Articles Tagged: Miller’s

Cocktails

Negroni Week: Cocktailing by Consensus (Revised, August 2011)

Aaron’s Note: Please excuse this re-post. This isn’t something we normally do around here, but seeing as how this week we’re covering the Negroni cocktail in depth, I felt it worthwhile to re-post this blog post I did earlier this year on the delicious and stimulating cocktail (with a few new editorial comments) Cheers!

Generally the Negroni is considered a “pre-dinner” drink. The bitters, often Campari is designed to stimulate the appetite before a meal. Apertifs and Digestifs in particular are more common in Italian culture; therefore the reputed origin of the Negroni- say Florence, Italy, somewhere around 1919?

Regardless of origin, this drink is classic; however uncommon it may be. In its most general form a Negroni consists of gin (surprise, surprise!), sweet red vermouth, and a bitters/campari. Though in theory an alternative like Cynar could be used, most cocktailians seem to agree that this is a drink for Campari. Though other variations exist, I don’t know if I would call them a true Negroni.

  Source #1 Source #2 Source #3 Source #4 Gin 1 part 1 oz. 1 oz. 1.5 oz. Vemouth 1 part 3/4 oz. 1 oz.

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Other Thoughts

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Liquors

As I hinted at yesterday, it’s been a good year for drinking. There’s plenty of fabulous gins out on the shelf at this very moment that would perfect for the gin (or even non-gin) lover in your life.

First, I start with a classic, a gin that I think is perfect for anyone in your life who loves a good drink. Hendrick’s Gin has won “Gin of the year” and has been voted “World’s best Gin” in its ten year history- and with good reason. It has 11 Botanicals, among which are coriander, lemon, sage, juniper, Angelica and Orris root. But what really sets it apart is the cucumber and rose petal infusion which gives it a distinctive aroma. This perfect harmony appeals to even the vodka drinkers in all of our lives. So its okay to give them a nudge in the right direction and give them a bottle of Hendrick’s.  You don’t even need to be told, its definitely okay to give to the gin drinker in your life. Trust me. The Gin is In Review (4.5 / 5) / Hendricks’ Website / The Unusual Times P.S.: Thanks to Lauren for the lovely bottle of the World’s Most Unusual Gin.

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Cocktails

The Bees Knees

The Tom Collins is a classic standby for me when in someone’s house. Its easy to make, nearly any kitchen at any house has all of the ingredients. Its a drink I also avoid when out, because there still exists the kind of bar out there that will drown your sorrows with the dreaded yellow kool-aid better known as “sour mix.” Ugh!

So the other day reading up on my cocktails, I stumbled across the Underhill Lounge’s historical investigation of the cocktail known as “The Bees Knees.” The drink is a simple enough cocktail: replace the simple syrup in a Tom Collins with honey, shake and serve.

The honey can be rather cloying and sweet, but it lends a certain gravity to the drink. Whereas the Collins is essentially sippable, the Bees Knees tastes thicker and feels more satisfying. Its the gin drinker’s answer to “sooth your sore throat with a tea and honey.” (unless you fancy a hot gin Toddy, which in that case I’m curious to hear how well that works for you)

Another take on the Bees Knees is held by Jeffrey Morganthaler. He advocates making a simple syrup out of the honey (more Tom Collins like), but he also says that white rum makes an acceptable substitute.

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Cocktails

The Gimlet

It’s not just for preventing scurvy anymore.

The gimlet is among the simplest drinks in existence. Gin + Rose’s Lime Juice.  (fresh food types should be aware that if you substitute Fresh for Rose’s you end up with a Gin Rickey.) The devil in the Gimlet is in the ratio though.

If we start at the most extreme version (dating to 1953) we need only a 1:1 ratio of Rose’s Lime to Gin.  For many cocktail drinkers, this might be unbearably sweet. Most recipes use less lime juice.

Unsurprisingly, the Rose’s lime juice site recommends the 1:1 ratio also, which coincidentally uses the most of their product. Drinksmixer barely tips the scales in favor of gin advocating a 5:4 ratio. The “Mad Men” inspired version of the Gimlet recommends a 2:1 ratio in addition to a whole slew of lime slices. Also, ignore the fact they use Vodka, despite vodka not being popular in gimlets until much later. You’re not going to Mad Men for an accurate portrayal of the period, right? Back on topic, Esquire is a fan of the 3:1 ratio. Drink of the Week bills the Gimlet as a “martini alternative” and suggests a 4:1 ratio.

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Other Thoughts

The Hot Gin Top 10 Chart

I did something like this a couple of years ago, which was the inspiration for me beginning a gin blog. I thought that nearly 6 months into this endeavor, it was time to update my top 10 and see if and how my tastes have changed. Miller’s starts at #1, and I think it might be very hard to find a gin capable of unseating it. But that does not mean I will not try.

Without further ado, the hot gin top 10 for September 2010…

This Week Last Week Weeks on Chart Name of Gin 1 2 2 Miller’s 2 3 2 Hendrick’s 3 1 *DEBUT* G’vine Nouaison 4 1 2 G’vine Floraison 5 5 2 Bombay Sapphire 6 4 2 Bluecoat Gin 7 8 2 Tanqeray Ten 8 1 *DEBUT* Gabriel Boudier’s Saffron Gin 9 1 *DEBUT* Beefeater Summer 10 1 *DEBUT* New Amsterdam

Dropping off the chart: Citadelle (last week, #6), Tanqueray with Rangpur (last week, #7)

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Cocktails

the Aviation

The classic cocktail revival has brought with it several drinks from the dead. But this is one drink that couldn’t be brought back from the land of ghosts and smoke until Creme De Violette returned to the market. For this small mercy, the gin community thanks Rothmann and Winter.

The drink is a potent blend of gin, Creme De Violette, Maraschino, and lemon juice. Usually served martini style, shaken with ice and poured into a martini glass. The aviation’s beauty is its simplicity. A classic gin mixed with a couple strongly flavored liqueurs. It also has a wonderful purple/blue color if you use a clear gin. Though if beauty isn’t your goal, I’m going to make a couple of suggestions that will make you an ugly as sin, but delicious drink.

Recipe by Consensus In this case, I’m not going to rattle off a bunch of recipes, but tell you from experimentation what I think the perfect aviation is.

2 shots of good gin (this drink is nearly all gin, so I wouldn’t advise cheaping out here) 1/3 shot of Maraschino (you could do less if you dislike the strong flavor of it, but I think it adds balance) 1/3 shot of Creme De Violette.

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Gin Reviews

Martin Miller’s Westbourne Strength London Dry Gin

martin miller's gin

It’s Miller Time. No, not the  Miller that advertises during football games, nor am I talking about Sabres starting goalie Ryan Miller. It’s Miller’s Gin Time.

Let me begin by getting this out of the way. This is my favorite gin. Hands down. The Miller’s regular strength (80 proof) is a solid choice, somewhat more inexpensive ($31-35 for 1 L) and while it still has all of the outstanding features, they’re just a little less pronounced, and a bit more subtle.

Miller’s gin balances a crisp clean Juniper flavor with a  hint of Citrus sweetness. These two flavors are in such perfect harmony, that Miller’s is the epitome of versatility in gin. Whereas some gins are decidedly Citrus (Bluecoat) and others are about the Juniper (Tanqueray), this gin walks the line and is a good choice for whatever you drink of choice is. Despite the strength of the Westbourne (90 proof) it is remarkably smooth, and very drinkable straight.

As for other London Dry Gins I’ve reviewed, this one strays the least from the classic flavor profile. Miller’s Gin contains some faint hints of other herbs and spices, but nothing like Tru2 or Gabriel Boudier’s.

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Cocktails

Best Gin in X Drink?

The Ultimate Cocktail Challenge in NYC this past April sought to figure out a) what the best makes of each liquor was and b) which liquors worked best in various drinks.

Of course this is a commendable idea in that this is exactly what I am working on doing in this blog, gin by gin. However, I feel that their gin results are somewhat off base. First, there are notable omissions. Not only is my favorite gin Miller’s not on the list- but the list of Gins reviewed hardly matches the breadth of the gins on the market currently. Some of my least favorite gins: the dull Plymouth, the oddly spiced Citadelle and of course Tanqueray dominated the top 10 whereas strong new varieties of gin such as Hendrick’s, G’vine and Bluecoat seem relegated to the bottom of the list almost without fail.

Tanqueray won nearly every drink category as the best gin of choice for any beverage. How did they overlook Bluecoat’s subtle citrus notes in a proper tom Collins; the way saffron and violet eerily go together in an Aviation; or the way that a straight gin and tonic brings out the unique flavors of G’vine?

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