Take a trip down gin lane – but beware ending up in the dock!

Take a trip down gin lane at Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum – but just be careful not to end up in the dock!

The event on July 12th at 7pm at the museum on High West Street in Dorchester, will uncover the social history of the beverage. From the Georgian period of gin-fuelled debauchery to the modern craft gin movement, the evening will be set against the museum’s atmospheric Georgian courthouse and cells.

Master Mixologist and Director of the Grey Bear Bar Co, Lloyd Brown, will be on hand to delve into the history of the drink and create some cocktails for guests to enjoy.

He said: “The event will be delving into the real roots of gin; from the Dutch liquor Jenever, through to Gin Lane and then the modern renaissance of gin, touching on the dark history and false tales. Shire Hall is the perfect setting as the history is literally in the walls and fits the time period well – it also deals with law and rebellion which comes hand in hand with gin.”

He added: “The best part of my job is getting to chat about gin and classic cocktails – it’s so rewarding. There’s always something new to learn and history to unravel – which is always trickier when often the people writing the history were also full-time imbibers!”

The Gin Craze is a famous period in the first half of the 18th Century when the consumption of gin in the UK rapidly increased. Gin was established as an alternative to French Brandy, as at the time around the Napoleonic War, Brandy had fallen out of favour. However, many people took so much of a liking to gin that, particularly in London, there were outbreaks of extreme drunkenness, leading to moral outrage and new laws brought in to sober the population. Gin Lane was immortalised in Hogarth’s painting of the same name, showing the various vices of gin drinkers. It remains today a popular beverage, having seen a resurgence in recent years with many artisan craft gin makers popping up.

Guests will be treated to a classic G&T, two samples of gin and two cocktails using Tarquin’s Cornish Gin, as well as a smorgasbord of Dorset delights. Lloyd has created a special gin cocktail for the museum event called the Shire Hall Bramble, which uses blackberry gin and Dorset honey.

For more information or to book tickets to the event visit shirehalldorset.org or call 01305 261849.