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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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.
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Who is Dorothy Parker?
First and foremost, who is Dorothy Parker? and why is a gin named after her?
Probably her best link to gin is her widely known quote “‘I like to have a Martini, two at the very most; three, I’m under the table, four I’m under my host!'”
Attributable quips aside, she was a renowned screenwriter, poet and critic. Her wit was described as “caustic,” and cost her a job with Vanity Fair in 1920 when higher-ups grew tired of her bold criticisms. She was a member of the Algonquin Round Table, a 1920’s association of influential New York City writers.
She was a social activist, whose left-wing activities actually got her on the Hollywood Blacklist despite two academy award nominations for her work.
So it was her reputation in the New York City arts scene, her wit, and her enthusiasm for gin which led to New York Distilling Company naming one of their two flagship gins after her.
And on to the Gin:
The nose is sweet and floral. Hibiscus and fruit. It smells sweet. In my initial notes I had written ‘reminds me of Starbucks’ passion fruit ice tea.’ Bright, refreshing, inviting and somewhat unique.
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