Gin for Breakfast is less uncommon than you might think at first blush. How many times have you seen a French 75 on the brunch menu? Or perhaps an Earl Grey tea with a full English? Or perhaps even Few Spirits Breakfast Gin?
Few Spirits’ Breakfast Gin targets the brunch market with a cocktail-making gin specifically designed for pre-noon drinking. The gin includes Earl Grey tea as a botanical, along with lemon, juniper and other more traditional gin botanicals. Like other Few Spirits Gins, it has its complex, grain-forward base made from corn, wheat and barley.
Few Spirits Breakfast Gin has a hint of fresh bread background to which coriander, lavender and black tea emerge. A hint of menthol tinged hops and barley beneath it. It definitely has a nose reminiscent of other gins in the Few Spirits Portfolio, but perhaps a bit lighter on some of the genever-like grain notes. Still there, but Few Spirits Breakfast Gin seems more subdued than some of their earlier offerings.
The palate explodes with rich, powerful, heady notes of Earl Grey Tea, including a hefty dose of bergamot oil and strong brewed black tea. Mid-palate, some of the signature Few creaminess emerges, with lemon, cinnamon and juniper coming through; suggestions of creme anglaise with vanilla bean paste. The finish has a lot of dryness, that when accompanied by black tea notes, calls to mind unsweetened black tea with a hint of baking spice. Medium long, quite dry finish.
Although specifically designed for brunch, I felt Few Spirits Breakfast Gin made a less bright than expected French 75. The tea notes and the subtle malty flavor buoyed by Champagne effervescence just isn’t working for me. I like the combination of lemon and the Breakfast Gin, but the cocktail just tastes darker and less refreshing than I normally think of a French 75 being.
That being said, let’s take what works: the lovely tea notes and the combination with lemon. Perhaps you can heat some up with hot water, maybe a cinnamon stick? Yes, I think it makes a really top notch Hot Toddy, perhaps best suited for a dessert by the fire.
That’s not to say I am opposed to having gin for Breakfast. Far from it. It’s just that I think that Few’s Breakfast Gin works best in other cocktails like the Negroni or the Tom Collins. A good gin, but it may not be the first one I grab at Breakfast.
An intriguing and worthwhile gin that does great things with the intriguing bergamot notes in Earl Grey Tea. It’s a niche recommendation that is clearly contemporary and all-in on the Earl Grey as a botanical. Fans of tea and gin are suggested to give this one a closer look. Fans of lighter gins and/or classic style gins may want to look elsewhere. Personally I’d make this a go-to Hot Toddy Gin, but I definitely won’t tell anyone to stop having gin for brunch.