Articles Tagged: gin


Sneak Preview: Varuna Cocktail


I’m excited today to share with you a second sneak preview from my forthcoming book Gin: the Art and Craft or the Artisan Revival. 

One of the biggest challenges I’ve found facing the recent explosion in quite excellent Aged Gins is the lack of cocktails to make with them. I partnered with friend and cocktail creator Justin (follow him on Twitter @thetoptippler) to help engineer some novel creations that highlight these new spirits. One which I’m really proud to share with you today is called the Varuna Cocktail and it is an unlikely pairing of aged gin and coconut rum that is absolutely sublime and unique. You’re going to love this drink as much as I do, I promise. And you can get a head-start on making one of these new aged gin cocktails today.

The Aged Gin!

I was playing around with Aged Gins and Justin’s cocktail. Roundhouse Spirits in Colorado makes a fantastic Imperial Barrel Aged Gin (). In the Varuna, Justin’s drink uses this gin to showcase the chamomile, floral, caramelized notes and marries them perfectly with the slight coconut note from the dash of rum, all in a rich, frothy texture.

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Gin: The Art and Craft of the Artisan Revival


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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Gin Reviews

The Gin Wife Reviews: Audemus Pink Pepper Gin

Hello friends, the Gin Wife here to talk to you today about a gin I happen to like very much! (Musical Flourish)

May I introduce Pink Pepper Gin, from Audemus Spirits out of France? Audemus states that there are Spanish pink peppercorns, juniper, and a variety of other spices in their gin. They suggest it served straight, or in cocktails.

First off – I love pepper. I put it on everything – salads, strawberries, meats, vegetables, etc. If it’s a food, I’ve probably tried to put pepper on it before. We own at least three or four pepper grinders, I sniff at pre-packaged peppers, and I’m aware that there are black, red, pink, and other varieties of peppercorns out there. I would get a tattoo dedicated to that wonderful, biting flavor if I could. So I felt like I was predisposed to enjoy this gin.

The first sip of gin had strong, but delicate, notes of peppercorn. (N.B.- pink peppercorns are not actually, well, peppercorns, but dried berries that resemble peppercorns in taste and appearance.) Juniper dawdled behind the peppery note, and it finished overall with some light hints of citrus.

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International Gin: Canada Edition

Hello friends.

It’s the gin wife, here today to speak about a recent vacation to Canada, and the gin-inspered fervor it inspired. (In Aaron, that is, I was more interested in all the flavors of chips and saying “Washroom” instead of “Restroom”.) We visited Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island – you should as well, reader! They are fun places.

Poutine is delicious.

But it was on that trip that I realized the Gin Never Sleeps. The urge to seek out the locally made gins runs deep – so deep that I’m fairly certain in a week and a half we visited 6 liquor stores. (You are welcome, the tax gatherers of Canada. We support you.) We obtained five Canadian gins, which Aaron will be discussing in detail in the coming days: Ungava (which he has apparently already reviewed in the past, but now he has his very own big bottle), Prince Edward Island Gin, Shiver Gin, Lemon Gin, and Iceberg Gin.

There is no rest for the gin taster.

Until Aaron can fill you in on the details, I will give you a brief set of opinions on the gin from my very own, supertaster palette regarding the last three gins in the list.

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Cocktails By Consensus: Honolulu Cocktail #2

Savoy Cocktail BookMade ManSotally ToberIdrink Gin1 part1 part1 part1 part Benedictine1 part1 part1 part1 part Maraschino1 part1 part1 part (says "Maraschino cherry, but I will give them the benefit of a doubt here)1 part Garnishlemon twist-mint leaves Shake well and strain.stir with ice and strain. stir with ice and strain.mix together with crushed ice, and add garnish.

In the Savoy Cocktail book, there are some obscure drinks whose name origins and references are lost to time. To every Corpse Reviver #2, there is a #1.

While the Honolulu Cocktail #1 contains vaguely tropical things, the #2 comes from seemingly out of nowhere. Maraschino? Benedictine? and of course gin. I’d say the only this drink has going for it is that its equal parts and therefore easy to remember.

But you’d probably be best off forgetting this one.

An almost saccharine, confusing blend of sweet cherry and herbs overpower the gin. Pretty much any gin just falls down here. Its a weird drink, and one whose mysterious name origins are just as opaque as why someone would mix these ingredients in this way.


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Guest Entry: How I learned to stop worrying and love the gin

Hello Gin fans. This is Katey, the long-suffering, bourbon-preferring wife of Aaron. I pestered Aaron into letting me write a guest entry; mostly to pad my writing portfolio. Here is a little open letter to all of you in the gin world out there.

Gin Fans,

I have to admit. My first introduction to gin is not as crystal clear in my memory as some people’s. This was not a “fall in love at first sip” sort of story.

I’m sure the first sip I took came from a dirty plastic cup at some smoky bar with an improper mixer, possibly even club soda?! After a hazy encounter or two, I thought of gin as nothing more than pine needles soaked in gasoline. Which, I have to be honest, is still what most gins taste like to me.

Alright, alright, I hear the snorts of disbelief (mostly from Aaron). The gasoline note of gin isn’t nearly that strong. Barely even flammable.  Moving on.

But I never really gave gin a sober thought. It was only after this blog started, and the gin came rolling through my house, that I began to think: “What is wrong with Aaron?

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Is Gin In?

I’d like to start this blog with an affirmative response. Gin is in.

My name is Aaron and I enjoy gin. I’m in my twenties, and although I consider myself a lover of my many kinds of drink and food, Gin has been and always will be my first love. This blog’s purpose comes out of a drive to expand my gin horizons. I have some favorites, and although I enjoy sharing my recommendations with my fellow gin-drinking friends, I’ve always found it rather strange that Gin has a reputation as an “old man’s drink” or as being too “piney.” This is my attempt to preach the gospel of gin to the internet at large and motivate myself to continue adventuring outside of the classics*.

So here’s how it works. I’ll review Bottles of Gin as I purchase them, and I will post various instructions for mixing drinks, and ocassionally I’ll do neither and muse on things in general. Other than that I’m just looking to share my love of gin with the internet at large, and hope that if you stayed away from Gin because of its reputation or arboreal qualities that you might give gin a second chance.

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