Remembering both vermouth and gin are flavoured with similar botanicals, they obviously have an affinity for each other. This drink may be simple but made with a full-bodied Vermouth di Torino it's a fabulously tasty combination of botanicals, wine and spirit.
This drinks aromatics are perhaps better appreciated when served served straight-up in a coup .
"It" is short for Italian, a reference to the sweet vermouth, which was traditionally Italian while French vermouth was dry.
In his Craft of the Cocktail, Dale DeGroff states that the Gin and IT was originally known as a Sweet Martini and as such was a popular drink during the 1880s and 1890s at the Hoffman House and other New York bars. Later it became known as ‘Gin & Italian’, until during Prohibition it was shortened to ‘Gin & IT’.
The Gin & IT made its way to London during Prohibition in America and due to the British love of gin, the Gin & IT became a very popular drink and staple pub serve. Its popularity waned with both that of vermouth and gin in the late 1980s but is now being rediscovered by a new generation of gin and vermouth drinkers.