These righteous juices are concocted by some of the best New Western Gin-makers in the 50 States. And, as it does across the northern hemisphere, the simmering summer season presents a slew of occasions to cool off by Ginning it up—a sunny afternoon that finds you mingling by the pool, another that has you flipping flank steaks at your backyard barbecue, and another on which… you get the point. Across the board, Red, White & Gin will pump up the party volume. And then you can invite the whole town.
Though the Dutch and the Belgians are cited for the first appearances of genever and genievre respectively, the Brits were soon to give the spirit a spin. But just as the American colonists chafed under the yoke of King George’s rule, so too did the Gin-slingers on their side of the pond. It didn’t take long for them to put aside the homeland-tainted bottles of Booth’s and make their own. All these years later, for the first time since the repeal of Prohibition eight and a half decades ago, juniper juice is at last getting its due. In the spirit of globalism, maybe this good will Gin is a worthy export.
America’s fiery revolutionary Patrick Henry would be stoked. Brooklyn Gin (these folks hand-crack and peel their juniper berries), Bluecoat American Dry Gin (Pennsylvania-born), and St. George Spirits Terroir Gin (made in a 65,000-square-foot hangar) are made by some of the most obsessive, hell-bent-on-excellence distillers in the nation, far from the jewel-encrusted crown of any tax-happy mothership.
Like a new republic, Gin’s a young gun of a spirit, a swaggering beverage that needs no time to age before it takes on the world, leaping from the pot to the highball in no time.
You swiped right on Tinder? Now you’ve got to impress your date. So when you order that dirty martini, wax sexy-smart with these facts:
1) In summary, New Western or New American Gins are lighter on their feet than London Dry and they "don't hit you in the face with a Christmas tree" (We shamelessly stole this quote from Mr. Jason Barrett from Black Button distilling).
2) Most amateurs assume that Gin is flavored by juniper berries alone. In fact distilleries are increasingly adding other botanicals to their batches. These can include elderberries, sage, citrus peels, and cardamom, which deepen flavor or add a flourish.
3)* Multiple choice: In GinSpeak, what’s a pot still? a) a prolonged period of lounging following heavy bong use; b) a sauce pan’s contents when the burner has not been turned after said bong use; c) a vessel used for batch distillation.
4) Fifty-thousand is the estimated total of illegal stills in the New York alone during Prohibition. American distillers are working their way back with about two thousand distilleries in almost every state. This time around, they’re legal.
5) 1967 was the first year Gin was outsold by Vodka in the United States.
6) During Prohibition, the beverage marketed as “Gin" was often a combination of raw spirits, juniper oil, and other ingredients like turpentine.
7) Gin muscled its way into U.S. drinking establishments in a big way in the 1890s by way of bartenders—the mixology pioneers—who experimented with a variety of cocktails including the martini.
*The answer to is c), a vessel used for distillation in which a combination of heating and cooling purifies its contents in batches rather than continuously.
What's in the box
The Brooklyn Distilling Company
Dog Dogson'sSmartass corner
Gin gets its dominant flavour from juniper berries. As with many other spirits, Gin was originally intended to be used as medicine. Yeah right!
Lance Winters, Master Distiller at St. George Spirits, got his job by turning up with a bottle of home-made Whiskey as his CV.
Few Gin distillers make their own alcohol. Gin usually starts with neutral Spirit: A commodity that distillers buy in bulk. It’s what the distiller does with this commodity in the flavor-infusing process that makes each Gin different.
Hardcore Gin lovers say the word Martini should never be preceded by Vodka, lobster, or pomegranate. They say the original and the only real Martini consists of Gin, Vermouth & olives, period!
While juniper-heavy Gin is perfect for your daily G&T, it is also complemented extremely well by tea flavours such as Earl Grey. Try steeping Earl Grey tea bags in Gin for an hour before mixing it with lemon juice and soda for a refreshing tipple. This one gets you additional kudos, so let’s keep it between us.
As with many other Spirits, Gin was originally intended to be used as a medicine—to battle malaria.