A few years ago (and with a much more limited scope of gin experience!) I took a first shot at trying to figure out which gins worked best in a series of classic gin cocktails. Since that initial attempt, I have tried more gins than I can even attempt to count, and I’ve been waiting for the chance to revise my initial list and offer a more nuanced take on how gin works in each of these cocktails.
These cocktails have become my “canon” for reviewing a gin. They’re the old-standbys, the familiar friends whose ingredients I always have in stock. They’re the cocktails that you can go into any bar with its salt and order (perhaps the lone exception in my cabinet may be the “Last Word,” but I digress. The cocktails in the Gin Cocktail Canon are: The Gin and Tonic, Tom Collins, Gimlet, Negroni, Aviation, Martini and The Last Word. All are fine cocktails and all worthy uses of your gin. But with so many new contemporary gins out there and bold experiments on the classic London Dry out there, it is no longer safe to assume that all gins are created equal.
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Berkshire Mountain Distillers are best known for its mainline of gin known as Greylock Gin. And although I went to Astor Place Wine and Spirits looking specifically for Greylock, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the green label and a name like “Ethereal Gin.”
The Ethereal Gins are small-batch, handcrafted, and limited edition. Other versions exist such as #3 in a yellow bottle, #2, in the pink bottle, and #1 in a green one. Each one is a limited batch and when it’s gone, it’s gone. Fortunately, it seems every year they Berkshire Mountain releases a new one, and if #4 (my sad and late introduction to their line) is any indication, they will all be worth looking forward to.
Ethereal Gin Batch No. 4 press release (.pdf)
The bouquet is herbal and complex. Juniper and pepper are immediately present upon tasting, and the gin lingers with a sharp but pleasant anise. This gin is a key player in cocktails. The flavors are not to be denied. For example, Ethereal Gin No. 4 is one of the few gins that can really alter the profile of a Negroni.
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The Gin is In wishes everyone the happiest of World Gin Days
Our World Gin Day Cocktail of choice is: Ethereal Gin No. 4 and Fever Tree Tonic.
Ethereal Gin No. 4 is a limited edition gin from Berkshire Mountain Distillers. It’s extremely smooth and has a nice herbal flavor and just a hint of Anise that lingers after each sip. We paired it with Fever Tree Tonic because the clean strong flavor of the tonic plus just the hint of sweetness that it brings to the table is the perfect compliment. I left out the lime because of Ethereal Gin’s predominantly herbal profile. Cheers!
For more on World Gin Day: http://worldginday.com and http://yetanothergin.co.uk
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