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Posts Tagged ‘Gin’

Cocktail Hour: The Apple Blossom

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 26, 2016

The Apple Blossom is another recipe found in W.J. Tarling’s, 1937 Cafe Royal Cocktail Book. (This cocktail is attributed to R.G. Buckby.) As originally published the serving calls for 2/3 Dry Gin, 1/3 Orange Juice and a dash of Calvados (Apple Brandy), to add a little character.

Apple Blossom SAM_2448My opinion is that the cocktail is perhaps a touch too dry for my liking, and the dash of Calvados which is supposed to provide a flavour accent is easily be lost especially with a flavourful gin. When I experimented with the libation, I found that the addition of sweetener in the form of a small amount of both Grand Marnier dash of sugar syrup improved the flavour considerable. I also added a touch more Apple Brandy such that its flavour could more forcefully play with my selected gin (Eau Claire Parlour Gin).

Apple Blossom

2 oz Eau Claire Parlour Gin
1 oz Orange Juice
3/8 oz Calvados (Apple Brandy)
1/4 oz Grand Marnier
1/4 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
Ice
Orange Twist

Add all the ingredients into a shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Double strain into a cocktail glass
Twist on orange peel over the top to release some zest

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

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

Note: My review for Parlour Gin will publish the day after Easter Sunday.

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Review: Pinnacle Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 24, 2016

Pinnacle Gin SAM_2419Pinnacle Gin is a Beam/Suntory spirit imported from the United Kingdom and (according to the back label) bottled by Portfield Importers, in Deerfield Illinois. Pinnacle is a London Dry Gin handcrafted in small batches, 4x distilled from 100 % grain, infused with botanicals, and bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Interestingly Portfield Importers also own the Pinnacle Vodka brand. The two spirits appear to be produced independently, and as far as I can determine are not related to each other in any way except through brand ownership.

Here is a link to my review of Pinnacle Gin:

Review: Pinnacle Gin

“… The gin is very clean with a crisp note of juniper dominating the breezes above the glass. This piny juniper scent is accompanied by sharp orange peel and a few zesty notes of lemon and lime. If I am patient with the glass I also seem to sense light impressions of cardamom and coriander as well as perhaps a faint note of anise …”

Please enjoy my review which includes two nice recipe suggestions from W. J. Tarling’s 1937 Cafe Royal Cocktail Book: The Red Lion and yesterday’s feature cocktail, the Abbey.

Chimo!

 

 

 

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Review: Doctor’s Orders Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 12, 2016

Doctor's OrdersLegend Distilling Smalltown Spirits is located in Naramata, British Columbia, where they create small handcrafted batches of Gin and Vodka. Their craft distillery is housed in an old doctor’s office and that is the inspiration for their Doctor’s Orders Gin.

The craft spirit is produced from a base wheat spirit which was produced upon a still which comprises of a pot and 20 plate column. The botanicals are locally foraged juniper berries, coriander and citrus as which are mixed with local Okanagan flavours (locally grown lavender, elderberry, mint and apple). The final spirit is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Doctor’s Orders Gin

“… Juniper comes across more clearly upon the palate than it had upon the nose, and the fruit speaks clearly as well. In particular I can taste firm apple flavours alongside the juniper with zesty citrus and coriander laying just a little further underneath. Impressions of mint and lavender seem to provide a light cooling sensation upon the palate …”

Please enjoy my review of this new Okanagan Spirit.

Chimo!

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Review: Death’s Door Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 9, 2016

Death's Door SAM_2355Death’s Door Distillery (completed on June 4th, 2012) is located in Middleton (just west of Madison), in the middle southern part of the Wisconsin. However, it is Washington Island, located about 150 miles to the Northeast (in between the waters of Green Bay and Lake Michigan) which the company credits with providing the heart and soul of their growing line of distilled spirits.

Death’s Door Gin is named for the treacherous water passage between mainland Wisconsin and Washington Island (Death’s Door Passage). It is produced from a double distilled base of Washington Island wheat and malted barley from Chilton, Wisconsin. Only three botanicals are used, juniper berries which grow wild on Washington Island and coriander and fennel sourced from within Wisconsin, making this gin very much a local spirit combining the ideals of craft production and promoting the local economy.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Death’s Door Gin

“… When I took my first taste I was happy to receive a stronger impression of juniper in the flavour profile than I had suspected. Whereas I felt the coriander was dominating the aroma, the juniper takes a very slight lead across the palate. A nice undercurrent of black licorice rides under the juniper and the coriander is expressing itself with a light spiciness and lemon flavour. There is also an undeniable floral element in the flavour profile …”

Please enjoy my review of this new craft Gin.

Chimo!

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Cocktail Hour: The Paper Lion

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 8, 2016

This genesis of this recipe can be traced all the way back to 1933 when Arthur Tarling created a simple gin recipe which won a cocktail competition in jolly old England (Source: 1937 Café Royal Cocktail Book, Coronation Edition). The recipe he created, the Red Lion, mixed equal parts gin, orange liqueur, and a combination of lemon and orange juice. In most recipes I have seen, a dollop of grenadine is used as the sweetener which gives the cocktail a pale red hue. Tarling’s recipe has stood the test of time, and it can usually be found in the gin section of most good cocktail books.

Last year, I tweaked the Red Lion Cocktail, changing the ratios slightly and swapping the grenadine for simple syrup. Of course the cocktail lost its pale red colour and the name no longer suited the cocktail. Thus I renamed my tweaked version, The March Lion and published the recipe as part of a gin review at the beginning of March when the real March Lion (the constellation Leo) was beginning to dominate the southeastern sky each evening. (This spring if you are star-gazing, take note of the very bright star just under the March Lion. That bright star is the largest planet in our solar system, Jupiter, and this spring and summer the gas giant travels with the Lion across the sky.)

Paper Lion SAM_2383This spring I bring you another “Lion” recipe using that same combination of gin, orange liqueur, lemon juice and orange juice. However, this year I wanted to rein in the flavour of the gin without taming the cocktail. In the manner of James Bond, I swapped a portion of the gin for vodka thus retaining the alcohol punch, but bringing the firm gin flavour down a notch. My new construction deserved it own name, and after giving things a little thought, I decided upon the Paper Lion.

(If you are wondering about the James Bond reference, take a little time and research the Vesper Cocktail. In a manner of speaking, I have “Vespered” the Lion.)

The Paper Lion

1 oz Death’s Door Gin
1 oz Death’s Door Vodka
1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/4 oz Sugar Syrup
ice
Lemon slice for garnish

Add the first six Ingredients into a cocktail Shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker frosts
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with an orange slice

And of course enjoy responsibly!

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

Please note: My gin reviews continue tomorrow with Death’s Door Gin.

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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.

Chimo!

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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
ice
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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Review: Prairie Organic (Handcrafted) Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 27, 2016

Prairie Organic Gin SAM_2356Prairie Organic Gin is produced and bottled by Ed Phillips and Sons located in Princeton, Minnesota. The company’s website does not reveal a great deal about the gin. All I can glean is that it is apparently produced from organic ingredients which appear to be grown on three separate farms in Minnesota. The botanical thrust of the gin is herbal, rather than traditional (juniper forward), however the folks at Prairie Organic Spirits (owned by Ed Phillips and Sons) do not reveal the botanicals used.

Here is a link to my latest review:

Review: Prairie Organic (Handcrafted) Gin

“… the initial scents and smells from the glass are quite floral. I sense a combination of rose petal and lilac with hints of red cherry licorice coming through after a few seconds.  There is a touch of mint weaving through giving one the impression of menthol (or eucalyptus) and some nice gentle spicy notes (coriander and citrus zest perhaps) which have waited for a little but become more noticeable as the gin breathes. The juniper is subdued, but it like the coriander spice seems to gain momentum as time passes …”

Please enjoy my review of this quaffable gin.

 

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Review: Poli Marconi 46 Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 24, 2016

Poli - Gin Marconi 46 LDThe Poli Distillery is located in Schiavon (not far from Bassano del Grappa) in the heart of Veneto (Northern Italy). It was founded in 1898 by GioBatta Poli, and for over one hundred years the Poli Family has worked to establish their reputation as an outstanding producer of Grappa in the heart of Italy’s premier Grappa producing region.

In 2015, Poli Distillery’s new still (Crysopea) was put to work producing the company’s first craft gin, Marconi 46. The gin (produced in small batches by Jacopo Poli) is created from an infusion of juniper berries, muscat grape, mountain pine, cembra pine, mint, cardamom and coriander. These botanicals (all familiar to the Poli family) are reminiscent of the Asiago Plateau in the north of the Veneto region, where the Poli family comes from.

Here is a link to my full Review:

Review: Poli Marconi 46 Gin

“… Firm scents of juniper greet my nose with impressions of pine (and to a smaller extent spruce) boughs strengthening the aroma. It is as if I am in an alpine forest with clumps of juniper bushes and tall standing Mountain Pine trees. A mild floral musk-like scent has appeared along with a light indication of menthol. The longer the glass sits, the stronger the floral musk and menthol impressions become …”

Please enjoy my review of this excellent Italian Gin.

Ciao!

 

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Cocktail Hour: The Sentimental Lady

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 23, 2016

When I began to explore mixed drinks in a more serious way, my wife purchased a large cocktail book, 1001 Cocktails (Alex Barker compiler) for me to draw inspiration from. I poured over the recipes seeing which ones I might like, and more importantly, which of those that I could also make at home with my small collection of ingredients. To my dismay, most of the recipes called for strange liqueurs, and ingredients which I knew very little of, and many of these ingredients seemed to be used only a few times in the entire book. I certainly was not going to run out and purchase them for the sake of one or two cocktails which I might not even enjoy.

This experience influenced me greatly, and if you pour through my recipes (here) you will find that a common theme to almost all of them is that the home bartender does not need to purchase fancy ingredients which they will have no further use for after enjoying their bar drink.

Having said that, Alex Barker’s compilation of recipes was not without merit for the home bartender. Here and there, (in almost every drink category) were a few recipes I could actually make with my meager bar selection. When I was studying the gin recipes Alex provided I noticed he had several recipes for ‘Lady’ cocktails:  The Lady, The Green Lady, The Fair Lady … you get the idea. His recipe for The White Lady caught my eye. It was a simple recipe mixing Gin with Lemon Juice and Triple Sec. I mixed one, decided it was too tart, so I added enough sugar syrup to suit my taste, and named my tweaked creation Lady of the Empire. It was my first ‘Lady’ Cocktail.

Sentimental Lady SAM_2352Recently when I was playing with Poli Marconi 46 Gin, I fell into the idea of constructing a Margarita Style cocktail using gin rather than tequila as the cocktail’s base. I realized suddenly, that I had made another ‘Lady’ cocktail. All that remained was to give my latest construction a name. It just so happened that a particular song by Bob Welch was playing in the background …

The Sentimental Lady

2 oz Poli Marconi 46 Gin
1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
3/8 oz Lemon Juice
3/8 oz Lime Juice
3/8 oz Sugar Syrup
Ice
Lemon Slice

Place the five ingredients in a metal cocktail shaker with ice
Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Add a Lime Slice for Garnish

Enjoy Responsibly!

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

Note: Tomorrow I will be publishing my review for the excellent Poli Marconi 46 Gin.

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