Poet’s Corner: why is GIN so IN?

First, it was coffee. In a mere 20 years we (in the UK) went from “white coffee” or “black coffee” to 37 or more variants of coffee type, milk blend, preparation, flavouring, size, caffeine content and inside leg measurement. Then more recently, we went from “a gin and” (whatever accompaniment) to more than 30 different brands of it served with dozens of mixers from traditional tonic to golden-flecked puréed mosquito spit.

Poet's Corner: why is GIN so IN?

A great new cocktail called a “Mighty Mickey” – gin, lemon, soda and mouse droppings. (Or are they peppercorns? Hmmm.)

For a pre-dinner restaurant drink I will ask for a gin-and-tonic, but my 26 year-old son will chair a 20-minute discussion with the servers on how each of a dozen brands-and-tonic might best suit his mood of the moment.

Coffee is OK. I even know why a “flat white” and a “latte” are different. However for gin, here is an anthem. (NB: should be sung, but it’s not set to music yet. Still waiting to hear back from Ed Sheeran…)


First on the menu is plain gin and tonic
Boring but turns most addicts catatonic
Good to be shared when in need of a rest
Guaranteed soporific – it’s truly the best.

Gin, gin, will you lose, will you win?
Really depends on what mood you are in.

What about sharing a sharp, short martini?
Specially if you’re wearing a smart new bikini?
(I mean the girls, but the boys can do too…
…whatever you like.) Gin removes the taboo.


Next the Negroni that seems like ditch water
The drink of delight from our Frankenstein’s daughter
Putrid and foul with contents continental
That taste like the dregs from a Labrador’s kennel.


Now our Tom Collins comes back into focus
Old favourite, yes, and not hocus-pocus
But pretty bland and not likely to trigger-much
When used as a potion to cure your new so-and-such.


Pink gin has a focus on Angostura bitters
With mouth-crunching pain that kills innocent critters
Let’s face it: if you can keep this one together
You’ll end up chewing hard on the nearest shoe leather.


Gin Fizz as such has been with us for years now
Socially cool, as a drink to show us how
Gin earns its place in the world of today
As a bright, sassy way to make boozing OK.


Do we now, really, need gin to get higher?
Or are we OK without setting fire …
…to gin drinks with tonic, with lime, or with bitters
That gives us a lift without getting the jitters?


Whether it’s Tanqueray or just Beefeater
Or Bombay or Sapphire or something much neater
Or Hendrick’s or even that dear Bols Genever
As long as it’s gin, it’s OK now – whatever!


Mischieverse is Suzan St Maur's first book of naughty, humorous poetry, from Corona Books UK.

For more poetry (some slightly ruder than this) click here to browse on this site

– and take a look at my latest book, Mischieverse.

© Suzan St Maur 2018