I'm not really sure where the vodka craze came from. Some say its roots lie in the deadened taste buds of modern America, some say it's just the result of excellent advertising on the part of TBWA (on behalf of Absolut, of course). According to those theories, Americans are either without taste or just plain malleable.
Either way, I blame the vodka craze for the fact that I didn't even taste gin until my mid-20's. My mother never had it in the house, and I grew up viewing it as the drink of degenerate, 19th century Englishmen and -women.
For shame, truly, because gin is AWESOME. There is no better word to describe the fantastic concoction of alcohol and herbs that is a quality gin. Right now, I'm enjoying a gin martini (which, by definition, requires vermouth, and if you don't think so, you're wrong) - 3 ounces of Plymouth, a tablespoon on Noilly dry, stirred vigorously with ice, and garnished with some lemon zest (I don't really like olives.). And it's fabulous - complex, herby, smooth, delicious.
So please, please - next time you're out, stop yourself from ordering that vodka soda and go for a gin and tonic instead (assuming the place has decent gin - most places at least have Tanqueray, which makes a good G&T). You'll be thanking me.