World Gin Day - Celebrating 5 of the Finest Gins on the Planet (with Cocktails)

Gin has a long and eventful history, but most people aren't familiar with all the great gins being produced around the world. Most are familar with Beefeater, Bombay, Bombay Sapphire, Tanqueray, and maybe Gordon's, but what about all those craft gins available on the market today. What is the difference between Dutch-style gin and London-dry gin? What countries produce gin? You will be surprised to know that there are many varieties of gin to choose from and each containing a different amount of botanicals and percentage of juniper berry, the main ingredient in gin.It’s the main ingredient in the classic martini and contains bitter herbs that help improve digestion, so it’s no wonder gin gets its own global celebration on June 13, 2015. This strong juniper spirit makes some people make funny faces, while others can’t get enough of its distinct flavor.

If you have frequented bars over the last few years, you may have noticed the recent ginaissance. Once dismissed as a spirit of the elite and something you put in the bathtub during Prohibition, gin has quickly become the trendiest drink in town with craft distilleries, organic gin, and specialty bars stocking all styles of gins from around the globe and creating cocktail menus with gin in mind.

'World Gin Day' was founded by ginthusiast Neil Houston, 'Yet Another Gin, aka in 2009, what started off as a day to bring his friends together to drink gin has grown into a global celebration! In 2013 Emma Stokes, aka Gin Monkey took the reigns. 2014 was big and 2015 plans on being even bigger. The concept is simple: get people enjoying gin together all over the world. A day for everyone and anyone to celebrate and enjoy gin! Whether you’re already a fan of the juniper spirit, or looking for an intro, World Gin Day is the perfect opportunity to get involved. Here are some stats from last year's 'World Gin Day 2014'  http://worldginday.com/stats-2014/

Here are the different styles of Gin -

Plymouth Gin

Only one gin in the world has its own distinction. Plymouth was a favorite among officers in the British navy. It is considered be on the fruity side and a very mixable gin. Plymouth is used for cocktail recipes calling for pink gin.

Old Tom Gin

Old Tom is an old style of gin that essentially went away during prohibition. It was the gin used for classic cocktails like the Martinez, Old Tom is hard to find today. Hayman's Old Tom gin is one found in the U.S.

Genever

Genever is a Dutch style gin, with a higher content of malt with a strong, almost whisky-like flavor, which is why a lot of American whiskey distilleries are producing it, such as Bols, Wigle and Sons of Liberty.  Genever can be used as a substitute for whiskies in cocktails.

London Dry Gin

The London Dry gin is the biggest category of gin dominated by big names like Bombay, Tanqueray and Beefeater. Most bars will have these brands. For citrus-forward cocktails requiring gin, use Bombay. For most cocktails, I would use Beefeater, which is a very versatile gin that mixes well with others, but Bulldog has made a big push. With the influx of newer organic gins, there are many more options for pairing.

New American Gin

New American gins came about from the craft distilling movement in the United States. These are gins primarily designed with mixologists in mind and can have a range of all kinds of flavors. Some of the best New American gins are Aviation, Oregon (uses less juniper) and Bluecoat, Philadephia, PA. Use them in your favorite classic cocktails or modern day gin cocktails.

Here are some great Gins available today that are a break the norm in the gin category and offer different type of botanicals in it's recipes. Most gin experts consider Hendrick's Gin, with it's unusual cucumber and rose petal flavor profile in the early 2000's, as being the catalyst for this new focus on the use of different botanicals in gin recipes

Monkey 47

European Gin loaded with 47 botanicals handpicked from the Black Forest in Germany. like cranberry and lingonberry. The tasting notes are: Aroma is bold with bright floral notes, tangy citrus fruits, clear 'juniper', a peppery, spicy mouth feel, subtle hint of cranberries giving it a subtle fruitiness, which is rare in a gin.

Bulldog Gin

European Gin uses Chinese dragon eye, Turkish white poppy and Chinese lotus leaves in the 12 botanical recipe.

Brockman's Gin

Uses a blend of blueberries and blackberries to soften the gingery ornage of Bulgarian coriander.

Koval Dry Gin

Chicago's first distillery since Prohibition dials back the use of juniper emphasizing dark woodland spices.

Waterloo Gin

This Texas distillery focuses on the use of soft lavender in it's gin recipe.

Ford's Gin

Specifically designed for the mixologist in mind, this gin offers a heavy citrus, coriander, grapefruit and jasmine flavor.

Caorunn Gin

A bouquet of 11 botanicals with rowan berries, dandelion, and many Celtic ingredients.

Nolet's Silver Dry Gin

Dutch dry gin with fresh notes of Turkish rose, peach and raspberry.

 

Try one of these lovely Gin cocktail creations by Raise Your Spirits for 'World Gin Day' with a myriad of complex flavors - classic and modern twists, great for summer sipping. Spend the time to make these.

 

New Word

Photo courtesy of Food52

Take on the classic, Last Word, this concoction takes on a new look and taste with the use of Genepy. Genepy  is an herbal liqueur. The word also refers to alpine Artemisia plants (in the wormwood family), common to mountainous regions of France, Switzerland and Italy, rumored to have been used in fellow herbal liqueurs, Chartreuse and absinthe. Think of it not as a replacement for Chartreuse or absinthe, as it’s quite different with its own unique properties, but as an alternative, and particularly compared to the former, a far more affordable one.

  • 1 oz Aviation Gin
  • 3/4 oz Genepy (see above) or Strega (Italian herbal liqueur - less herbal than Chartreuse and Genepy)
  • 3/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1 oz lime sour (1:1 sugar syrup and fresh lime juice)
  • dash of Bar Keep Saffron Bitters

Prep - Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake to chill. Strain into chilled coupe.

 

Herbal Grapefruit

Photo courtesy of Food52

  • 2 sprigs fresh tarragon, plus extra for garnish
  • 1/4 oz *Lemon Verbena Syrup
  • 2 oz fresh ruby red grapefruit
  • 1.5 oz Ford's Gin
  • 1/2 oz Combier Pamplemousse Rose Grapefruit Liqueur
  • 4 oz  tonic water
  • a sliver of grapefruit

* Lemon Verbena Syrup - 2 cups of water, 1 2/3 cups sugar, 20 to 30 large fresh lemon verbena leaves. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, bring the water and sugar to a boil.  Add the lemon verbena leaves and cover the pan. Steep for 15 minutes. Strain the syrup through a fine-mesh strainer, discard the leaves, and let cool. Store the syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Prep - In a cocktail shaker, muddle the tarragon with the syrup. Add half ice, grapefruit juice and the gin. Shake well. Fill a tall glass halfway with ice cubes. Add a sprig of tarragon, and slice of grapefruit. Pour contents of shaker into glass. Top off with tonic water.

 

Honey Flower

Photo courtesy of Liquor.com

  • 1 oz. Waterloo Gin
  • 1 oz Creme Yvette or Creme de Violette
  • 3/4 oz ginger honey (equal parts fresh ginger juice and wild flower honey)
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1 dash Bar Keep Lavender Bitters
  • 1 lemon wheel
  • 1 lavender sprig

Prep - In a mixing tin, add all ingredients, Add ice. Shake well and strain into a rocks. Add lavender sprig and lemon wheel garnish.

 

Nolet Bramble

Photo courtesy of CHOW

  • 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 4 blackberries and 2 frozen peach slices thawed
  • Crushed ice
  • 1 oz crème de mûre or blackberry liqueur, such as Marie Brizard Blackberry Liqueur
  • 1 1/2 oz Nolet’s Dry Gin or Brockman's Gin

Prep - Combine the lemon juice, peaches and blackberries in a rocks glass and muddle until the berries are broken up. Add some crushed ice, crème de mûre or blackberry liq and gin. Stir well for about 20 seconds to mix.

 

"Happy Mixing"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See my post one of the newer aged gins here New Age Gin

 

 

 

 

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