Entire volumes have been written on it, poetry and literature featuring it abound—that wonderful, mysterious concoction of distilled grain infused with botanicals creating unique flavors from bottle-to-bottle. Or, put in the words of a friend who hated** gin, “a f##kin’ pine tree in a glass.” Yes, it can be a divisive drink, but in this episode we hope to dispel the idea that all gins are created equal. Alex & Jordan encourage people to revisit the juniper-flavored upset stomachs of their youth and look into the long history and the varieties within this category.
On This Episode, you’ll learn:
- A bit of the history of gin and its predecessor, genever
- Some of the basic gin cocktails
- How different varieties emphasize different flavors even while all containing juniper
- How to properly stock your bar with gins (plural) to ensure always being ready to serve the right drink for your guests
**Hated until he tried a Gin & Tonic made with a citrus-forward gin and Jack Rudy Tonic syrup.
“When a man who is drinking neat gin starts talking about his mother he is past all argument.”― C.S. Forester, The African Queen
“The proper union of gin and vermouth is a great and sudden glory; it is one of the happiest marriages on earth, and one of the shortest lived.” — Bernard DeVoto
“A perfect martini should be made by filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy.” – Noël Coward
Gear & Supplies:
A proper martini should be made with gin and stirred; for that, a proper (and durable) mixing glass is an essential for the home bartender looking to impress. Cocktail Mixing Glass Seamless Yarai By Kotai
Of course, a mixing glass is no good without something to actually mix up the drink, so you’ll need a proper barspoon as well (which can also be used for measuring). Swissmar Stainless Steel Barspoon
If you’re looking to go the highball route, and want a G&T, we’d always recommend what we use on our home bars, Jack Rudy Tonic Syrup. Pair it with a more citrus-forward spirit, like Tanqueray No. 10 or DC’s own New Columbia’s Green Hat Gin, and you’ll see an entirely new side to this classic.
Nina Simone’s incredible Gin House Blues (best enjoyed with a drink in hand, dancing)
Any given gin will be made up of botanicals and flavors of all sorts of plants, we highly recommend giving yourself the best reference book on those plants that make our drinks in The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart.
And for a bit more on the history of this storied spirit, we’d recommend Gin: A Global History by Lesley Jacobs Solmonson.