Flavor Profile(yes, I was watching the Belmont Stakes while doing this review)
“Two Tails that wagged as one,” the label of Bummer and Lazarus Gin says, “dogs with but a single bark.: It might be a bit of a stretch to apply the story of this gin’s name to the gin itself, but it’s a good story so we’re going to anyway.
In a world where dogs outnumbered men, two dogs won their way into the heart of San Franciscans the city around.
The scene: a dog fight in an alley. Lazarus is getting badly beaten. Bummer enters from stage left.
Bummer tends to Lazarus’ wounds. He makes an astonishing recovery, hence the name.
This summer, experience the heartwarming story of love, compassion,and the journey of two dogs who rose from the streets where they were raised to become two of San Francisco’s finest, going where no dogs have before.
Narrated by Mark Twain. Coming soon.
Bummer and Lazarus Gin is a grape based [California Grape Brandy] and boasts a rather traditional bill of botanical bill with a bold flavor profile, distilled on hand built stills.
Vibrant, sweet citrus at first, shimmering with orange, lemonade and blackberry jam. Lower, more clearly clean bitter orange rind, and some floral and pine accents. Very contemporary, and theatrical in its aromatic presence.
Bummer and Lazarus Gin’s palate leads with some similar notes as the nose. Citrus, but perhaps with a hair more Seville Orange and still some sweetness on the stage. Juniper, with pine notes expressed, a hint of coriander recedes, lurking behind the scenes, the finish pivots unexpectedly with cinnamon/mace, in a dénouement of spice, citrus, and pine resin. Bright and contemporary, but with some bitter complexities. I quite enjoy it just on its own.
We tried it with Hansen’s Tonic (another California staple) in a Gin and Tonic. There was an intriguing convergences of citrus, as candy orange, lemon rinds shone. Hints of citrus complexities like bergamot came through as well. Clean bitter orange note on the finish. Despite the citrus from the tonic water, we felt that this was definitely in need of a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime to brighten things up.
Next, a classic Negroni (it’s still #NegroniWeek as of writing, so of course we did). Clean, creamy, and a touch spicy with peppercorn, fruit, and citrus, especially the latter through the finish. Nice and decidedly classic.
Finally, we wanted to see how these dogs could stand up to perhaps one of the biggest dogs in the gin cocktail world: The Red Snapper. Tomato dominates at first, but the gin surprises as some of the sweeter citrus notes emerge from the mix and add cinnamon, and lemon, coloring the finish in squarely with a gin like lift. I’m a little uneasy, as I think some of the sweeter citrus notes clash with what should otherwise be a savory cocktail, but this is the kind of thing you like in a complex drink: the gin rises up demanding to be heard. Two dogs barking as one? Louder? It does some good stuff here and showcases its power as a mixing gin.
Classic gin lovers will spend time looking for the juniper, and may not be willing to accept some of the subtler intimations as evidence of its gin-like nature. Fans of contemporary gin will likely find something to like about Bummer and Lazarus Gin if they’re fans of the more citrus forward styles, though its vivid, bold flavor means that it won’t necessarily work in all cases. It’s a gin that will reward the imbiber who finds the places where it works though (tip: start with a Tom Collins, Bronx Cocktail or G&T)