Put a Clear Spirit in Your Drink
Ever woken up with what feels like a freight train ploughing through your head? Hangovers can be awful, and seem to get somehow worse as you get older, with you noticing the difference after even moderate drinking. But have you noticed that some drinks reap more havoc than others?
All alcoholic drinks contain, well, alcohol, which is among other things a mild poison. A natural by-product of fermenting sugars or starches, alcohol (or ethanol) is responsible for producing the feelings of relaxation we feel when imbibing. However, when ethanol is produced, it brings along with it toxic chemicals known as congeners, which are major contributors to the groggy, nauseous and off-colour feelings associated with drinking too much.
But wait, there is good news. Distilled drinks, owing to their production process, have much fewer congeners than drinks with a lower ABV. The purification process inherent in distilling makes for fewer of these unpleasant chemicals floating around. Furthermore, clear spirits are proven to have fewer still than dark spirits, which is a big part of the reason why hangovers are less pronounced when drinking clear spirits like gin.
To complete the hat-trick that Hidden Curiosities scores on this front, the more care is taken in the distillation process, the fewer still congeners will appear, so high-quality, top-shelf spirits are a safer bet for avoiding hangovers. Hidden Curiosities’ careful craft distillation, along with its clear and light nature, makes it the perfect drink for avoiding nasty after-effects.
The Power of Juniper
You may know juniper, or juniperus communis, as the pungent and herbaceous main ingredient of gin. While most gins contain a lot of different botanicals, juniper’s distinctive and delicious taste is the defining feature. They are also known to have a lot of health benefits, especially when used in the sort of quantity you need for distilling gin.
The plant, while tricky to pollinate, grows well in many different climates and in different soils, meaning it is widespread, especially in Europe, and often on land that is otherwise difficult to cultivate. This has contributed to its widespread popularity.
Juniper berries are rich in vitamin C, as well as flavonoid antioxidants, which are known to have anti-inflammatory and even anti-carcinogenic effects. Consuming a diet rich in these powerhouse little berries may protect against developing chronic disease, even heart and neurodegenerative diseases among them.
Juniper is also known to help to lower blood sugar levels, meaning they can help to prevent the onset of type 2 and age-related diabetes. They can also help to lower cholesterol levels, enhancing heart and circulatory health, which are important factors in health overall.
The naturally medicinal juniper also has antibacterial and antifungal properties, which is part of the reason it took centre stage in gin in the first place. Indeed, juniper’s medicinal properties were known even to the Ancient Greeks and Romans, who used it to treat headaches, toothaches and to aid digestion.
Any gin, to even qualify as a gin, needs to have juniper as its main flavour component. While we use 20 botanicals in our distillation process, you’ll always taste juniper as the backbone that the others work alongside.
Keep the Calories Down
If you’re watching your calories, an easy place to look is in the drinks cabinet. Beers, wines, ciders and sugary mixers are notoriously calorific, and consumption can stack up extraordinarily quickly if you’re not careful.
Luckily, gin is in itself a low-calorie beverage, with a single 25ml serving only containing about 54 calories. An average gin and tonic contains about 170kcal, and switching to slimline or diet tonic gets you down to about 155kcal. With an average pint of lager weighing in at 239kcal, or about the same as a Mars bar, you’ll see the difference in your waistline. A “beer belly” exists for a reason!
Of course, this goes out of the window if you drink five or six, so we do advise a little restraint when drinking, even if our gin does taste delicious…
Relax With Your Favourite
Many of us work hard, and modern life certainly has its pressures. Whether it’s work, family life, housing or simply reading the news, sometimes you need a way to unwind. A survey conducted by Oxford University found that having a drink with friends regularly were found to be happier and report higher levels of overall well-being.
For example, the Mediterranean diet is often held up as a healthy example, which along with healthy fats and vegetables, includes a certain amount of wine. Even more long-lived are the people of Okinawa, where men reach an average of 84, and women an average of 90! The diet of the islands, while rich in fruits and fresh vegetables, includes the local spirit, Awamori. This clear, high-proof spirit is made from the local rice, and appears to be living proof that clear alcohol, when accompanied with a good diet, is no impediment to a long and healthy life.
Now, we accept these things can be hard to quantify, but having a social network around you, and indeed having an off switch from the stresses of the day, can be a huge help in fighting unhappiness, anxiety and social isolation.
While drinking alcohol is (understandably!) not always advertised as a healthy habit, a little in moderation will not do you harm. We are great believers in moderate drinking, and would always pick quality over quantity.
Hidden Curiosities, as well as having many subtle health benefits, also comes with a wealth of interlacing flavours from its 20 botanicals. Its careful craft distillation in the Surrey Hills means a spirit of incredible quality, with every bottle being filled and labelled by hand. If you’re getting thirsty in this warmer weather and need something refreshing, try mixing some of our gin with your favourite tonic, or blend it into a cocktail of your choosing. Enjoy the benefits of a perfectly prepared glass of gin.