Sloe gin comes to a halt

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Rye News acting Editor Charlie Harkness (left) enjoying a bottle (more gin than tonic) with Pip Al-Khafaji in Rye's community garden before the flu virus halted such frivolity.

The Rye News sloe gin competition has, due to the current coronavirus situation, been postponed until situation becomes clearer and, if we cannot stage the event this year, we hope to next year.

In the meantime we are looking at having pop up “gin palaces” sometime. Gin palaces are an 18th century invention, and gin shops or ‘dram shops’ were just small shops (often originally chemist’s shops as gin originally had medicinal associations) that sold gin mostly to take away, or to drink standing up, which were also lit by gas lights.

As the legislation changed establishments generally became larger and they also had to be licensed and began to sell ale or wine as well. They were thought to be vulgar at the time, although hugely popular.

In the 20th century, the term “gin palace” came to be used for large ostentatious pleasure craft, such as a motor yacht or luxury yacht, typically moored in a marina and fitted with a sun deck used for outdoor entertaining and leisure, normally involving alcoholic drinks.

Image Credits: Rye News library .

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