Cocktail of the Week: Cheer up from your Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) with Chilgrove Dry Gin Mulled Wine

Below is an excerpt from the June 2015 edition of GINNED! Magazine about Chilgrove Dry Gin. Every month, Craft Gin Club Members receive a bottle of amazing small-batch gins accompanied by GINNED! Magazine which is full of information about the gin, the distillery and loads of fascinating features.

sunniest town

About 14 miles southeast of the tiny hamlet of Chilgrove, the home of Chilgrove Dry Gin, and 30 miles west of Brighton sits the seaside resort town of Bognor Regis, a town which claims the formidable distinction of being the “sunniest town in the UK”. With 1,900 hours of annual sunlight and a comfortable temperature range, Bognor Regis is a favourite place to take in the sun for commoners and kings alike, as George V recovered from surgery at Bognor at which time the town became “of the king.”

Alas, if only the rest of the UK experienced the same sunlight as Bognor Regis the country’s population might not be as prone to the recently diagnosed malady, Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as the winter or summer blues. With such lighthearted nicknames, you may not at first glance believe the disorder to hold serious implications for its sufferers, but indeed it does lead to depression in those affected at certain times of the year - with winter causing more cases than summer - and for some even leads to suicide. Over 500,000 Britons are estimated to succumb to the depressive disease whose acronym, fittingly, is S.A.D.

S.A.D. was first diagnosed in 1984 by doctor Norman Rosenthal who, upon his move to a dark and wintery New York from his native sunny South Africa, began to experience signs of depression. Finding others like him, Rosenthal postulated that his gloomy mood was due to a lack of sunlight, an absence that he filled with the sun’s artificial equivalent. He ran control group tests which showed that after several days of 30 to 60 minutes of exposure to light boxes, test group patients began to feel better.

sad curtains

Light therapy as a treatment for S.A.D. seems to make sense as it is known that the level of exposure to sunlight affects the body’s levels of melatonin, the hormone that controls our sleep cycle, and serotonin, which is widely believed to have a significant impact on our overall moods. To this effect, the Dana Centre at London’s Science Museum set up a Light Lounge in 2006 for S.A.D. sufferers. Still, light therapy has not been clinically confirmed as the definitive treatment for S.A.D, treatments which today range from anti-depressants to exercise.

We like to think that a glass or two of Chilgrove Mulled wine would be enough to perk anyone up during the dark winter months. But then again, our degree is in gin-ology, not psychology like Dr. Rosenthal. Whose professional medical opinion you choose is up to you