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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Its summertime, and its time to take a serious look at some cocktails that are appropriate for lounging on the beach. The Southside Cocktail has gotten some serious press lately and seems to be considered part of this summer’s “Cocktail Canon” [right alongside the Gin and Tonic].So I thought it worthwhile to take a look at what people are saying about this drink and how to make the perfect one.
The drink has plenty of exciting origin stories: 1920’s Chicago, dark alleys and prohibition- but the real truth is much less made-for-movies and a likely explanation for why this Hamptons’ favorite is served so frequently on Long Island.
But alas, let me defer to an excellent history on the drink written by Rhett over at “And One More for the Road.”
Leite's CulinariaCockltail ChroniclesBrooklyn GalleyAnd 1 more for the road
Gin2 oz.2 oz.2 oz2.5 oz.
Lime2 wedges, squeezed
Lemon1 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice (1/2 a lemon)1/2 oz. lemon juice4 lemon wedges
Fresh Mint2 sprigs10-12 leaves6 or 7 leaves4-5 mint leaves
Club Soda1 splash
Simple Syrup1 oz.1 oz.
Sugar1 tsp2-3 tsp.
InstructionsSqueeze lime into a cocktail glass. Muddle mint with simple syrup and lime; add gin; stir.
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I would never turn down a chance to revisit some of my oldest gin commentaries. I think my knowledge of gin and my gin experiences have expanded greatly since that time back in winter 2009 when I decided that “since I had five gins in the apartment, why don’t I start reviewing them?!” Both varieties of G’vine’s gin were among those initial five. Although my initial review of Floraison was posted in August 2010, it was one of the gins that inspired me to take on this journey. Now, while well known, and having been reviewed by so many others, I’m to re-write my initial review and wonder “what can I add to the discussion of this wonderful floral gin?”
The Floral Nose
The first thing one notices when they open G’vine is the intense sweet aroma which almost jumps from the bottle. Its immediately sweet smelling. No alcohol scent and no juniper sent present. The nose is very one note, but a memorable and enticing one at that.
A lot of this floral sensation comes from the unique base. Instead of using neutral spirits, G’vine uses a wine grape base.
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