Gin-Tastic Gin-i-nar

Notes and cocktail recipes from my Gin-Tastic Gin-i-nar at Heaven’s Dog.

Improved Holland Gin Cocktail

Take 2 dashes Boker’s (or Angostura) Bitters.
3 dashes gum syrup. (1 teaspoon 2-1 Simple Syrup)
2 dashes Maraschino. (Scant teaspoon Maraschino Liqueur)
1 dash Absinthe. (Absinthe is now available in CA! Stop Messing about with Absinthe Susbtitutes!)
1 small piece of the yellow rind of a lemon, twisted to express the oil.
1 small wine-glass of Hollands Gin. (2 oz Bols Genever or other Dutch style Gin)

Fill (mixing) glass one-third full of shaved (cracked is fine) ice, shake (stir please) well, and strain into a fancy cocktail glass, put the lemon peel in the glass and serve. The flavor is improved by moistening the edge of the cocktail glass with a piece of lemon.

Walk through history of Gin.
Families of flavored distilled spirits, anise in the Mediterranean, Caraway in Scandinavia, Juniper in Holland.
Sweetened infusions used medicinally.
Distillation adds to this, increasing shelf stability.
Holland Gin, based on essentially unaged pot still Whiskey.
Taste through common Gin botanicals.
English soldiers develops a taste for Gin while fighting for Holland during Eighty Years War, 1568–1648.
When they get back to England, English distillers and compounders begin to try to replicate the dutch gin with slim knowledge of the traditions. The result is the English Gin which has come to be called Old Tom.
Starting as a Genver Clone, it evolved into what would become London Dry Gin.
Ransom Old Tom closer to the early style of Old Tom Gin.

Martinez Cocktail (which may or may not be named after the California town of Martinez and may or may not have eventually evolved into the Martini.)

2 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin
1 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
1 teaspoon Orange Curacao or Maraschino Liqueur (I used Cointreau)
2 Dash Orange Bitters
1 Dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice to chill and strain into a cocktail glass. Squeeze lemon peel over glass. Add a (preferably luxardo or toschi) cherry if you so desire.

Talk about the progression of Old Tom Gin, from Genever-like Ransom to a very nearly London Dry like, Hayman’s.
Plymouth, London Dry Gin
Plymouth is an interesting case, by all accounts it was a Genver style Gin up until some point in the 20th Century, “Flavored with the wash of whiskey distilleries”.

Aviation Cocktail

1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
teaspoon Creme de Violette
Generous teaspoon Maraschino Liqueur
1/4 oz Simple Syrup

Shake well with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Prohibition, instead of hiding the flavor of badly distilled whiskey, questionable alcohol.
After Prohibition, vodka and then tequila became the dominant clear spirits.
Aside from gin and tonics and the odd stickler bartender who still put well gin in their LIIT, Gin became again the disreputable property of Stickler Martini drinkers and alcoholic old women.
In the 1980-1990s, as the vodka market became saturated liquor marketers and manufacturers happened upon the “luxury” gin as a differentiating category. With back bars stocked with 10s of basically similar vodkas with only brand loyalty really separating them, Gin was a way to have flavor be a differentiator. Bombay introduced Sapphire followed by Tanqueray introducing Tanq 10, both downplaying the juniper flavor of the Gin.
The success of these two brands paved the way for the re-launch of classic gins like Plymouth and Beefeater and the wave of New Western Gins with their esoteric flavor profiles.

At this point, I had a couple ideas about what to make for a Modern Gin cocktail and wanted to use Martin Miller’s Westbourne Strength for the Gin. But I threw it open to the attendees, to see what they were interested in drinking. Interestingly, they came back with “Gimlet”.

Well, all right, then, have I got a Gimlet for them!

You see, as it turns out, just at this moment, and only until it is gone, there is some Small Hand Foods Lime Cordial at Heaven’s Dog.

Nobody REALLY wants to use Rose’s Lime Juice. It is full of High Fructose Corn Syrup, “natural” flavors, and artificial color. To remedy that, Jennifer Colliau has been working, off and on, on a lime cordial to replace Rose’s. But she hasn’t figured a way to make the economics work.

This batch required a case of organic Bears limes, at about $85, and only resulted in 2 cases of 375ml bottles of Lime Cordial.

As far as she can tell, there is no way that she could sell her lime cordial at a price that people would be willing to pay for lime syrup.

So this experimental batch was purchased by Heaven’s Dog and fantastic Gimlets are on the menu until it runs out.

Unfortunately, there’s no way you could replicate them at home, unless you make your own Lime Cordial. If I were to offer advice on somewhere to start, you might try my Sirop-de-Citron recipe with Limes instead of lemons.

So I offer you this Gimlet recipe instead:

West Coast Gimlet

1 1/2 oz Martin Miller’s Gin
3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup

Shake well with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with Lime Twist.

2 thoughts on “Gin-Tastic Gin-i-nar

    • I’ll have to look for that issues of Imbibe, though have some pretty good ideas for a starting point. Not that I expect it will be any cheaper than Jennifer’s.

      Those two Gins are really different styles of Old-Tom, with Ransom representing the early rougher styles and Hayman’s representing the later more refined style of Old-Tom. I like both Gins, but if I had to pick just one to have, I’d probably pick the Hayman’s, as a more all around useful Gin. On the other hand, a lot of bartender friends would say the exact opposite, but then we like big flavors. I would just buy one, and when you run out, try the other.

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