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Thread: Gin

  1. #1
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    Gin

    Of the various drinks we discuss here I'd wager gin gets the least discussion. Of vodka, tequila, malt whisky, Irish, beer, Canadian whisky, even wine, there is occasional discussion, often quite, um, spirited. But gin is rarely discussed (never mind its ancestor genever gin, still liked in Holland and a few other places). I have only two bottles of gin and rarely sample them but I thought comments on some tweaked Beefeater I have may be of interest. Some years ago I brought back from a trip to northern France an artisanal gin, in fact a genever gin (the Flemish-influenced part of France favours the drink no less than the same cultural areas in Belgium and The Netherlands). It was quite juniper-tasting, in fact it had juniper berries on the bottom. I added the remains of that bottle to an 80% full bottle of Beefeater gin. When I tasted it again, it struck me it could use yet more juniper taste. So I added a teaspoon of juniper berries to it. Then it was very piney/forest-like, almost too much. I had a bottle of Finsbury gin, another London dry style and added some of that, to reduce the juniper taste and add some of its own taste which was kind of orange-like and sweetish. Fast forward five years, when I tried it yesterday. It was good but needed more Finsbury so I topped it up with the remains of that bottle. Now it is really good, with a full juniper and orange-like taste, sweetish and rich. It makes a good Martini - very good.

    Occasionally we've had discussion of the gins people like for Martinis or G&T. I would be interested in current suggestions, I am thinking of buying a couple of bottles now that summer is soon upon us. What do people like?

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 05-28-2006 at 15:16.

  2. #2
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    There's always Bombay, which has never dissappointed me, but I like Plymouth better for G & T, and it's usually cheaper. I'm not sure I can put my finger on the Plymouth flavor, but I recommend it. Hendrick's is also a great gin- I believe they use cucumber in it. It makes a nice martini, imo. Three different flavor profiles there, too.

    Anyone try the Van Gogh gin?
    -Sam

  3. #3
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    Good suggestions, thanks. I may pick up Plymouth Gin. I've read it represents a mid-point between the heavier-flavored Dutch style and the London Dry type of gin. It is or was associated with naval traditions. There was a drink called pink gin which was a glass rinsed with bitters and then filled with Plymouth gin (and other brands were used too). That is a good drink if the gin is not too dry and I suspect Plymouth gin may have some residual sweetness and therefore suit this drink. Beefeater has a new orange-flavored gin out which might work too. Also, this cocktail was traditionally not iced and I mention that since many here like spirits and even cocktails without ice. Few if any gin drinks can rival the Martini though.

    Gary

  4. #4
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    For an occasional martini, I love the in-your-face flavors of Anchor Junipero, made by the same folks who bring you Anchor Steam and Old Potrero. I like some vermouth in my martini - more than the "glance in the general direction of the vermouth bottle" or rinse-the-glass amount. Probably about 5:1, and Junipero holds up to this.

    This is a California-only brand as far as I know, so I bring it back when I'm visiting our kids. When I can't get it, such as in a restaurant, I like Tanqueray No. Ten. It is also a gutsier gin than most.

    The last time I ordered a martini out, I asked if they had Tanqueray 10, and the waiter said they did, but when he brought it, it was flabby (as well as being warm). I asked if they made it with Tanqeray Ten, and he assured me they had. But as I was leaving, I checked with the bartender, and he said they only carried regular Tanqueray. I let the manager know my disappointment and asked him to straighten out the waiter.

    Jeff
    "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943

  5. #5
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    Give Malacca Gin a try. Tanqueray has discontinued it, but it can still be found occasionally. I came across several bottles in the LA area. It has a singular taste profile and comes highly recommended by Ted Haigh in his Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, a book worthy of any aspiring mixologist. Here's a review:

    http://www.alcoholreviews.com/SPIRITS/malacca.html

    -Mike
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  6. #6
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    gins

    I enjoy Cadenhead's Old Raj and Hendrick's (cucumbery).
    I also 2nd the Anchor Junipero.

  7. #7
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    Thanks, can you indicate the abv of those? Unlike bourbons and some vodkas it seems most gins are 40% abv which can't however be (completely) historical. Some of the lore of the dry martini must come from the gins in its heyday being 100 proof or at least 90.

    Gary

  8. #8
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    I personally like Bombay Saphire. It is readily available here and I find it makes the perfect martini for me. I also like more than a dash of vermouth in my martini, along with a splash of olive juice. I drink em on the rocks.
    Joe
    Colonel Joseph B. "Bourbon Joe" Koch

    "Bourbon.....It's cheaper than therapy!!"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman
    Thanks, can you indicate the abv of those? Unlike bourbons and some vodkas it seems most gins are 40% abv which can't however be (completely) historical. Some of the lore of the dry martini must come from the gins in its heyday being 100 proof or at least 90.

    Gary
    Gary, I remember when the better gins (Beefeaters, Bombay, Tanqueray, etc) were all over 90 proof. I think 94 was common. So, that has changed? I hadn't noticed, but I have a few bottles of various brands on hand and I will check.

    Tim
    Self-Styled Whisky Connoisseur

  10. #10
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    Hi Tim, interesting, thanks. All the major gins in Ontario are 40%, yes. I'll look and see if one may be 43% but that would be the top limit here!

    Gary

 

 

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