Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A New Yorker's Guide to Gin

Gin is having a moment. TLOML has been convinced this would happen for years - to the extent that he was actually trying to find an independent gin company to buy stocks in. Alas, I fear we have missed the boat. Every good cocktail bar has a hip gin cocktail prominently on its list. It's the new vodka.

Hendricks was what started it all for TLOML. So refreshingly cucumber-y! He had a long relationship with the 'ultimate gin and tonic' at the SLS Beverly Hills. It involves Hendricks, Fever Tree tonic water, an edible flower and spherical ice cubes. Apparently they absolutely must be spherical.

Fortunately for our bank balance we moved away from spontaneous pop-in-for-a-drink-and-ooops!-spend-$100-on-bar-snacks proximity to SLS. So we got into mixing our own Hendricks and tonics at the beach pad, where I'm ashamed to admit the icecubes were never spherical.

Here in New York we noticed even more obscure gins on offer and thought it might be time to branch out. We recently bought a bottle of Old Tom on the recommendation of our friendly local liqor store owner.

Sceptical? So were we. Think it looks more like whiskey than gin? So did we. But it is really good. A sipping gin, if you can believe it. Well, TLOML enjoyed his neat over ice, but I needed a splash of tonic in mine to make it sippable.

I think the next thing for us to try will be a New York gin. There are two which are appearing behind our favourite bars with greater frequency. They're locally made, by alco-artisans, and that in itself was enough to sell us in.

Our current second favourite bar serves Brooklyn, which smells like lavender and tastes like heaven. Well, if heaven were a refreshing, botanical sharpener. But - like all the good things in life - it's hard to find. Only two stores in all of Manhattan sell it. The daftly spelt Breuckelen (apparently it's Dutch) is easier to find and shares many of the same qualities: it's made in Brooklyn by gin fanatics, and it's good.

I suspect all of these new artisan gins are being made by bankers who lost their jobs and decided to spluff their final pay cheque on a potstill and some juniper berries - while their female counterparts set up cupcake shops. I don't blame them, I can see the appeal. And I'm mighty glad they're making it so easy for us to enjoy good local drinks. No more booze-miles guilt!

1 comment:

  1. I highly recommend the English Mojito at Bistrotheque next time you’re in town – muddled cucumber is delish!