If Katy Perry condones sippin’ gin and juice then there’s not too much that could be wrong with it. It’s National Gin Day on Saturday and we’re offering some innovative ways to savor this unique spirit. The first rule of thumb; gin is the true spirit of the cocktail, meaning that it only plays well if there’s others and wasn’t designed to be consumed neat. Cue left shark!
Traditionally from Holland and England, gin was the first liquor to depend on ingredients from every corner of the globe: liquor distilled from Baltic grain, juniper from Italy and spices from the far east. It was, in fact, one of the first multinational products ever produced!
When world power passed from the Dutch to the British, gin’s slightly astringent flavor was found to nicely hide the bitterness of quinine water, the tonic used to prevent and treat malaria among British troops in southern climates. Thus was born the classic G&T. Americans dreamed up with the gin martini sometime in the late 19th century, but it wasn’t until prohibition that this most suave cocktail (famous aficionados include Bond, Hemingway, Chandler, and Gable) became a craze. This may be because it was a lot easier to make a passable bootleg gin—just add lots of juniper to your moonshine—than a decent whiskey.
The finest gins obtain subtle and complex profiles by passing the heated vapors of a fine, pale grain alcohol over their individual recipes of juniper and anywhere from 3 to 14 other herbal flavorings. Less expensive gins soak their herbal flavorings in the alcohol or use plant extracts, which results in a powerful flavor that may be fairly simple and piney. Age is not considered in gins.
There are now dozens of gorgeously-crafted gins available, each with a different ingredient list that offer you subtle variations on this classic flavor. Hendrick’s is one of our favorites because it has essence of cucumber and rose.Try several, or hold a gin-tasting party to discover how varied this spirit really is today!
3/4 oz Gin
3/4 oz Dry Vermouth
3/4 oz Apricot Brandy
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
Instructions: Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.