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What? no gin thread? I seem to remember a hearty discussion somewhere, but can't find it.

Anyway, it's that time of year again. When the weather turns warm I turn away from the bourbon and rye and toward the gin. Preferrably in a gin and tonic, sometimes in a negroni.

Over the past few days I've tried making both with Tanqueray Ten, Junipero, and Bombay Sapphire. The last bit of the latter, once a standby, went down the drain as I made another Junipero-based drink.

So, which ones do you all prefer, and why? (And if someone can point me towards the previous discussion, thanks.)

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What? no gin thread? I seem to remember a hearty discussion somewhere, but can't find it.

Anyway, it's that time of year again. When the weather turns warm I turn away from the bourbon and rye and toward the gin. Preferrably in a gin and tonic, sometimes in a negroni.

Over the past few days I've tried making both with Tanqueray Ten, Junipero, and Bombay Sapphire. The last bit of the latter, once a standby, went down the drain as I made another Junipero-based drink.

So, which ones do you all prefer, and why? (And if someone can point me towards the previous discussion, thanks.)

For a Martini

1) Martin Miller's Westbourne Strength- Hard to find in DC

2) 209-Made in San Fran, it is a bracing gin with a good juniper flavor. Ace has it

3) Hendricks- Scottish gin that is good for a change of pace, try it with a cucumber slice

For a Gin and Tonic

1) Citadelle

2) Tanq Rangpur

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There are plenty of threads that contain gin related rantings.

For my wife's G&T's lately I have been muddling a whole lime, in a shaker, add 2 oz. of Junipero, an oz of Blue Curacao, and a dash of orange bitters, shake with ice strain into a ice filled glass and top with tonic water, and garnish with lime slice. It has not only been popular with my wife but with a couple of neighbors as well.

For Martini's, I agree with Alan's #1, stirred with Vya Extra Dry, and Reagan's Orange Bitters.

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After a brief phase of fooling around with the trendy, cloying luxury brands such as Tanq 10, Sapphire, etc., I've come back to what was always my favorite: Beefeater. For me it still makes the all around best martini, and I use it for G&Ts and negronis as well. If I want something different I'll go for Hendrick's or Citadelle, but I find them too idiosyncratic for everyday boozing.

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After a brief phase of fooling around with the trendy, cloying luxury brands such as Tanq 10, Sapphire,

Tanq 10 cloying? Interesting. Next to Junipero I might call it subtle or insipid, depending on my mood, but not cloying. But cloying is a great word to describe the BS.

I'm fond of Hendrick's too, Alan. Need to pick up a bottle of that. And the 209...

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For gin, I like Plymouth and Hendrick's. I think Hendrick's is perfect for everyday boozing, but my taste runs to ingredients like lavender simple syrup, rose water and sweet citrus anyway. It's the cost of this liquor that keeps it on the high shelf for me.

This thread has inspired me to try a Hendrick's mixed with rose water and a bit of Cointreau as my evening's cocktail. I'll post about the results.

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a Hendrick's mixed with rose water and a bit of Cointreau

Talk about gilding the lily (or the rose)!

ETA: Of the more "unusual" gins that have appeared recently, I like Citadelle for its pronounced anise note--shows its French roots. That makes it perfect for my favorite kind of martini, preferred by Luis Bunuel: a martini with a few drops of pastis added to it.

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It seems to me that that would so completely alter the character of the drink that it should have a name other than Martini. Or does it?

It turns out more subtle than it may sound--certainly more subtle than the various abominations going by the word "martini" these days. Mind you, a few drops of anything in the large martinis I tend to consume can't help but be subtle.

The drink actually makes an appearance in Buñuel's Le Charme Discret de la Bourgeoisie, in which one of the characters describes its preparation.

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It turns out more subtle than it may sound--certainly more subtle than the various abominations going by the word "martini" these days. Mind you, a few drops of anything in the large martinis I tend to consume can't help but be subtle.

The drink actually makes an appearance in Buñuel's Le Charme Discret de la Bourgeoisie, in which one of the characters describes its preparation.

I may have just proved myself wrong. Here's a link to the scene in the above film. It seems that the addition of Pernod was a variation on Buñuel's true favorite, a martini flavored with a touch of Angostura, which is hardly as surrealistic or original as its creator might indicate.

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G Vine is a fairly new product out of France. Made from green grape leaves and coriander. Nothing could be better with tonic.
I picked up a bottle of this today at Ace. Will try and report back tomorrow.

I had a Tanqueray Rangpur gin & tonic tonight, with plenty of lime. It was perfect for a beautiful summer night.

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Old Raj is awfully good too...and awfully expensive.

I prefer the term, "frightfully" expensive ;)

Here's a recent NYT gin review with regards to martinis. A LOT of customers have asked me about it:

http://preview.tinyurl.com/yrm5bx

Our Plymouth sales have gone through the proverbial roof because of this article.

Personally, I love Bombay "Sapphire" and Citadelle. Those would have to be my two favorites, but I also enjoy Junpiero, Boodles, and Tanqueray #10. I just prefer really flavorful gin. I can't claim to have had all the ones on the market, but many that I have had are fine, they just don't replace Sapphire and Citadelle for me.

I tried that G-Vine and thought it was pretty good, just awfully $$$, though not as pricey as Old Raj.

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Last weekend, while Gubeen and I were hanging out with the Porcupines, we did a little comparative tasting of Ms.P's array of gins (and tonic waters). Although there were others (Tanq, Tanq 10, Junipero, etc) I mostly focussed my attention on the set not currently in my bar - 209, Martin Miller's (normal strength), Hendricks, G'Vine, Citadelle - tasted straight up from a rocks glass at room temperature. Palate cleansing between tastes courtesy of Schweppes tonic water.

While I've had fine martinis made with 209, I can't recommend it as a sipper. The nose was straight-up rubbing alcohol, with the juniper coming through a bit thinly on the palate. I also wasn't too keen on Citadelle as a sipper, but for completely different reasons...an enormous, almost resinous nose of evergreen cuttings, and a dry, relatively more pronounced and bitter set of herbals on the tongue. However, this made it extremely complimentary to tonic in a g&t, and I'd seriously consider keeping some around for that reason.

I thought the cucumber would show through more strongly in the Hendricks, but I would have been hard-pressed to identify it as cucumber. It, and the Miller's, were the least ostentatious of the bunch, but beautifully made all around. I would have picked the Miller's as my overall favorite of this lot except...

G'Vine was a surprise. The nose is more floral than evergreen, but I got a nice steady juniper flavor throughout, backed by a well-balanced set of botanicals unlike any other gin I've encountered. My guess is that it's too restrained to be a great mixer in anything with red bitters, but I think I've found a new favorite gin for sipping on the rocks.

Porcupine also laid out Canada Dry, Seagram's, and Schweppes tonic waters...we'd never really paid close attention to the differences before. Their ingredients lists started nearly identically: filtered water, corn syrup (and sugar in the Schweppes), citric acid. Canada Dry was cloyingly sweet, only average in carbonation, and frankly somewhat unpleasant on its own. Seagram's was only slightly less sweet than CD but quite a bit more tightly carbonated, which greatly improved its drinkability. Schweppes was far and away my favorite - noticeably drier than the other two, a little more bitter, and carbonated about the same as the Seagram's. Forget Schweppervescence...it's the sweet/acid balance that gives them the win.

(eta: anybody know where to find this Fever-Tree Tonic locally?)

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G'Vine was a surprise. The nose is more floral than evergreen, but I got a nice steady juniper flavor throughout, backed by a well-balanced set of botanicals unlike any other gin I've encountered. My guess is that it's too restrained to be a great mixer in anything with red bitters, but I think I've found a new favorite gin for sipping on the rocks.
I've tried this gin several times, and find it much too sweet for my tastes. And if you make a cosmo using G'Vine instead of vodka it smells exactly like lemon dishwashing liquid.

You notes about Citadelle were interesting. I get very little evergreen from it; to me it smells overwhelmingly floral, like violets and roses. Agreed that it's super with tonic.

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I am in the midst of planning my annual Canada jaunt and it occured to me (and gin loving travel companion) that there might be some cool gins to look for while we were there that you can't find in the US.

Any suggestions on what to look for? We will want something for cocktails in the hotel after BLBaby goes to sleep and then we will probably each bring back a bottle or two. (Why, yes, I do travel with bubble wrap to transport booze back these days...)

Thanks!!!

Jennifer

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I doubt that you are going to have much luck, all of the liquor stores in Canada are operated by the provinces. A quick look at the Ontario Liquor Board's site showed only two gins that I have not seen around here. One was Iceberg, and the other was South, the later being discontinued.

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Porcupine also laid out Canada Dry, Seagram's, and Schweppes tonic waters...we'd never really paid close attention to the differences before. <snip>

(eta: anybody know where to find this Fever-Tree Tonic locally?)

Maybe we need a tonic water thread. Today I picked up some of the new Q Tonic, made with agave and claiming to have something like 60% fewer calories than other tonic waters. Really nice balanced flavor, a little citrus, not very sweet. With a hefty pour of Damrak and one quarter of a lime, it made the tastiest gin and tonic I've had in ages.

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I got a bottle at the wine shop in Cleveland Park a couple weeks ago when they were doing a tasting.
I really like this one quite a bit. It is mild enough to appeal to vodka drinkers (an entryway gin, first Bluecoat then the hard stuff like 209 Mwahaahaa) but stands up on its own. A great addition! It is distributed by Capitol Beverage Group so your local wine shop can order it in.
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Re: Bluecoat: if you're in Virginia, Virginia ABC carries it - $26.95 a fifth, though I can't tell you which ones have it in stock off the top of my head. I picked up a couple minis of it at Rosslyn ABC recently to give it a shot.

Maybe we need a tonic water thread. Today I picked up some of the new Q Tonic, made with agave and claiming to have something like 60% fewer calories than other tonic waters. Really nice balanced flavor, a little citrus, not very sweet. With a hefty pour of Damrak and one quarter of a lime, it made the tastiest gin and tonic I've had in ages.

I've only had Q Tonic when ordered from Kegworks. Where'd you happen to find it at?

I think I prefer Stirrings and Fever-Tree over Q, and the reviews of tonic in the latest Imbibe seem to agree with me - but I wouldn't mind giving it another shot, head to head.

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I really like this one quite a bit. It is mild enough to appeal to vodka drinkers (an entryway gin, first Bluecoat then the hard stuff like 209 Mwahaahaa) but stands up on its own. A great addition! It is distributed by Capitol Beverage Group so your local wine shop can order it in.
agreed. since moving back to philly, politburo and i have bluecoat around the house permanently for our gin&tonics, and it's definitely mild enough to use in our gin concoctions we've been making from the food and wine 2008 cocktails book.
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The dude at Calvert Woodley said that the Plymouth Sloe Gin has been flying off the shelf...selling for just over $30 ($32 if memory serves) a bottle

Good, now maybe we can convince the good folks at Absolute to start importing Navy Strength (I only have 3/4 of a bottle left).

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I've only had Q Tonic when ordered from Kegworks. Where'd you happen to find it at?

My Organic Market.

I think I prefer Stirrings and Fever-Tree over Q, and the reviews of tonic in the latest Imbibe seem to agree with me - but I wouldn't mind giving it another shot, head to head.

Indeed that is the plan for tonight. :lol:

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I've become a fan of Tanqueray's Rangpur Gin - a good gin (IMHO) for mixing with commercial tonic and slugging back on a hot summer afternoon. Now I find Rangpur Lime Syrup. Anyone ever heard of it or tried it's ilk? I trust Zingerman's so I've got a few bottles on order. We'll see how it works with some better quality gins/vodkas.

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I've become a fan of Tanqueray's Rangpur Gin - a good gin (IMHO) for mixing with commercial tonic and slugging back on a hot summer afternoon. Now I find Rangpur Lime Syrup. Anyone ever heard of it or tried it's ilk? I trust Zingerman's so I've got a few bottles on order. We'll see how it works with some better quality gins/vodkas.

That should make one hell of a gimlet.

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Bigger than, bigger than big.

Darn you and your teasing ways Jake! Out with it! What's going on?! Can something please make up for the sheer pain and suffering I have endured since not getting two free bottles of Genevieve Gin last week?!

(Well, I did have a Rogue Juniper Pale Ale last night. That helped some.)

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I've become a fan of Tanqueray's Rangpur Gin - a good gin (IMHO) for mixing with commercial tonic and slugging back on a hot summer afternoon. Now I find Rangpur Lime Syrup. Anyone ever heard of it or tried it's ilk? I trust Zingerman's so I've got a few bottles on order. We'll see how it works with some better quality gins/vodkas.

I'm a fan, too (thanks Heather!) That syrup sounds interesting, not just for drinks, but for cooking as well. I may have to order some for myself.

ETA--It looks like this is the source (from Robert Lambert) website here. $4 less, but I didn't check shipping. Dean & Deluca is also listed as carrying his products, but not sure if they have the syrup.

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I'm a fan, too (thanks Heather!) That syrup sounds interesting, not just for drinks, but for cooking as well. I may have to order some for myself.

ETA--It looks like this is the source (from Robert Lambert) website here. $4 less, but I didn't check shipping. Dean & Deluca is also listed as carrying his products, but not sure if they have the syrup.

Zingermans charges $10 for delivery so ordering from Lambert makes much more sense. Thanks for the link - I'll be going direct to the source in the future.
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Drink lots of Hendricks Gin, early and often. A little lime, a little tonic, and you're set. Avoid adding cucumber, as it is certainly a featured aromatic. This refreshing spirit deserves respect. A lot more than most, including yours truly, have given it.

I heart Hendricks Gin.

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The dude at Calvert Woodley said that the Plymouth Sloe Gin has been flying off the shelf...selling for just over $30 ($32 if memory serves) a bottle

If you are ever in B-more, the Wine Source in Hampden has the Plymouth Sloe Gin on sale @ $17 for a 750 bottle.

(they also had 209 Gin for around $25 a bottle, IIRC.)

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Hendricks is an interestingly-flavored liquor. Not an interestingly-flavored gin.

I love Hendricks, though it is not my everyday gin. The first time I had it was in a bar in Vancouver BC about 5 years ago, with a plate of oysters on the half shell. To this day I still think it makes the perfect martini with this dish, because the cucumber overtones of the aromatics echo those often found in oysters.

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If you are ever in B-more, the Wine Source in Hampden has the Plymouth Sloe Gin on sale @ $17 for a 750 bottle.

(they also had 209 Gin for around $25 a bottle, IIRC.)

$17 for the Plymouth Sloe? Sounds like either a mistake or a closeout, because that is ridiculously below wholesale cost. Plymouth Sloe comes in 6-packs, perhaps they tried a 6-pack and it hasn't been selling for them?

Not certain about the #209, but it switched Maryland and D.C. wholesalers this year.

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