The Zingy Lemon
The definition of 'zingy' is someone or something full of zest that is full of flavour and brings spark and life to something. This is exactly what the lemon does to Explorer's Gin.
Facts about Lemon:
Scientific Name: Citrus Limon
Common Name: Lemon
Origin: North East India
Height of Plant: The lemon tree can grow to 4m in height, some of the genus are self pollinating.
The origin of the lemon is unknown, though it is thought they originated in Assam (Northeast India) and were a hybrid between the sour orange and citron (Citrus medica). The latter should not be confused with the French word ‘citron’ (Lemon).
Lemons arrived in Europe via Italy in the 2nd Century AD by the Romans. They then started being cultivated and traded by Genoa in 15th Century.
The lemon was later introduced to the Americas in 1493 when Christopher Columbus brought lemon seeds to Hispaniola on his voyages. It was mainly used as an ornamental plant and for medicine.
Citrus was also responsible in 1747 in helping cure scurvy which had been responsible for killing both seamen and the early explorers. It was James Lind's experiments on seamen suffering from scurvy that resolved this fatal condition.
In the 19th century, lemons were increasingly planted in the North America within the citrus plantations.
The Science behind the sourness:
People remember their first interaction with lemon due to its tartness. This is because they contain citric acid, which is a weak organic acid found in many fruits and vegetables.
The tip of your tongue senses sweet and salty foods, while the back of your tongue senses bitter flavours. When you bite into a lemon, the citric acid activates taste buds along the sides and centre of your tongue. These taste buds let your brain know that lemon is sour.
Lemon was always going to be part of the botanical bill. In my mind it is bright, fresh, tart, zingy bringing those essential oils that liven it up. But it’s the peel that is wanted not the white pith. The white pith is both bitter and also adds an unpleasant flavour if used too much. Our lemons come from both Turkey and Italy. The Turkish lemon is cut and added to the pot whilst the Italian lemons are fresh. These are peeled and cut up and added to the onion head, where the ethanol vapours then infuse with these wonderful oils.