bathtub gin

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bathtub gin (countable and uncountable, plural bathtub gins)

  1. (idiomatic) Gin or a similar alcoholic beverage which is of very poor quality, as if made by a homebrewer in a bathtub.
    • 1936 June 14, "‘Dates as Usual’," Milwaukee Journal, p. 2 (retrieved 31 July 2013):
      Part of Dallman's "Three Blind Mice" parody follows:
      They called us donkey-braying cranks
      But all they gave to win our thanks
      Was bathtub gin and busted banks
      For twelve long years.
    • 1984 Dec. 30, Alvin Klein, "‘Brown Sugar’ Done to a Bubbling Turn" (theatre review), New York Times (retrieved 31 July 2013):
      A 1976 Broadway hit, "Bubbling Brown Sugar" recreates the night life of the 1920s - when they drank "scotch in teacups" and bathtub gin.
    • 2008 Dec. 5, "Top 10 Prohibition Tales: Mortal Moonshine," Time:
      It wasn't just the violent Prohibition-era gang wars that were dangerous to Americans drinking homemade moonshine and bathtub gin.

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