Skip to main content

Gin is Hot Again: the Latest Spirit to Make a Splash

Aug 28, 2017 05:34PM, Published by Kevin, Categories: Shop+Dine

Gallery: Gin is Back in - September/October 2017 [5 Images] Click any image to expand.

Photo courtesy of Caorunn Gin.
Gin is the latest spirit to hit the craft scene, with small producers using a variety of flavor profiles. If you think all gin tastes like household cleaners, you haven’t tried the right one, and now is the time to join the party.

This spirit is distilled from a number of grains that are often fermented first, then redistilled infusing botanicals, most notably juniper. Producers can also include things like essential oils, cucumber and citrus in their magic botanical mix.

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.

Photo courtesy of Caorunn Gin.
According to Sanders, gin should be shaken only if citrus is being added to the cocktail. He explains, “Shaking adds air, and with gin you don’t want oxygen, just a little ice for dilution; air would bury the flavors you’re intended to receive.”

Even in the rush of a busy bar, he takes his time with his gin, slowly stirring, gently pouring, carefully garnishing, serving with affection.

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.”
Written by Gina Birch. a regular contributor, a lover of good food and drink, and a well-known media personality in Southwest Florida.

september-october spirits cheers gin liquor

  • FineMark Exhibtion of FGCU Art Alumni

    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    From July 10 - September 29, 2017, Finemark National Bank and Trust will be displaying the work o...

  • Open Painting at The Paint Escape

    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Ceramic painting for children and adults, create a decorative item. Friday night offers ladie...

  • Mangrove Maze Eco-Tour


    Guided exploration of the mangrove wilderness on part of the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail....

  • Mirror, Mirror... Exhibition

    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    Mirror, Mirror… September 1 - 28, 2017 Opening Reception: Friday, September 1, 2017, 6pm-8pm C...

  • Sunset Kayak Eco-Tour


    Paddle Matlacha Pass meandering through mangrove shrouded trails. Guides are ACA Certified Kayak ...

  • Step Up to Art

    04:00PM — 05:30PM

    Come join fine artist Kathy Dunn in this new and exciting art series for your growing artists! Ch...

  • Sunset Celebration at Times Square

    05:00PM — 10:00PM

    Live Music, Food and Fun at Time Square on Fort Myers Beach

  • Ladies' Night at The Paint Escape

    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Ceramic painting for children and adults, create a decorative item. Friday night offers ladie...

  • Caloosahatchee Sunset Cruise


    Relaxing environment as the sun is setting, the shoreline and river elements taking on a differen...