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Best gin for Martinis?


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104 replies to this topic

#1 shugga

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Posted 07 December 2001 - 04:41 PM

I do not drink martinis, but a good friend of mine does.  I would like to get him a good bottle of gin.  Which brand would be the best?  Any opinions out there?
TIA

#2 Jinmyo

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Posted 07 December 2001 - 06:17 PM

Oh my, I always use vodka.

But when I don't, ;) I use Tanquerry.

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#3 OB

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Posted 08 December 2001 - 08:38 AM

My Favorite is Bombay Saphire...

Also love it with 7-up for some reason...


#4 Jason Perlow

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Posted 08 December 2001 - 01:10 PM

Hendricks Gin, which is flavored with cucumber and roses, makes a really wild martini.

#5 A Balic

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Posted 10 December 2001 - 02:27 AM

Some will say that Plymouth Gin is the original Martini gin:

http://www.plymouthgin.com/index.html

But I like Bombay Saphire.


#6 David De Silva

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 10:42 AM

While I used to drink only Bombay Sapphire, I now prefer Tanqueray or if I want to splurge Tanqueray Ten. In my opinion, they are the most consistent (and best value) gins out there.

#7 maggiethecat

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 11:00 AM

If it's to be a gift, Tanqueray or Bombay would be good choices.

But I am about to commit heresey here. To my taste, the mid-priced Seagrams makes the tastiest martini. A little edgier flavour. (I had a fine Tanqueray martini when dining out at Opera last Monday with some Chicago eGulleteers. I still like the more assertive Seagrams flavour.)

And the big bottle costs about fourteen bucks. :biggrin:

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#8 JAZ

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 12:07 PM

If it's to be a gift, Tanqueray or Bombay would be good choices.

But  I am about to commit heresey here.  To my taste, the mid-priced Seagrams makes the tastiest martini.  A little edgier flavour.  (I had a fine Tanqueray martini when dining out at Opera last Monday with some Chicago eGulleteers.  I still like the more assertive Seagrams flavour.)

And the big bottle costs about fourteen bucks. :biggrin:

Havn't tried Seagrams in ages, but I agree that the mid-range gins can be fine. I've always thought Gordon's is a decent house gin, myself. Another good mid-range is Bombadier.

With gins, I find that two elements come into play -- the smoothness (i.e. lack of alcohol "bite") and how pronounced the aromatics are. Any of the premium gins will be smooth in the first sense, but vary quite a bit in the aromatics, from heavy juniper to lighter almost floral combinations. Bombay Sapphire and Tanquerey 10 are both very light on the juniper in their aromatic profile, so in my experience they tend to be preferred by people who aren't big gin fans. I like juniper, so I prefer the originals of both brands, myself. Tanquery is higher in alcohol than many other gins (Sapphire is high too) and to me is a little overbearing in a martini because of it. (It's my gin of choice for a gimlet, though.) Boodles in always nice, as is Beefeater. Tanquerey's Mallaca is interesting -- less alcohol than regular Tanquerey, some different aromatics as well -- but you don't see it around much.

#9 maggiethecat

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 12:19 PM

[Tanquerey's Mallaca is interesting -- less alcohol than regular Tanquerey, some different aromatics as well -- but you don't see it around much.

I had some of the Mallaca a few months ago, and I agree that the aromatics are subtley different. Enjoyed it.

You rightly mentioned both the alcohol "Bite" and the aromatics. I like them both. And I think the reason I like Seagrams is that it has a real bite. (Smooth gin....for tourists? :biggrin: ) The otherwise dandy high end gins are significantly smoother.

And I love juniper, in its many delightful guises. But the apotheosis of the juniper berry is gin.

Hey Janet..I've met another woman who actually likes gin! :biggrin:

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#10 Simon Majumdar

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 12:21 PM

Two gins are in my competition for the Martini

1) Junipero
2) Tanqueray 10

No others will do

S

#11 maggiethecat

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 12:45 PM

Two gins are in my competition for the Martini

1) Junipero
2) Tanqueray 10

No others will do

S

Oh dearie me. Can't find one of them, can't afford the other!

Oh well, there is something to be said for quantity I can afford. :biggrin:

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#12 Simon Majumdar

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 12:49 PM

Can't afford don't cut it. Quality above Quantity my Mad Chicagoan bake off Queen

S

#13 maggiethecat

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 01:05 PM

Can't afford don't cut it.

I am suitably chastened.
Will smash piggybank.
Lord, what if I still prefer Seagrams? Will all my posts be ModQ'd? :biggrin:

Will look for Junipero. Thanks.

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#14 Jaymes

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 03:32 PM

Hey Janet..I've met another woman who actually likes gin! :biggrin:

Let's make that three of us.

Actually, I cook with it quite a bit - thereby using it to add flavor to the food as well as spice to the cook.

Especially in Asian dishes - like pepper beef, etc., a little gin is very, very nice.

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#15 nerissa

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 04:24 PM

Jaymes:

This may be a dumb question, but do you use gin in place of rice wine? Could it be substituted where sake is called for, e.g. a recipe for miso marinated cod (I have seen several versions: Nobu, Martha Steward adaptation to Nobu's, and Sally Scheidner).

In non-Asian dishes, if you don't mind, do you use it reduce?
Thanks.

I am a V &T girl, myself, so I am not qualified to discuss the merits of one gin brand over another.

#16 Jaymes

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 04:37 PM

Jaymes:

This may be a dumb question, but do you use gin in place of rice wine?  Could it be substituted where sake is called for, e.g. a recipe for miso marinated cod (I have seen several versions:  Nobu, Martha Steward adaptation to Nobu's, and Sally Scheidner).

In non-Asian dishes, if you don't mind, do you use it reduce?
Thanks.

I am a V &T girl, myself, so I am not qualified to discuss the merits of one gin brand over another.

I often (okay usually) have a bottle of gin at the ready when cooking Asian dishes. I'm talking stir-fry kind of stuff - chicken w/nuts, pepper beef, that sort of thing. And I splash in a little gin toward the end. This isn't "recipe" kind of cooking. But frequently I will have an actual "formal recipe" - maybe something I've not made before - and it might call for a dash of rice wine or sake or other alcohol in the stir-fry and I DO use gin instead. Sometimes I reduce it, if I think it needs it. Sorry I can't be more specific - I'm pretty slapidaisical in my cooking - especially Asian stuff.

Also, I often put it in my Asian/Pacific, etc., marinades - like for bulgogi. I just think the slight sweetness and juniper flavor of gin gives a great lift to some Asian dishes.

Edit: Forgot to answer the last part of your question. I never have used it in non-Asian dishes, like to reduce - don't know why - it just doesn't seem to "go" somehow. It might be terrific.

Edited by Jaymes, 01 February 2003 - 04:39 PM.

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#17 bigbear

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 10:46 PM

..... slapidaisical.....

Now there's a word that I like.

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#18 JAZ

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 10:11 AM

Edit:  Forgot to answer the last part of your question.  I never have used it in non-Asian dishes, like to reduce - don't know why - it just doesn't seem to "go" somehow.  It might be terrific.

I've got a sauerkraut recipe that uses gin, and have used it in other German/ Eastern European dishes.

#19 mikeczyz

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 01:10 PM

i like van gogh gin. it's a floral gin, in the same sort of family as bombay saphire, but to me anyway, it's a little less sweet/floral if that makes sense.
mike

#20 maggiethecat

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 01:18 PM

..... slapidaisical.....

Now there's a word that I like.

Oftern used when cooking and drinking martinis simultaneously. :raz:

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#21 bigbear

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 02:23 PM

..... slapidaisical.....

Now there's a word that I like.

Oftern used when cooking and drinking martinis simultaneously.

Oftern? You don't shay.

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#22 maggiethecat

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 03:11 PM

..... slapidaisical.....

Now there's a word that I like.

Oftern used when cooking and drinking martinis simultaneously.

Oftern? You don't shay.

Just a silly typo. I swear. (Hic!)

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#23 JAZ

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 09:20 PM

So, I'm sitting at the computer and drinking a martini for the first time in months, actually. Love them, but for various reasons, I've had to concentrate on other cocktails lately.

Boodles is what's in the glass, because that's what was in the bar, and strictly speaking, what's in the glass is a Gibson, because I had onions and no olives, but my oh my it's a wonderful thing...

#24 Dave the Cook

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 09:34 PM

I thought we'd been through some of this before:

and we have -- right here.

...and not to be pedantic, but I revert to my previous testimony:

...overly refined liquids are for people who don't really like the taste of gin. Rather than Tanqueray, I prefer Bombay or Beefeater, or Boodles, when I can find it...


Out of deference to Maggie, I will try Seagrams.

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#25 maggiethecat

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 10:53 PM

Out of deference to Maggie, I will try Seagrams.

Honored, my brother. But what if you too think it's cheap swill compared to the exalted top-shelf gins mentioned above? I'll have to simply lurk for couple of months. :biggrin:

Or just change my sig line to "Over eleven bucks for a fifth of gin is for tourists."

JAZ: Yeah, actually I prefer Gimlets. By a very narrow margin.

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#26 jaybee

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 11:13 PM

Beefeaters or regular Bombay are my favs. Don't like a lot of botanicals,
just that feeling of a sharp knife drawn across my throat..gasp.

#27 Dave the Cook

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 11:20 PM

JAZ:  Yeah, actually I prefer Gimlets.  By a very narrow margin.

I myself am a Gimlet person. Why aren't we talking about them? Why don't bartender know how to make them? Why are they so dangerous?

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#28 maggiethecat

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 11:27 PM

just that feeling of a sharp knife drawn across my throat..gasp.

Yes!

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#29 maggiethecat

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 11:33 PM

JAZ:  Yeah, actually I prefer Gimlets.  By a very narrow margin.

I myself am a Gimlet person. Why aren't we talking about them? Why don't bartender know how to make them? Why are they so dangerous?

Because they are twenty-two years old and no no has ever ordered one before? Because they are afraid of pulling out a bartender's manual, because so few people order them? And they are not sure of the spelling?Because they can't stand the smell of pickled onions? Because they can't find the onions?

A mystery.

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#30 StephenT

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 04:12 AM

Because they can't find the onions?

Erm, are we confusing Gimlets with Gibsons? :wink: