felt the next year, when the resulting harvest was so phenominally poor that is it is still known as 'Perhaps the Worst Juniper Harvest We've Ever Had."
Keen to continue the ever expanding, but still in its infancy, gin trade, a meeting of the gin elders was convened and an alternative flavouring was decided upon. It was hoped that if all the gin manufacturers adopted the new flavour, nobody would notice the difference. A freak surplus of marzipan left over from the previous Christmas was added to that year's gin. Everybody noticed the difference and not that many people actually liked it. 12 gin manufacturers went out of business within the following 2 years. Marzipan gin disappeared rapidly from the orders of the local hostelries and off-licences.
It wasn't until the 1970s that the fashion for the sickly almond flavoured gin-like beverage was revived. Mainly due to another freak marzipan surplus and a fad for ludicrously sweet drinks.
Marzipan Gin is manufactured today to the same recipe as it was in 1725. A shedload * of marzipan is added to the cheapest raw grain alcohol. It is left to stew in large stewing vessels until all the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has gone a bit syrupy. A quarter-measure of corn syrup* is added at the final stage and it is bottled immediately (in order to prevent the syrup reacting and causing the beverage to acquire dangerous flammable properties).
The Annual Bruges MarGinFest
Held annually in Bruges - the MarGinFest is legendary -alongside its tamer Munich Beer festival. A feast of accordion music, outragous pastry-based costumes and conspicuous consumption, the Festival is likely to be banned any day now due to its spirit of over-indulgence, history of fatalities and awful music.
MarGin is the base to a number of particularly revolting cocktails - none of which I recommend you try :
The MarGin Sling
1 measure of MarGin
1 measure Dry London Gin
1/2 measure double cream
sprinkling of crumbled digestive biscuits for topping
1 measure MarGin
1 measure Amaretto
2 measures Crema alla Mandorla
served in tall glasss over ice
1 bottle red wine, mulled with spices, almonds, figs, MarGin, brandy and sugar.
2 measures MarGin
dash of dry vermouth
Whilst under the influence
- Love of accordion music
- Belief that everyone is your friend
- Either slight dribbling problem or over-dryness of mouth
- Sugar rush
- Realisation that no-one is your friend - all that accordion music for crying out loud
- inability to move head