Of All the Gin Joints…
Posted on September 1, 2016
I am captivated by gin. My lifelong love of old movies suggested the notion that a gin martini was sophistication in a glass. I love the shape of the vessel, the flakes of ice, the unmistakable smell and taste of juniper mixing with other botanical’s only guessed at. Gin is trending again, craft gins flooding the market and threatening the availability of my standbys (and favorites): Boodles, Plymouth, and Beefeater. The shelves in liquor stores are suddenly filled with gin–and why not? Gin is simply flavored vodka–but the results are far from simple and offer seemingly endless variation.
Reform helped gin, refining the taste and production methods and starting it’s gradual social assent into high society. “Gin palaces” became a name synonymous with ornate Victorian pubs of a certain style–particularity in the Holborn area of London. One Fabulous example is the Princess Louise.
I know that distillation is the preferred method of producing gin, but I decided that I might blow up my kitchen–it requires an attention to detail that I am pretty sure I lack. I decided to go for the easiest method–compounding–which is just an infused neutral spirit.
It is hard for me to know definitively if it really was as good as those of us who sampled it that first tasting night thought it was–after all gin is a spirit that softens the edges of memory–but it seemed special. Something about being engaged with the process made the drinking ritual that much more rewarding. I have made several batches since that first, and even though I followed my notes everyone says that first batch was the best. Whatever guise the Gin spirit meets me with, I stay intrigued and hope I will for many years to come–even after this new “gin craze” dies down as things do.