‘Tis the season of gin! Gin, gin, ginny, gin, gin. If you can’t tell, we’re pretty pumped about it. Maybe it’s the spirit’s subtle fir tree flavor or maybe it’s all the seasonal cocktails gin can make. Or maybe it’s the arrival of these wildly amazing new bottles to our stores. Whatever it is, we’ve got gin on our minds all month long.
But before we get into what makes these new bottles so amazing, we need to first dispel a few misconceptions about this classic spirit.
Myth: All gins taste the same and they all taste like Christmas trees
All gins start the same, but they don’t end up the same. When a gin is created, a neutral alcohol is infused with any number of botanicals, one of which is juniper berries which gives this spirits its characteristic fir tree palate. But distillers can add any other botanicals they like to create gins with vastly different flavor profiles. Eden.Mill Love Gin, for example, is made with rose petals and hibiscus and has a pale pink color when poured. Dingle Gin, on the other hand, has a smooth palate closer to what you’d expect from a gin thanks to its infusion of rowan berry, bog myrtle and hawthorn.
Myth: Gin is only good in a martini
First of all, pfffffft! Second of all, gin is one of the most mixable spirits around. And the good kind of mixable–you use it to add to the complexity of the drink, not to hide behind the complexity of the mixers. Ever had a French 75? It has sparkling wine and lemon juice. What about a Negroni? Or a Southside? Try this Rosemary Gimlet for a festive drink version of the classic cocktail, the Gimlet.
Myth: Gin is only for fancy pants in England
Not true. Gin is for everyone. Britain might be well-known for their plethora of gins, but the spirit was originally made in Holland and has grown in popularity around the world. However, it is true that the four new gins we have available at ABC Fine Wine & Spirits: Eden.Mill and Pickering’s come to us from Scotland and Dingle is made in Ireland. You can shop all gins by clicking here, including gins from Florida, Germany and Italy.
Myth: You can resist gin all winter long
You can’t. Especially after you’ve tried one of these new bottles. Which brings us to…
Eden.Mill Love Gin
Made in St. Andrews, Scotland, Eden.Mill Love Gin is a rosy-colored spirit with notes of strawberries, raspberries and vanilla. It’s sweet flavor starts on the nose and ends with the finish. Aromas of rose and berries carry through a sharp, fruity finish. Made by hand using copper pot stills, this small batch, Scottish spirit is incredible in a gin and tonic with a splash of elderflower liqueur. Look for it online here or in-stores in the coming weeks.
Dingle is a gin born of tradition on innovation. Meticulously made using a secret recipe, we only know that some of the botanicals used to infuse this smooth London dry gin are sourced directly from Ireland, including rowan berries from ash trees in the mountains and fuchsia, bog myrtle, hawthorn and heather found in Kerry. This Irish gin has seen numerous awards. Most recently, in 2017, Dingle Gin won gold at the New York International Spirits Competition, silver at the Irish Food Awards (Blás na hÉireann), and was deemed Best Irish Gin at the Irish Whiskey Awards.
The recipe for Pickering’s Gin is based on a handwritten recipe dating back to 1947, Mount Mary, Bombay, India. After a few tweaks, the first batch was ready for prime time in March of 2014. This gin shows bold flavors of citrus alongside the juniper before it opens up to cardamom, coriander and clove. There is a backbone of sweetness that leads to a crisp finish. Pickering’s is made at Summerhall Distillery in Edinburgh, the first dedicated gin distillery to be established there for over 150 years.
Pickering’s Navy Strength Gin
Pickering’s Navy Strength is smooth and powerful with a burst of juniper and spice on the front that mellows into a sweet, yet strong, palate. In 2014, Pickering’s became the official gin sponsor of The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. To commemorate the occasion the distillery released their Navy Strength gin, also known as the bearskin gin–you can see why with one quick look at the bottle. Enjoy this one in a classic Gin & Tonic.
*Please celebrate responsibly