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What defines a Bath Tub Gin

Updated: Oct 18, 2022

Every prohibition creates an underground.

Bathtub gin was originally a pejorative term dating back to the period of American history when the US Congress passed on 18th December 1917 the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution the “Prohibition of Liquor”.

A year later in 1920 saw the manufacture, sale, import, export or transportation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes was prohibited. It was not until the 5th of December 1933 that prohibition was repealed by the 21st Amendment.

During this period moonshiners began to illegally distil grain alcohol which was very potent. The process of watering down moonshine and the cold compounding by steeping flavourings and botanicals in the neutral grain alcohol before being filtered for consumption to make it more drinkable was the origin of the term bathtub gin. Gin made by adding essences or flavourings to alcohol is not known as distilled gin.

Bathtub gin was illegally produced and then sold and drank in the hidden bars and nightclubs known as speakeasies of North America. These hidden clubs were not advertised and often required a password to be whispered by patrons to gain entry.


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