Articles Tagged: Gin and Tonic

Tonic Water

Boylan Heritage Tonic

boylans-tonic-water

The Boylan Bottling company has teamed up with W&P design to elevate their line of sodas with the cocktail audience in mind. Boylan Heritage Tonic eschews the distinctive longneck bottles and throwback Boylan look and instead occupies a shorter, fatter bottle (like others, including Q Tonic in this space) and sports a simple, stylized, rustically designed bottle that looks exactly like it should belong in the cooler at your local cocktail joint. In short, they’ve hit the mark. It looks like a high end tonic. But how does it taste?

Tasting Notes

Soda like, with quinine and sweet orange zest on the nose, lemon-lime soda, the palate is clean and crisp, with a pleasant dry lemongrass and lemon-lime soda/7up sort of flavor, that gets drier and more bitter on the finish with quinine and bitter orange notes taking over.

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News

This Week in Gin

times london dry gin

What’s New?

Who’s Talking about Gin?

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Tonic Water

1724 Tonic Water

1724 tonic

I loved Tonic Water. Almost as much as I love gin. Only almost.

And for a man who loves tonic water, one of the saddest parties that I feel like I’m missing out on is the Tonic explosion of Europe, Spain in particular. A beverage which here in the states most are willing to accept as a plastic bottles, saccharine sweet and pretty much absent of any bitterness, is seeing a vast expansion overseas of artisan care, attention to ingredients and importantly, how the end result mixes with vodka, other spirits, but most importantly gin. Of course when the fine folks who distribute 1724 offered to send me a sample, I graciously accepted. And have since been at work diligently putting it to work with my vast stocks of gin. So how is 1724 tonic? Can it live up to the hype?

Tasting Notes

Starts very clean, crisp and refreshing almost nothing: a touch of effervescence. Nice character because this is exactly where your gin shines brightest. It really allows a gin to come through strongly on the first taste, and the tonic comes in second, mellowing and offsetting: the sweetness builds in the middle.

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Cocktails

Oceana

oceana

 

Bar Programs are a dime a dozen at restaurants these days, with every looking to be a little bit of “everything” to everyone. But focused bar programs, those are exceptionally hard to find. So although I would say, Oceana’s selection of other spirits are quite good in some places [whiskey?] their gin program stands head and shoulders above. Because it’s not just the gin selection which is stellar, but the attention paid to gin’s two major drinks which everyone knows that helps Oceana stand out as a place for a gin drinker in New York City to seek out.

First, the selection. It was excellent, with almost 50 gins spanning both sides of the Atlantic. Most stunning to me was that they had Berkshire Mountain’s Ethereal Gin Batch No. 4 as one of their more inexpensive options. An out of production, never to be seen again, excellent gin just sitting there? Their other options included stateside standbys like Corsair, Greylock, Farmer’s and Terroir (to name a couple, warning .pdf). Plenty of classic gins from Europe were represented on the stellar menu, including several of our 4.5 and 5 star reviews.

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Tonic Water

Haber’s Tonic Syrup

habers tonic bottle

While strolling a local street festival this past summer I stumbled upon Haber’s tonic. Imagine my surprise, walking a festival where the only things I expect to find are cheap socks and $20 1000 threat count sheets, and perhaps more than one stand of burned CDs and no fewer than 3 or 4 folks selling lemonade and grilled corn- I found something new, and oddly enough for me walking at a street festival: something I actually wanted.

Even more exciting for me as a proud resident of Astoria, it is made locally. Naturally, this is perhaps the most exciting street fair find of the year for me. For my wife, her favorite find might have been the free sunglasses from Seamless. But that’s another story.

Haber’s tonic syrup is an amber golden brown, with even a hint of something reddish in there. Visually brighter than other tonic syrups and very opaque.

Flavorwise, it’s quite sweet, a good deal of citrus on the mid-notes, and the finish has a mild amount of quinine and some ginger- maybe even a touch of lemongrass on the finish. It tastes zesty and fresh, very bright.

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Tonic Water

Strong Tonic

strong-tonic-bottle

I can’t get enough tonic syrup. This is  by far the best trend to hit gin since gin became cool again.

Straight out of Oklahoma City.

I know, you probably didn’t think of Oklahoma as a hot bed of cocktail incubation. But this is what I love about the craft spirits thing. It’s everywhere. Really. This isn’t just a New York thing. Or a Seattle thing. This thing is going on everywhere. So although Oklahoma doesn’t have a gin yet [do you hear me Oklahomans? I’m anxiously awaiting. Call me!] our nation’s 46th state is contributing to the gin revolution in this country.

Okay, enough with the history you say! How does it taste?

So! How does it Taste? I’m going to reverse things up a bit here and talk a little about how it mixes first.

Strong Tonic advocates a recipe for G&T as followed:

    3 parts soda water 2 parts gin 1 part tonic syrup garnish with citrus

I found this to be an effective and quite good ratio. When mixed with gin, the initial thoughts were a “tad fruity,” “christmas and holiday spices,” “remarkably different than other tonic syrups.”

It makes a good G&T, a tad more sweet than other tonic syrups by volume hence the ratio above.

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News

Gin News [July 26th, 2013]

New Product Launches

Awards From the Field

    Congrats to Ford’s Gin who won the prestigious Best New Product Award at this years Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards. The International Wine and Spirit Competition only gave out a huge amount of medals to gin this year [go to this link and do a search for gin if you want to see the whole list….]. In brief, a couple of the Gold Winners were: Adnams Copper House Distilled Gin, No 3. London Dry Gin, Gibson’s London Dry and Bathtub Gin from Master of Malt. The list of silver medals among the various categories is actually quite diverse with a couple new names like Canada’s Ungava and rare overseas brands like Muhlvierteler from Austria getting some well deserved credit.

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Cocktails

On the Deeper Meaning of ‘Gin and Tonic’

One of my favorite authors [Douglas Adams] once pondered at length on the notion of the [Gin ‘n’ Tonic] in one of my favorite books [The Restaurant at the End of the Universe]. Surely although the drinks are “not the same,” Adams calls into question the very raison d’être of one’s being and the presence of a drink that fulfills the role of the Gin and Tonic. Although surely one of the most delicious drinks there are, I think that what he’s saying is that no matter who or what we are, there is a time and a place for that underlying essential-ness which the gin and tonic represents. 

Perhaps you’re saying, “Just give me a drink already, I didn’t come here for philosophy.” And to that, I say, sure, but while you’re here, why not enjoy one of the best examples of the Gin and Tonic making itself known in modern literature. Regular reviews and cocktail-ology returns later this week.

“It is a curious fact, and one to which no one knows quite how much importance to attach, that something like 85% of all known worlds in the Galaxy, be they primitive or highly advanced, have invented a drink called jynnan tonnyx, or gee-N’N-T’N-ix, or jinond-o-nicks, or any one of a thousand or more variations on the same phonetic theme.

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Tonic Water

Hansen’s Tonic

hansens-tonic

Hansen’s Tonic comes in the perfect sized can for a really tall Gin and Tonic – so immediately it gets points there. It has an attractive bright appearance, invoking a certain bright “citrusy” feeling right from the outset. This seems appropriate, as Hansen’s tonic has two important points of difference when looking  at its ingredients:

One, sugar instead of corn syrup. This is an important point of difference in the American market where most tonics opt for the high fructose corn syrup and the syrupy taste it imparts. Sugar is a little bit sharper, but equally as sweet.

Two, it adds citrus extracts right into the tonic syrup. This makes it somewhat palatable on its own, more akin to a bitter, only very slightly orange flavored soda. It’s a nice touch,  but not one which really makes or breaks it in a drink.

The citrus does add some nice notes, and helps with a) gins which don’t have strongly citrus notes or b) gins where you might not have added a dash of lemon or lime anyway. But if you’re the kind of person who prefers their gin and tonics without citrus, this might not be the right tonic for you.

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Gin Reviews

No. 0 [Number Zero] Gin

numberzeroginbottle-467x1024

I’ve been talking about Spain as the “other frontier” of the contemporary gin movement [the United States  being the primary one]. If you’ve been staying tuned in to us, you’ve seen a couple reviews of gins from Spain in the last month. And a couples things have become clear. The Spanish distillers love experimentation and are not afraid to use something completely novel. And these gins are custom made for Gin Tonica.

With the focus seemingly on making this one drink [and making it well] gin distillers have set their sights on making a great gin which compliments tonic water [that will explain at least one of the unusual botanicals in No. 0]. But this bottle doesn’t stop there. It aims to provide “premium” gin at a lower price point than other brands. I’d say this is one trend that is very present in discussion of Spanish gins which I’d posit isn’t even a trend in the American market. Most “premium” or ‘craft gins’ come in at around $30. Number Zero’s point of difference isn’t just flavor, but that at 17 Euros [$22] it’s cheaper than many other similar offerings out there.

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