Juniper Fungus Causes Gin Shortage in UK
If your favorite cocktail is a martini, gin and tonic, or Tom Collins, you may have to start testing some new combinations.
The world’s gin supply is endangered according to The Telegraph. The newspaper reported that Phytophthora austrocedrae, a fungus parallel with juniper berry cancer, has been spotted on the fruit’s bushes in northern Britain, primarily in the Lakes District and Scotland. Juniper berries are a key component in gin’s fresh flavor.
The fungus has already affected between 60 and 70 percent of the juniper population in southern England, so it’s crucial to try to save the plants in the north. Though the article states that most commercial gin now comes from Eastern Europe, the United Kingdom has had an infatuation with gin since the Gin Craze occurred in 18th century London. According to the British History Channel’s website, by 1730, around 10 million gallons of gin were being distilled in London each year, and the average city-dweller drank 14 gallons of gin a year. The UK will need to find a quick solution to kill of the fungus and protect its precious berries.