Other Thoughts

Other Thoughts

Ginvent 2015

December 06, 2015 at 0103PM

Follow along with us this holiday season as we go through Drinks by the Dram’s 2015 Ginvent Calendar. You can follow along yourself at home by either picking up a calendar and either run ahead on your own by grabbing a copy of my latest book GIN: THE ART AND CRAFT OF THE ARTISAN REVIVAL (nearly all of the gins are featured in the book!) or staying tuned here for notes on the gins as we open them up alongside you.

For Ginvent, our rating system will be out of 5 ‘s and will instead be solely judging the spirit based on how it is on its own. Where we’ve done a more full review on the site, we’ll link to that as well.

Follow @aaronandtonic on Instragram or @theginisin on Twitter!

December 17th

Ferdinand Saar Quince Origin: Germany 30% ABV Quick Review: 

A cordial style gin that is absolutely exploding with good ideas! Riesling wine [check!]. Quince instead of Sloes [check!]. 30 botanicals! [check!] There’s just so many things happening that you can’t focus on what each of them does well. It’s an orchestra where everyone plays at once.

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Other Thoughts

Mashbox: Hudson

November 15, 2015 at 0422PM

There’s so many great spirits coming onto the market these days, if you’re not a critic, how do you keep up? More importantly, if you don’t live in the place where that spirit is distilled, how do you keep up?

Mashbox has the answer. Four times a year, they’ll ship samples (50mL) of three spirits to your door and give you a chance to try something new, something cutting edge, something you can’t get elsewhere. And they’ll give you a discount on the full bottle if you fall in love.

Mashbox was so kind as to send me a sample of their first box. As a New Yorker, I’m actually quite familiar with the contents of their first box which is inspired by the Hudson Valley. If you follow us, we covered Glorious Gin (yesterday after getting a sample in the latest Mashbox. But today we’ll do something unusual. We’ll also talk about the other two spirits in the Mashbox. Spoiler alert: they’re not gin.

The first inclusion is something which includes a lot of things familiar to gin drinkers: honey. There’s gins sweetened with Honey like Barr Hill () and gins distilled from honey like Comb 9 ().

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Cocktails

Blending Gins

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The art of blending is expanding into the world of gin. You may have seen such cocktails as of late if you are a patron of some cutting edge cocktail bars that tend to push the envelop; however, we predict this is a trend which is going to rapidly take the gin world by storm.

With the advent of contemporary gins, there are now more than ever gins which emphasize other ingredients than the humble juniper berry. If you have a flavor preference, odds are there’s a gin on the market today that pushes gin in that direction. This vast array of gins can now empower even the non-distiller to reimagine what their ideal gin might be and taste-like.

It’s also a way for fans of classic gin aficionados to embrace the new flavors while staying true to the style’s roots. But more on that in the blending section below. First, a case study of a cocktail found in the wild at one of my favorite spots, Pouring Ribbons in Manhattan, New York.

The Old Fashioned at Pouring Ribbons, July 2015

Case Study: The Old Fashioned at Pouring Ribbons

The cocktail itself is magical.

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Other Thoughts

Pre-order Gin! and Win a Tonic-lovers gift pack!

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Pre-order GIN: the Art and Craft of the Artisan Revival and win a tonic lovers’ gift pack! I’ve selected five tonic syrups that cover the range from the popular to the obscure, so you can have a perfect accompaniment to your gin all fall and winter.

I know, I know, there’s only three in the picture, but here’s what you can win. 

Here’s How it Works:

Step 1: Pre-order the book at: Amazon (US), Amazon (UK), Barnes and Noble, Indigo/Chapters, Waterstones or Book Depository. Will also be available at Bookstores everywhere! Support your local bookstores and find my book on Indie Bound.

Step 2: E-mail Me your proof of purchase/receipt: AARON@theginisin.com

I’ll be drawing the winner on September 10th, 2015! I’ll contact the winner randomly from all entries received. I will contact the winner via e-mail and I will ship you a box full to the brim with tonic-y goodness, and some other surprises!

Step 3: Read my book!

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Other Thoughts

Gin: The Art and Craft of the Artisan Revival

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Can you believe it, we’re almost there! Gin: The Art and Craft of the Artisan Revival is just a little over a month away! Over a year of hard work writing (and drinking!) will soon be in your living room. Or bar. Or well wherever you like to enjoy a good cocktail and read about fabulous spirits.

Looking to Pre-order?

Gin: The Art and Craft of the Artisan Revival will be available wherever fantastic books are sold. So please feel free to wait and pick it up On September 17th at your local independent and major bookstores. But if you want to ensure you’ve got your copy, here are some handy links on where you can pre-order.

In Canada: From Indigo

In the States: Indie Bound, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble

In UK/Europe: Book Depository, Amazon, or Waterstones

Thanks for reading! and I can’t wait to share this book with you! 

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Other Thoughts

Book Proofs are In! (and coming very soon)

gin-the-art-and-craft-of-the-artisan-revival-proofs

In light of Kate’s recent post about the copious amount of gin in the apartment, it seemed worth sharing that one of those things on the shelf was actually the proofs for my upcoming book! You can see the lovely design in progress with one of the chapter titles below, and some bottles at right for gins that talk about their water heavily in the marketing material (some familiar bottles, no?).

Yes, and most of the bottles pictures will actually be in the book as well. I think we topped out at over 300 different gins with tasting notes. Stay tuned, it’s going to be the best* book on gin.

*I’m biased, but no seriously. It really is.

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Behind the scenes at The Gin Is In

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Hello friends! On this rainy Tuesday, why not come take a behind the scenes tour of The Gin is In? The drinks are always carefully measured.

Some people have a shelf for their liquor. Perhaps a modest bar.

Some people have three book shelves. (To be fair, there’s some tequila and a bourbon here. Plus your creme de violettes (4 types), spicy pear liquor, bitters, etc.)

Some people also fill up their entertainment centers. These truly are the luckiest people. (The birds are not alcohol. Nor are the games, as far as I’m aware.)

This is where the magic happens!

This is just the gin still life lying around. You know, to remind ourselves of the beauty of it all.

This is an average amount of citrus (and tomatoes) for the house. Scurvy is not a problem.

 

And this is Juan, the turtle! He says hello. And that he would like an Aviation, please.

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Cocktails

Cooking in the Kitchen with Gin – Gin Whipped Cream

Heaven.

Gin Whipped Cream – So much more than you’d think.

After making the Gin Vanilla, it occurred to me that I could use this mixture in place of regular vanilla…for anything! Cookies, pancakes, sauces, ice cream, etc. And then, couldn’t I use just regular gin in place of vanilla?

Enter the Gin Whipped Cream. This is really lovely and different from the Cool Whip you buy from the freezer and spoon into your mouth on a hot August Sunday. (Ahem.) It’s rich, creamy, and scented with the notes of the gin. There’s no cooking, so much of the flavor and nose is preserved in sugary-cream form.

This is a rather simple recipe:

12 oz heavy whipping cream

4 Tbls Sugar

1/2 oz Gin, or Gin Vanilla

Whip all of this together with a mixer in a metal bowl, until soft peaks form.

Voila. It’s good with everything – berries, ice cream, itself.

Heaven.

Now, the real challenge here is combining this into a cocktail. A Gin Vanilla jam drink with Gin Jam topped with Gin Whipped Cream? A knitted hat to the first person that makes this. ;P

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Cocktails

Cooking with Gin: Gin in Horchata

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That’s right – we’re putting gin into drinks that are historically non-alcoholic. That’s just what we do here in Gin-Central.

Struck by the tastiness of Gin infused Vanilla, and presented with a whole takeout tin of leftover rice, Horchata happened! How did it happen, you ask?

Well, like this:

Gin Horchata

This is based on the Mexican horchata – rice, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and copious amounts of sugar. I’ve altered it a bit because I was too impatient to soak the rice overnight, like many recipes I saw.

Ingredients:

1 cup Leftover rice – and I mean leftover. If you cook up a fresh batch, let it sit in the fridge for a few hours.

1 cup Rice Milk – optional. You can also use water.

4 cups Milk

1/2 cup sugar, or, to taste

Dose of Gin Vanilla, or just plain gin. Or, just vanilla, but c’mon.

Liberal amount of cinnamon

Hand Blender, or regular blender if you must

Pan that you can cook in, and ideally put in the fridge

Ladel

Serving cups

Ice

Method to the Madness:

Put most of the rice in a pan on the oven.

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Other Thoughts

Cooking with Gin – Gin Salt

Tasty, I promise.

Tasty, I promise.

I guess you’re not really cooking with the gin, but this gin salt will certainly make your dishes more delicious, your pets better behaved and your life, generally, much better.

More realistically, I guess, this salt would make a killer addition to a gin-margarita. Really love gin? Find a way to take the gin jam recipe from earlier, put it in a gin cocktail with the gin infused salt. Triple gin action.

 

 

Ingredients:

A lot of salt. Like a canister. 3 cups maybe? The salary of a Roman solider for a week.

At least a cup of gin

Juniper berries, if you’re feeling adventurous or just can’t get enough of that fresh pine flavor.

Flat sheet pan

A place to let the pan sit

Bowl and spoon for mixing

Food processor or spice grinder or a lot of elbow grease

Steps:

Maybe two weeks pay, even.

1. Throw some salt into the bowl. Like, a week’s paycheck for a Roman soldier’s worth. 2. Crush the juniper berries lightly. I use the flat side of the knife. You probably shouldn’t copy me because I live dangerously in the kitchen.

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