Soon after Coates & Co began in 1793, Plymouth Gin became a firm favourite in the numerous countries it was shipped to. The gin drinking of the Royal Navy considerably enhanced gin’s prestige as it climbed the ladder of respectability in Victorian times. By 1850 Coates & Co were supplying over 1000 barrels of ‘navy strength’ 57% abv gin a year to the Royal Navy.
They were fond of mixing it with Angostura bitters or lime for ‘medicinal’ purposes. Thanks to the British Royal Navy taking it on ships all over the world, it was to become the world’s largest volume brand of gin with 1000 cases a week going to New York alone by the 1900’s.
In 1896 the first ever recipe for a Dry Martini specified Plymouth Gin (in Stuart’s Fancy Drinks and How to Mix Them) and by the 1930’s Plymouth Gin was the star of the cocktail era. It is the only gin still around today to be named in numerous recipes in the renowned Savoy Cocktail Book – still the bible of mixology.