Hailing from the watershed.
Which is known as Catoctin Creek.
Its waters are known to drain
To the bay called Chesapeke.
And the distillers
call Loudon County, VA their home
Released a few years back
a gin of their very own!
So they built their gin from scratch
Up on a base of Rye!
and the label says its organic!
for which it is genuinely certified!
So what say you Aaron?
what do you think of this gin?
At 100 proof it brings its heat
what kind of cocktails will you mix it in?
Enough with the Rhymes/Its drinking time!
We’ll hang up our poetry hat for a moment and get down to business right here. The nose is a tad strawlike, notes or carraway and pepper, but with a hint of something a bit jam-like in there, giving off hints of hibiscus and blueberry. Very subtly floral, but predominantly grainy. It doesn’t quite have a white whiskey nose, but you can tell you might be in the neighborhood.
At 100 proof,you might be expecting it to a bit harsher than it is. True, while it brings a noticeable heat, it is still rather smooth.
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In a rather nondescript, almost generic appearing bottle lies a tonic syrup crafted by one of the biggest names in the Virginia Cocktail scene: Todd Thrasher. On this blog, he’s probably best known for his partnership with Alexandria, Virginia’s PX.
Todd Thrasher’s syrup is available at Society Fair,a boutique food shop in Old Town Alexandria that he again helped open. It seems that everywhere you look in Alexandria, if you see fine cocktails or cocktail product’s, Todd’s name is on it.
Now on to the Syrup
A deep brown, almost root beer colored tonic syrup. The nose is sweet and citrusy. The taste is distinctly sweeter than most other tonic syrups out there and the bitterness rather muted, evolving and coming in towards the end of the taste on the back of the palette. There’s a bright floral quality here also, likely owing to the Lavender*. Crowd pleasing for sure. I’d say many tonic syrups are for people who already love the taste of quinine and rich herbal concoctions. Thrasher’s tonic, not so much. Its sweet, nicely balanced, and has an appeal that spans a wider array of drinkers.
If this tonic has a wider distribution, I think it has the potential to be a “breakthrough” tonic that might turn people on to exactly what a tonic syrup can be; it might break it out of the speak easy bar back and into the mainstream.
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Naturally, when there’s 30+ gins to be tasted it cannot be done all at once. As much as we’d like to try, to do a proper tasting our livers and mental capacities just couldn’t take it. So in order to give every gin a proper tasting and a fair shot, we spread it out into 6 mini tastings over the course of a long day. So as promised, here’s a recap of what we tasted side by side and with what– and I’ll share with you my top two from each heat.
For full gin reviews of every gin covered in the 50 States of Gin tasting, you’ll have to stay tuned to the Gin is In this fall. If my first post was the 10 miles high overview, this is the one from 50,000 feet. The full reviews will be on the ground: up close and personal.
Heat #1 ///
The Participants: Dogfish Head Jin from Delaware [the nation’s first state, I’m sure you see where we’re going with this], Pennsylvania’s Bluecoat Gin, Southern Gin from Georgia, Gale Force Gin from Masscahussetts and finally, New Hampshire’s Karner Blue gin.
Overall a strong opening.
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When in Alexandria, Virginia be sure to stop by Eamonn’s on King Street. And get a deep fried Milky Way Bar. The come back later that night and look for the Blue Light. But don’t come dressed in any less than your finest.
What’s Good: PX is a 1920’s inspired speakeasy where everything behind the bar: from juice to tonic water is homemade. So even the most quotidian of drinks is special here. Yes, order a gin and tonic. The tonic is among the finest in the world and worth asking for. This is one fancy cocktail bar where the basics are some of the best.
The bar itself reminds me of an apartment. There are several rooms adjacent to the bar area, so that even when PX is at its most crowded you can get away and sit with your friends. Think 1920’s chic. There’s glitzy chandeliers dangling overhead and a bit of overwrought prohibition era kitsch. Its all part of the experience, and although there’s nothing extremely secret about it, you could easily begin to feel like your in another place and time.
Getting In: Though you can get a table on off-nights by just ringing the bell and hoping for the best, I highly recommend reservations.
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