Answering "is gin good for you" in the affirmative might seem like winning the lottery. If it turns out you can simultaneously unwind after a stressful day and feel good about it, you're really onto a winner.
Obviously, given the known risks associated with alcohol, gin isn't the drinkable equivalent of a goji berry. However, it turns out that there can be some surprising benefits to having a tipple.
Is gin good for you?
Despite its slightly sinister moniker of Mothers' Ruin, gin can have some positive health impacts.
While this doesn't mean we should be downing a bottle of Gordon's every night after dinner, it's fair to say that gin isn't the health disaster some people might assume.
Like anything with the potential to make you throw up, it's important to enjoy your gin in moderation. That said, here are a few of gin's more surprising health benefits.
While drinking gin won't completely cure your hayfever, there is evidence that it might make summer more bearable.
According to Asthma UK, evidence suggests that elevated histamine levels in fermented drinks like beer and cider can exacerbate hayfever symptoms. Theoretically, therefore, switching to a clear spirit like gin could make things more bearable.
2. Low calories
One definite point in the plus column is that, as a clear spirit, gin is incredibly calorie-friendly. Typically, gin weighs in at around 95 calories per glass.
This is significantly less than wine (around 160) or beer (210). If you're calorie counting in the summer sun, gin may well be your best option.
3. Low sugar
Many alcoholic drinks are packed with more sugar than the average bag of Haribo. Gin, however, does not fall into this category.
As with all spirits, the intensive distillation process means that gin itself doesn't contain any sugars. It's with the mixers that you'll have to watch your step.
Gin's low sugar content also means that it's a good option for diabetic drinkers.
According to diabetes.co.uk, "Spirits on their own, such as... gin, have no significant carbs in and therefore shouldn't push blood sugar values up." This is a big plus point for anyone living with diabetes.
5. Good for coughing
Juniper, the main ingredient in gin, has a number of surprising health benefits. One big plus is its essential oils content, which makes it perfect for soothing sore throats.
However, it's important to avoid putting your gin in the fridge or freezer, as this can cause the oils to separate.
In addition to essential oils, juniper is also high in antioxidants. These almost mythical chemicals can protect you from everything from heart disease to cancer, according to the Mayo Clinic.
While distilled gin is definitely not as antioxidant-rich as a plain juniper berry, it is infinitely more delicious.
One side-effect of drinking gin may not be that much of a plus point on a night out. As well as their antioxidant and essential oil qualities, juniper berries are a potent diuretic.
Even though maintaining regular bathroom visits is good for bloating, it doesn't necessarily help when you're out and about. Still, sometimes the bloat is just too much to bear.
8. Joint pain
Historically, juniper berries have been a cure for all sorts of ills. These include conditions such as rheumatism and arthritis.
In fact, many people today still claim that gin-soaked raisins can cure arthritic aches. Even if there's no truth to the rumour, it could still make for a delicious snack.
It's important to note that no alcohol is a cure-all for complex medical conditions. In fact, for many people, drinking anything at all may be a bad idea.
However, it's good to know that enjoying your booze isn't always a bad idea. In some cases, there may actually be some plus points. We'll take the wins where we can get them.