About a month ago, Mixology Monday returned with an equal parts cocktail challenge. Of course, given my predilection for easy-to-remember cocktails, cocktails which you can walk into a kitchen and not worry about whether or not you have the right ratio (e.g. the Negroni), I was ready to get in on that. And then the deadline passed without a stroke of inspiration and I never quite for my entry in.
So when Mixology Monday posted its most recent competition, hosted by Wordsmithing Pantagruel, with the theme (it’s not easy) “Bein’ Green” I had to get in on it.
So gin and green, they almost seem to go together naturally. Gin and Tonic with a garnish of lime. The quintessential portrait of gin. I wanted to get lime into this cocktail somehow. Mint is another ingredient which works well with gin. While in the summer, fresh mint is widely available. Perhaps even growing in your backyard. But let’s look out the window. It’s October, fall is here to stay so fresh mint might be harder to come by. But interestingly enough I have this bottle of Baffert’s Mint Flavored Gin lying around*.
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Baffert’s mint flavored gin has a wonderfully distinctive bottle at first glance. Subtle, not over-designed, it elegantly spirals, emulating the swirl of the Baffert’s logo. Given how relatively uncommon mint gin is, its not as if Baffert’s needed to do anything to stand in a not-so-crowded marketplace.
At least that’s what you think. Until you look up Baffert’s Mint Flavored Gin and see what kind of user they are targeting: “Bafferts offers a refined light taste that is perfect in Martini’s or a wide variety of cocktails that you would normally use vodka in.”
Baffert’s is targeting vodka drinkers and bills its mint flavored gin as an alternative to vodka in cocktails rather than a mint flavored alternative to what you might normally use gin in.
Interesting, let’s get into the tasting.
Smells exceptionally hot. Lots of ethanol burn in the nostrils. Slight hint of juniper, surprisingly little mint at first.
But the mint is not subtle once you get to the taste. Unlike other gins which include mint among the botanicals [Cardinal Gin from North Carolina for example] Baffert’s takes their namesake gin and infuses mint after distillation. Many gins add elements post-distillation, but it is worth pointing out, any gin which does so forfeits the legal right to call itself a London Dry Gin.
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