You either love it or you hate it. That’s what everyone says, right? Well, we’re not sure how we feel about that. Gin has many different, distinctive flavors. And although every brand of gin is distilled with different herbs and botanicals, the exact flavor profile can differ from spirit to spirit. Thus, making gin a universally broad category of cocktails. The point being – there is far more to gin, than just the classic G&T. And we’re here to plead its case to those of you who aren’t necessarily believers. Yet.
Though gin had been supremely popular in England long before, it officially saw its heyday in the States during the late 19th century and throughout Prohibition. People loved to try the new and unique developments of the spirit. One in particular, Old Tom Gin, was a softer, sweeter recipe that made it a little more approachable for everyone. But, cocktails were the real reason that gin shined. The Martini was the ultimate drink to establish class and refined taste.
During Prohibition, bootleggers made “bathtub gin,” which was a response to the lack of quality spirits throughout the period. They began using large vessels inside their homes to create and mix liquors in order to go undetected by the police. The movement was so big, there’s even a gin joint in New York named Bathtub Gin! Although the effort to keep gin around was appreciated, it did seem to damper the excitement around the spirit once Prohibition finally ended.
Beginning around the forties vodka came on the scene. Pretty soon, thanks to James Bond and The Rat Pack, people were ordering vodka martinis instead of gin. By the sixties, gin had seen a severe decline in popularity and has only recently seen any sort of upswing. But even today, there’s a large misconception about gin. That’s it’s too “piney,” it “tastes like a Christmas tree,” and the like. Well, let us tell you something folks, if the gin you’re drinking tastes like, like sap and cedar, you’re tasting the wrong kind of gin.
Bartenders and cocktail connoisseur love the spirit. And, we don’t disagree. The wonderful thing about gin is that each brand has its own nuances, its own botanically infused spins that makes it a completely different experience. The key here is to find what gets your gears grinding. We encourage you to take the time to try several different types and variations of gin before you turn your back on it completely. We know that some things aren’t for everyone, and it just may not be your cup of tea, per se. But, what’s the harm in giving it a whirl just in case? You may find out that what you’ve been missing out on has been worth the wait after all.
We’ve gathered some of our favorite unconventional gin cocktails to set your mind running.
1 1/2 oz. gin
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. crème de famboise
Topped with ginger ale
2 oz. gin
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
1/4 oz. simple syrup
1 egg white
Topped with club soda
1 1/2 oz. gin
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. sweet vermouth