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Posts Tagged ‘Gilpin’s’

Cocktail Hour: The Secretary General

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 26, 2016



Today’s featured cocktail is based upon the well known Celebration Cocktail which was created by J. W. Fish, (its first appearance in print is in the W. J. Tarling’s, 1937 Cafe Royal Cocktail Book). The Celebration is a wonderful bar drink which combines rum and gin with grapefruit juice in a daiquiri style serving.

Here is the original recipe form:

1/3 daiquiri rum
1/3 grapefruit juice
1/6 groseille syrup (red currant syrup)
1/6 Gin


Groseille (Red Currant) Syrup which is called for in the recipe is not something many people keep in their bar, and most online recipes I have found for the Celebration suggest replacing the groseille syrup with grenadine. It works quite well, although I would further suggest that if you do use grenadine that you should also use only half the suggested amount otherwise the cocktail becomes too sweet.


Secretary General

The Secretary General

My Secretary General builds upon the Celebration, but incorporates two tweaks which happen to work very well when I mix the cocktail with Appleton Jamaican White Rum. First, I replace the groseille syrup not with grenadine, but with a smaller amount plain Sugar Syrup. Then I add also a dollop of Lime Juice to balance the serving with an added bite of tartness. When selecting an appropriate gin for the serving, I noted that the Appleton White Rum has a firm flavour profile and so I selected a firm piny London Dry Gin (Gilpin’s Westmorland Extra Dry) for the libation such that not only the rum, but also the gin shines through the cocktail.

Here is the final recipe:

The Secretary General

1 1/2 oz Appleton White Rum
3/4 oz  Gilpin’s Westmorland Extra Dry Gin (see review here)
1 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1/4 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)

Combine ingredients into a metal shaker with ice.
Shake until the metal shaker chills.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with lime slice

Please remember the aim is not to drink more it is to drink better!

And if  you are interested in more cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

Note: My review of Appleton White Rum will be published tomorrow, Chimo!



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Review: Gilpin’s Westmorland Extra Dry Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 6, 2016

Gilpins SAM_2353According to the information sheets provided to me Gilpin’s Westmorland Extra Dry Gin is a traditional London Dry Gin produced in London (England) from eight botanicals: juniper, lime peel, sage, bitter orange peel, borage (star flower), coriander seed, lemon peel and angelica root. The botanicals are steeped in a quadruple-distilled grain spirit, and then distilled once more upon a traditional pot still. The finished spirit is bottled at 47 % alcohol by volume.

The spirit is named for George Gilpin who is said to have traveled to Holland as an Ambassador from Queen Elizabeth I where he was apparently one of the first Englishmen to enjoy (and bring home) the new Dutch “Genever”. Interestingly, George Gilpin is said to be the descendant of Sir Richard “the Rider” de Gilpin who was famous for hunting down and killing the Great Wild Boar of Westmorland in 1207. Apparently wild boars can be particularly vicious, and this particular wild boar had been terrorizing the pilgrims in the Lake District during the time of King John. For his courageous act, Sir Richard was granted the Wild Boar as the symbol of the Gilpin Family. The history of this tale is hard to verify, but it certainly adds a wonderful back story to the Gilpin’s Westmorland Gin.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Gilpin’s Westmorland Extra Dry Gin

“… I taste a firm push of juniper chased by zesty citrus peel and spicy coriander (perhaps peppery sage as well). This is followed by wisps of lightly bittersweet (more bitter than sweet certainly), earthy chocolate-like flavours (which would seem to be the influence of the angelica root). The overall  flavour, like the aroma, is firm. Despite the firmness of these major flavours, everything works very well together as an ever so light herbal sweetness holds the strong flavours together …”

Please enjoy my review of this very traditional offering from Gilpin’s.


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Cocktail Hour: The Dry Gin Martini

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 5, 2016

Spring is just around the corner, and when the weather turns warmer, I begin to think about summertime drinks, and one of those libations which I have began to enjoy more and more is a Classic Martini. Gin is the original Martini spirit and the beginnings of this cocktail form was perhaps initiated as early as 1888 when a recipe for a serving which consisted of half a wine glass of Old Tom Gin, and half a wine glass of Vermouth was published (Johnson, Harry (1888), The New and Improved Illustrated Bartenders’ Manual; Or: How to Mix Drinks of the Present Style). From that point forward this simple drink slowly underwent an evolution into the present day Gin Martini.

The popularity of this cocktail flourished under Prohibition as its main ingredient, Gin, was very easy for any illicit establishment to produce, and by the time prohibition had ended, the Gin Martini may well have been the most popular bar drink served in North America. And today, the cocktail remains extremely popular, although perhaps it has been eclipsed by its less flavourful cousin, the Vodka Martini (which arrived somewhat later on the scene).

The Gin Martini can be served at varying degrees of dryness depending upon the amount of aromatized wine (usually vermouth) used in its construction. Traditional recipes found in the cocktail guides from the 1920’s usually recommend a ratio of gin to vermouth of 2:1 whereas modern recipes are much drier and contain ratios as low as 10:1 or even served without vermouth at all (which perhaps makes the serving essentially an ice-cold gin with garnish).

Gilpin's Dry MartiniMy recommendation is to use fresh vermouth and experiment until you find the ratio which serves your palate the best. For a nice dry martini I suggest a traditional London Dry Gin such as Gilpin’s Westmorland Extra Dy Gin. For this particular gin I found a ratio of 5:1 worked well as at this ratio the vermouth and the garnish provide a lovely accent, yet they allow the gin to shine.

For this particular recipe I have chosen a Spanish Olive to garnish the cocktail. The light saltiness which accompanies the Olive works very well with almost every dry gin.

Gin Martini (with Spanish Olive)

2 1/2 oz Gilpin’s Westmorland Gin
1/2 oz Vermouth
Spanish Olive

Add the gin and vermouth into a large mixing glass with ice
Stir for about two minutes until the sides of the glass are very cold
Strain into a chilled martini glass
Add a Spanish Olive (fresh from the jar)

Of course, you should enjoy responsibly!

If  you are interested in more cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more mixed drink recipes!

Note: I have made this point with respect to the Vodka Martini, and it bears repeating with respect to the Gin Martini. Once you open any bottle of vermouth, it is important that you realize that all aromatized wines have a very short shelf life. This is because the wine will begin to oxidize immediately, and after only one short week (even if the bottle is refrigerated) its flavour will have undergone an undesirable change. I strongly suspect that it is experiences with bad vermouth that have led many people to decrease its volume in the classic martini cocktail to almost nothing at all, not understanding that the vinegary component they are tasting is not a normal flavour component of good vermouth. Please use fresh vermouth whenever you are serving cocktails. Your Martinis will be better for it.

My gin binge continues with three more gin reviews in the following week including my review of Gilpin’s Westmorland Gin which will be published tomorrow, Chimo!

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