Gin: How the liquor known as “mother’s ruin” went from scourge to savior

Bottoms up

Gin is having a moment in the UK. Supermarkets can’t keep hipster micro-distilled brands on their shelves, and tourists are flocking to themed spas and hotels that celebrate the liquor’s long history. And what a history it is: Gin was long a societal scourge, blamed for addiction and depredation, until it began its slow march toward respectability—helped in large part by being paired with a bitter antimalarial drug.

Even today, most people have high-proof opinions about...

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