This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 12 May, 2011.
ectangular label with mortised oval containing text “Fine Old Holland Gin.” This and the following label (No. 6221) are fairly certain to come from the same printhouse. The tradition of printing showy but generic labels for alcoholic beverages (and other items of trade) continued well into the 20th Century until the private manufacture (or at least repackaging of stock purchased in bulk) by retailers and small middlemen became less common; the same practice is continued, however, in the various “house brands” offered by retailers today; but the packaging is now handled by the manufacturer. These alcohol labels would likely have been found on the cheaper beverages in “grocery stores” and saloons. The gin most Americans are likely to think of first is London dry gin; this later 19th century English style incorporates many other flavorings (notably citrus) to the juniper berries which predominate (and gave the drink its name, from the french form “geniévre”). England had a long history of gin production prior to the introduction of dry gin—much of it of poor quality and flavored not with juniper, but turpentine! The gin produced in the low countries was, and is, distinctly different (less alcoholic and having some resemblance to whiskey owing to its method of distillation and aging); this drink (known as Holland or Geneva gin) was the most popular during the civil war.