The gin shelf at the liquor store is exploding. And so are the websites and blogs for gin enthusiasts. And why not, distillers are giving us lots to “connoisseur” about.
Look at all the new entrants in the super-premium ($25+) artisanal category, like Hoxton, Botanist and, of course, Hendricks. For that, we might thank Mad Men or the Brits, who adore gin. “We’ll have what they’re having.”
So what gives? Why is gin the celebrity that it is? Have you tasted it lately? Check out Esquire’s short list of “musts”:
Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin: Hailing from Holland, Nolet’s is surprisingly light and smooth for a 95-proof spirit. A nose full of roses and stone fruit would allow it to mix beautifully with muddled rosemary or lavender in an herb-based bramble.
Corsair Barrel Aged Gin: From a craft spirits distillery in Bowling Green, this concoction started with a base gin that was rested in charred barrels previously used for spiced rum. The result is a creamy spirit that smells just like egg nog.
Damrak Amsterdam Original Gin: Damrak’s recipe dates back to the 1700s, but it’s entirely different from the vast majority of juniper-forward gins. Rather, Damrak is slightly sweet, with a predominant flavor of candied orange.
The mag goes on to plan our day around gin:
The Day Drink: Gin Rickey
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
Splash of simple syrup
1 1/2 ounces London dry gin
In a highball or rocks glass full of ice, squeeze half a lime and toss in the rind. Add the gin and simple syrup and top up with soda. Garnish with another lime slice if you prefer extra zing.
The Wind-Down Drink: Tom Collins
1 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
2 ounces London dry gin
Cherry and lemon or orange slice
Shake lemon juice, simple syrup, and gin over ice, and strain into a Collins glass over ice. Top with soda water and garnish with a cherry and a lemon or orange slice.
The Evening Drink: Martini
1 1/2 ounces gin
1 1/2 ounces French dry vermouth
2 dashes orange bitters
Stir gin, vermouth, and orange bitters in a mixing glass over ice. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
The Drink for Her: Eastside
2 ounces gin
1 ounce lime juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup
2 mint sprigs
3 cucumber slices
Muddle 1 mint sprig and 2 cucumber slices in a mixing glass. Add the gin, lime, and simple syrup and shake over ice. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a mint sprig pinned through a cucumber slice.
We’re also very interested in trying gins from around the world. Today’s pick:
The Duke Munich Dry Gin, named for the Duke of Bavaria, “who was instrumental in the founding of Munich in 1158. Fittingly, The Duke Munich Dry Gin is distilled in the city itself. It is also bottled at 45% ABV and contains 13 botanicals: Juniper, Coriander, Angelica Root, Lemon Peel, Lavender, Ginger Root, Orange Blossom, Hops, Malt, Cinnamon, Bark, Cubeb Berries, Caraway + One Secret Ingredient.”(via)
For those interested in gin’s healing properties, you must explore drunkenraisins.com. Just 8-9 a day takes the edge off arthritis.
For the non-drinkers in the crowd (and, yes, DIA has readers who don’t touch the stuff), Gin is a very nice baby name. Works as well for a boy as it does for a girl. Just saying.