Cocktail Corner – Gin

By on June 4, 2017

Hello everyone, and welcome back to another month of Cocktail Corner. I hope that everyone had a fun Cinco de Drinko – I mean, Cinco de Mayo – and that your Memorial Day weekend was full of adventurous, but safe, fun. I know I didn’t touch on it last month, but I hope that everyone remembered to pay their respects to those who served our country in the military. Because Memorial Day weekend has become such a party-time event, many of these brave people are overlooked for the sacrifice that they made; and really, Memorial Day is truly about remembering and honoring those people who, in some cases, gave their all so that we could have a party weekend – safe from outside threats. Okay, enough of the somber.

So Brooke, Amy and I were all enjoying a cocktail at one of those speak-easy, craft cocktail joints – because that’s what we bartenders do – when I noticed this really hot chick order a gin and tonic. When I pointed it out to Brooke and Amy, they were totally surprised that any girl would drink gin – especially since neither one of them like it. Brooke and Amy both said that they’d never heard of Plymouth, and after telling them about it, I realized that there are probably a lot of people that don’t know about the different brands of gin on the market. So since I helped out all those vodka drinkers back in April, I thought that a few words about some of the better-known gins available on the market would help some of you make a more informed decision.

Beefeater (U.K.) … A standard London Dry made from a combination nine different botanicals, whose name refers to the Yeoman Warders – the ceremonial guards of the London Tower; first created and produced by James Burrough in 1876.

Bombay (U.K.) … Considered by some to be a well gin (residing in the speed rack), this is a classic London Dry made from a balance of eight different botanicals; using a recipe that dates from 1761, it was first commercially produced in 1895.

Hendrick’s (Scotland) … A small-batch creation of eleven different botanicals that are infused with specially selected cucumbers, and rose petals from Bulgarian Rosa Damascena; it was first produced in 1999.

Junipero (U.S.) … This is a small-batch, atypical London Dry made from a blend of eleven different botanicals in a copper pot still; first produced in San Francisco by Anchor Distilling Co. in 1995.

Nolet’s (Holland) … Made in small batches in copper pot stills, and distilled from a proprietary blend of botanicals that are infused with peach, raspberry, and Turkish rose; made in the same distillery as Ketel One vodka.

Ransom (U.S.) … This is a re-creation of an Old Tom style – which was the dominant type of gin consumed in the U.S. prior to Prohibition; made from the usual potpourri of botanicals, and infused with a liquid malt of barley, it was first produced in 2009.

Plymouth (U.K.) … Made from a larger proportion of root ingredients, making it less sharp and pungent than a London Dry; produced since 1793, it is a Protected Geographical Indication, which pertains to gin distilled in Plymouth, England.

Sapphire (U.K.) … An atypical London Dry made from ten different botanicals, using a Vapor Infusion Process; considered by many to be a vodka drinker’s gin due to its smoothness and approachability, it was first produced in 1987.

Boodles (U.K.) … A classic London Dry made from nine different botanicals in a vacuum still, which allows it to retain more of the botanical flavors; the only gin to contain nutmeg, rosemary, and sage, as well as having no citrus ingredients; named after the famed Boodles Gentleman’s Club in London, it was first produced in 1845.

Tanqueray (U.K.) … A standard London Dry style made from a proprietary blend of botanicals; the highest selling gin in North America, it was first created and produced by namesake, Charles Tanqueray in 1830.

As anyone can easily see, there’s a good amount of gins on the market – though not nearly as many as vodka. But what’s most important is the variation in their flavor profiles, which creates different taste experiences. It’s this wide range of botanicals, in varying degrees, that sets the different brands apart, and makes for some interesting flavor nuances in cocktails – especially in a Martini; about which I’d like to make a point … A Martini is a specific cocktail made with gin. It’s not a generic catch-all for cocktails served in stemmed glassware – nor is it a vodka drink. From its earliest inception, the Martini was, is, and always will be a gin drink … Thank you.

Okay, now that that’s off my chest, just know that gin is a really great spirit that not only tastes good, but is pretty versatile also; it blends really well with other ingredients to create some tasty cocktails. And if you’ve never tasted gin before, you should do yourself a favor by drinking a cocktail or two on a hot summer day – especially a refreshing gin and tonic. Now if you’ll excuse me, Brooke and Amy just came by in their swimsuits (yowzah!) and said they want to try some gin drinks while lounging poolside. In the meantime, try having a gin cocktail on a hot summer evening – or by the pool – and you just might find that you like it. So until next month …


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