Was it common for Victorian Brits to take their gin with hot water ?
Just read Oliver Twist and there are a few references to gin with hot water and sugar .
Quentin , thank you for the big effort with your answer .
- QuentinLv 72 months agoFavourite answer
Gin with warm water and sugar was for medical purposes. Such as a slight case of the flu, or general tiredness. Gin was very cheap in those days. People drank a lot of it. They didn't waste money on tonic-water but diluted it with plain water. In winter warm water was used.
Some examples. ( Too many gin-and-water to enumerate all )
With warm water, was when it was cold:-
"shivering, and complaining of the cold, in a manner which, Mr. Bumble declared, caused his teeth to chatter in his head, [...] Putting a glass of hot gin-and-water on the chimney-piece, he drew his chair to the fire."
"Mr. Sikes being weak from the FEVER, was lying in bed, taking hot water with his gin to render it less inflammatory; and had pushed his glass towards Nancy to be replenished for the third or fourth time, when these symptoms first struck him."
"He looked TIRED AND WORN [...] Mr. Crackit stopped to take a draught of spirits and water, and to declare that the gin was excellent; then placing his feet against the low mantelpiece, so as to bring his boots to about the level of his eye, he quietly resumed."
"“You’ve had A LONG WALK, you know, or I wouldn’t mention it. Now, will you take a little drop of somethink, Mr. Bumble?”[ ...] “Just a leetle drop, with a little cold water, and a lump of sugar.”
Mr. Bumble coughed.
“Now, just a leetle drop,”
“Why, it’s what I’m obliged to keep a little of in the house, to put into the blessed infants’ Daffy, WHEN THEY AIN'T WELL, Mr. Bumble,” replied Mrs. Mann as she opened a corner cupboard, and took down a bottle and glass. “It’s gin. I’ll not deceive you, Mr. B. It’s gin.”"
[ps the cough justifies gin on medical grounds]
- Anonymous2 months ago
It was common among the poor. Gin in those days was cheap and nasty. The hot water and sugar 'took the bite out of it.'
- TinaLv 72 months ago
Yes. It took the edge off home-made gin.