Gin is Hot Again: the Latest Spirit to Make a Splash
Aug 28, 2017 05:34PM ● Published by Kevin
Gallery: Gin is Back in - September/October 2017 [5 Images] Click any image to expand.
A classic martini is made with gin (not vodka) and vermouth, but vermouth is a wine, not a spirit, and loses its luster after a few days. Many bars let it sit around for weeks, even months. In this case, it loses more than its luster; it’s downright bad.
This is one of the reasons gin martinis have fallen out of favor and vodka has taken the lead, according to Jay Sanders, beverage manager at Point 57 in Cape Coral.
He jokingly calls himself at “gin-thusiast.”
About vermouth, Sanders says, “You have to treat it like a lady.”
While making a martini with Boomsma gin, he describes it as, “bright, smooth, a bit of sweetness on the mid-palate and a spicy finish. Vermouth fills out the empty space in gin and smooths off the finish.” It doesn’t work as well with vodka.
The beverage manager uses 2½ ounces gin, and ¾ ounce vermouth in his martini. In the absence of vermouth, he says try Campari. And despite what James Bond says, it’s always stirred, never shaken.
Besides a martini, the gin and tonic may be one of the most iconic mixes for this spirit. But to reintroduce yourself to gin or to try it for the first time, Sanders recommends a gimlet. Made with fresh lime and sugar, it is refreshing and enjoyable, especially in the Southwest Florida climate.
Which brands should you look for when staring at a wall lined with gins from all over the world? Point 57 has 29 selections and counting.
Caorunn is a Scottish gin with flavors of lemon peel and coriander; it’s good for a gimlet. Hayman’s, from England, is another versatile gin for mixing.
Uncle Val’s makes two distinct gins. The Botanical smells and tastes like a garden, with some orange flavors; it mixes well with citrus. The Restorative has a little more juniper but is not overpowering by any means.
Juniper can be polarizing to many bar patrons, but if it’s a flavor that does it for you, then ask for London Dry.
Barrel and oak aging adds layers of flavors to wines and spirits, and gin is not to be left out of the game. In place of whiskey, Sanders often uses St. George Dry Rye Reposado and Ransom’s Old Tom in some of his cocktails. Old Tom has flavors of cinnamon, while the St. George has both spice and vanilla.
Try one of these in a Gin Martinez, a warm, comforting cocktail with a little vermouth and cherry brandy. Sanders likes to toast an orange peel to express more flavor and float it on the top—perfect for the fall.
Cheers to gin; it’s back “IN.”