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Posts Tagged ‘Gin’

Cocktail Hour: The Modern Gin Cocktail

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 20, 2016

Leo Engels, published his Bartender’s Guide, American and Other Drinks, in 1878. It is a fascinating glimpse into early mixology at a time when bar drinks and cocktails were just beginning to evolve and spread through North America and Europe. At that time, the word ‘cocktail’ was reserved for a specific serving, which resembles what we call the Old-Fashioned cocktail today. Other bar drinks had their own names, the Crusta, the Smash, and the Julep just to name a few.

Gin Cocktail SAM_2473Nowadays, all of these libations are part of the entire class of mixed drinks called cocktails; but back then, they were each their own serving and the cocktail was its own mixed drink, separate and distinct. How the word ‘cocktail’ evolved to encompass all classes of bar drinks is unknown to me; but if you want to go back in time and build an original ‘cocktail’, Leo Engels’, American and Other Drinks is a great starting place.

Here is a modern version of Leo Engels’ recipe for the Gin Cocktail made with Berkeley Square Gin.

Modern Gin Cocktail

2 oz Berkeley Square Gin
1/8 oz Orange Curacao
Dash of Angostura Bitters
1/8 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 Ratio)
Orange Peel

Fill the shaker 1/3 full of ice
Add all ingredients and shake well
Strain into a glass

Garnish with a strip of Orange Peel and Enjoy!

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 of Berkeley Square Gin will publish tomorrow, Chimo!

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Review: Empire London Dry Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 12, 2016

empire-gin1The Highwood Distillery is the only locally (Albertan) owned major distillery in Canada. It sits in the town of Highwood, Alberta, which lies just about 40 minutes due south of Calgary, at the foot of the Rocky Mountain. The distillery producing more than 300,000 cases of bottled spirits per year. Although the bulk of their production goes towards Vodka, Flavoured Vodka, and Premixes, they also produce a sizable (and growing) amount of Whisky and Gin each year.

Empire Gin is the company’s premium traditional style London Dry Gin. It is produced by blending a light-bodied vodka spirit with juniper and the distillery’s own special botanical selection of natural herbs, spices and citrus. These botanicals are introduced during the final distillation, and the final spirit is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Empire London Dry Gin

“… The aroma from the glass is very nice, although I might be tempted to call it somewhat mellow. We have a floral bouquet of coriander and citrus elements (in particular orange and lime; but also some grapefruit zest and hints of lemon). I also sense a firm juniper aroma with a mix of flowery herbs, building black licorice and a hint of mint and in the breezes above the glass …”

Please enjoy my review of this wonderful locally produced gin.

Chimo!

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Cocktail Hour: Gin and Tonic #2

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 11, 2016

Gin and Tonic (G&T) has arrived to us all the way from India in the nineteenth century. This was when the British Army supporting the British East India Company was in control of large parts of the sub-continent. At that time quinine was used to treat stomach ailments and tropical diseases such as malaria which were a constant nuisance (and even real medical threat) to the British soldiers stationed there. Quinine is quite bitter, so the medical personnel began to add sugar, lime and finally gin to the medicine in order to make it taste better. (The addition of gin was not surprising as British soldiers in India were given a ration of gin each day to improve morale much like the members of the Royal British Navy who were given their daily tot of rum.) Amazingly, the strange concoction caught on and over a short time evolved into one of the most quintessential summertime libations, the Gin and Tonic.

A standard Gin and Tonic is a tall serving which mixes 1 part of gin with 3 parts of tonic water and is typically served with a lime garnish. It is extremely refreshing and very easy for the home bartender to mix.

Gin and Tonic #2 SAM_2468Many variations on the theme exist, and my favourite is a recipe I stumbled into when I held my Gin and Tonic Challenge in the summer of 2014. In the lead up to my competition, I experimented with various Gin and Tonic recipes and ratios in an effort to determine which construction suited my palate and allowed the gin to shine. The recipe I settled upon uses real lime juice and a cucumber garnish mixing the gin with much less tonic water than the standard serving. This shorter serving remains my favourite G&T construction.

I call it simply, Gin and Tonic #2.

Gin and Tonic #2

1 3/4 oz Dry Gin (Empire Gin is a great choice)
1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
3/8 oz Sugar Syrup
Ice
2 oz Q-Tonic
Cucumber Chunks

Add the first three ingredients into a rocks glass
Stir and add ice
Fill with Q-Tonic
Garnish with cucumber

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!

I should point out that I normally use an extremely dry Tonic Water, Q-Tonic. I like this dry tonic much better than many of the sweeter alternatives, because I like to control the sweetness of the serving, and it is much easier to begin with a very good dry tonic and add sugar syrup to suit my taste, than it is to begin with a tonic water which may be overly sweet already. If you are happier with a different Tonic Water, you will probably have to use much less (if any) sugar syrup.

Note: My review for Empire Gin will publish tomorrow.

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Review: Defender Island Smoked Rosemary Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 6, 2016

Defender Island SAM_2364Legends Distilling is a small craft distillery in Naramata B.C. (the heart of Okanagan Wine Country). Owner’s Dawn and Doug Lennie moved there 11 years ago and witnessed the progression of the wine business happening all around them. They were already running their own businesses, but had a dream of working together to build a new company they could share. Dawn and Doug had been watching what was going on with craft distilling in the USA, and they decided that distilled spirits would be a great business to bring to their community as a compliment to all the great wines available around them. Offering something new in the area was key. This included their unique location along the Naramata Bench, as other distilleries were being located in more industrial areas.

Defender Island Smoked Rosemary Gin is made from a wheat based spirit which was produced upon Legend Distillery’s main still (which comprises of a pot and 20 plate column). The gin features juniper, wild Okanagan sage and a host of other botanicals which are vapor infused through their copper still. Following distillation, flame charred locally grown rosemary is added, giving the gin a unique smokey flavour. The spirit is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Defender Island Smoked Rosemary Gin

” … The breezes above the glass are appealing. I receive a firm piny juniper scent which is softened by the very apparent aroma of smoked rosemary. Light impressions of poultry seasoning, treacle, orange liqueur, and a light coriander-like spiciness comes forward as well …”

Please enjoy the review which includes the suggested recipe, the Sour Defender.

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Review: Eau Claire Parlour Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 28, 2016

ECD-ParlourGin-medium-closecutEau Claire Distillery opened as Alberta’s first craft distillery in the summer of 2014. The facility is located 35 minutes southwest of downtown Calgary in the picturesque Hamlet of Turner Valley. The name ‘Eau Claire’ is a name of great historical significance in Alberta, meaning ‘clear water’, and is representative of the clear water from the nearby Rocky Mountains that is used in the making of the distillery’s offerings.

Eau Claire’s Parlour Gin was launched in August 2014. It is a London-dry style gin which features traditional gin botanicals including juniper, coriander, lemon, orange, and mint combined with unique local botanicals such as rosehips and Saskatoon berry. It’s name, Parlour Gin reflects the history of prohibition era gin parlours throughout the world, and honour gin’s place in generating social conversation, friendship and enjoyment.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Eau Claire Parlour Gin

“… The initial aroma brings a crisp juniper sent into the breezes with firm scents of rosehips and accents of coriander and citrus spice. When I inspect the glass more closely I notice impressions of dark fruit in the air which I believe are traces of Saskatoon berry, and deeper within the glass I seem to sense an underlying herbal earthiness …”

Please enjoy my review.

Chimo!

 

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