Articles Tagged: American Gin

Philosophy

Is there room on the shelf for two kinds of gin?

…or perhaps even three. But I’d be getting ahead of myself.

Firstly, the premise. The hook: there’s at least two distinct kinds of gin out there.

The Bourbon/Rye Parallel: It’s not as night and day as say rum vs whiskey. Even when both are aged, you can clearly distinguish between the two. It’s more of a distinction between say Rye and Bourbon. I know, at your local dive bar, or for folks who make cocktails once a year, having a “whiskey” is sufficient. But when is the last time you’ve seen a cocktail menu of any repute simply call out a whiskey, as if to imply to the drinker, the finer points don’t quite matter here?

For example, I don’t have to have had Buffalo Trace Bourbon to ascertain whether or not it fits my tastes. I’m largely familiar with other Bourbons, so although not all Bourbons are the same, I can roughly ascertain, “this might be a sweet, a bit smoother and have less edge.” If I’m looking for something with ‘a bit more spice, something peppery, some heat,” I might opt for the Rye sour….well maybe not, but you see where I’m going with it.

Read More ...

Top 10s

Top 10 Most Quintessentially Essential “American” Gins

The United States is far from a homogeneous nation.  From region to region, we have as much divergence in culture, climate, and attitude as some entire continents. But yet, often I am asked, “Which gins are the most quintessentially American?,” or “What is the most American gin?”

While I will go on the record saying, “I’m not quite sure that such a thing as the Most American Gin exists,” I think it’s a worthwhile exercise to try and compile a list.

That being said, this list is my opinion/thoughts on which gins are the most quintessentially unique American gins. You’ll notice two things: this list doesn’t correspond with my ratings [if you want that, just sort by the highest rated, find the American ones and boom!]. Second, you’ll notice my rationale isn’t always [only sometimes] about the flavor.

I’ve also set myself a couple of ground rules: 1 gin per distillery. Even if a gin makes a couple of worthy entries to this chart, I’m holding myself to just one.  Two, it has to be what could somewhat be considered craft. I know this is a loaded term, but I’m excluding names like Seagram’s and Fleischmann’s [among which those two might be the biggest American distilled gins] to focus on the smaller guys.

Read More ...