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njduchess

All About Gin, Generally

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slkinsey   
Does anybody else find that drinking gin yields a distinctly different buzz than drinking, say, vodka or just sipping wine?  Scientists say "no", but I find there's nothing quite like the narco/alcohol effect of a good martini or two.

No. The only intoxicant in these beverages is alcohol. Anything else is a figment of your imagination... although sometimes a nice figment. :wink:

I try to keep two bottles of gin in the freezer...

I have always understood that it was a bad idea to keep gin in the freezer, because a proper martini depends somewhat on the dilution provided by the melting of the ice -- and I do tend to find that the gin is "thicker" when it has had some ice melted into it, even when compared to frozen gin. Frozen gin would minimize this effect, as it would not melt much of the ice.

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MatthewB   
I have always understood that it was a bad idea to keep gin in the freezer, because a proper martini depends somewhat on the dilution provided by the melting of the ice -- and I do tend to find that the gin is "thicker" when it has had some ice melted into it, even when compared to frozen gin.  Frozen gin would minimize this effect, as it would not melt much of the ice.

Depends on how long you stir. I tend to stir approximately 30-40 seconds for one to two martinis.

I get the proper dilution--for me--*and* a very chilled martini.

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slkinsey   
I have always understood that it was a bad idea to keep gin in the freezer, because a proper martini depends somewhat on the dilution provided by the melting of the ice -- and I do tend to find that the gin is "thicker" when it has had some ice melted into it, even when compared to frozen gin.  Frozen gin would minimize this effect, as it would not melt much of the ice.

Depends on how long you stir. I tend to stir approximately 30-40 seconds for one to two martinis.

I get the proper dilution--for me--*and* a very chilled martini.

Given your preference for a fairly wet martini, as mentioned here, this may be a technique that works well for your particualr style. Any more dilution, and your martinis might start to taste watered.

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Lan4Dawg   
And to answer the original question . . .

I try to keep two bottles of gin in the freezer:  either Bombay (regular, not the vodka clone) or Beefeater's and Plymouth.

I'm slowly coming to the notion that I should pare down to just a bottle of Plymouth.  (Based on taste rather than lack of freezer volume.)

I had forgotten about Plymouth & I have a bottle on the bar as I type. I truly enjoy that as well. It tastes like "gin".

I have not quite figured out some of the rationale that you are supposed to cover the taste of the alcohol w/ fruit, cola, whatever flavoring. Why bother? & esp why bother buying a specific brand if you are going to cover the taste w/ something else?

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MatthewB   
Given your preference for a fairly wet martini, as mentioned here, this may be a technique that works well for your particualr style.  Any more dilution, and your martinis might start to taste watered.

Possibly.

You see, I keep the gin in the freezer as well as the martini glasses & pint glasses for mixing.

Take pint glass from freezer & add 4 ice cubes for one martini or 6 cubes for two martinis. Pour in vermouth (that's been in the fridge). Pour in gin. (Always jigger the vermouth & gin.) Add orange bitters. Stir as directed above. Strain, garnish, lift, quaff.

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slkinsey   

Interesting. What's your ratio of gin to vermouth? I like the orange bitters idea. I don't do it often, but I do occasionally... just did it last time, in fact.

I keep my glasses in the freezer too. Makes a small difference, although I sometimes wonder why they don't make martini glasses where the bottom of the bowl is quite thick before tapering to a thin rim (the idea being that the thicker glass at the bottom could hold more coldness).

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MatthewB   
What's your ratio of gin to vermouth?  I like the orange bitters idea.

Average is 5:1. (2.5 ounces of gin & 0.5 ounce of vermouth. Sometimes, I'll go wetter.)

I think it's safe to assume that you have Fee Brothers orange bitters? (Their mint & peach bitters are interesting, too. But I use those for baking more than cocktails.)

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slkinsey   
What's your ratio of gin to vermouth?  I like the orange bitters idea.

Average is 5:1. (2.5 ounces of gin & 0.5 ounce of vermouth. Sometimes, I'll go wetter.)

I go about 8:1 if I 'm using Vya, 6:1 if Noilly Pratt (the Vya has such a strong flavor, I find that I need to use less). Of course, this ratio changes somewhat depending on how strongly flavored a gin I am using.

I think it's safe to assume that you have Fee Brothers orange bitters?

Of course! Their regular bitters is really good too (although perhaps not for a martini). I don't often use bitters in a martini, but it's absolutely necessary in a Manhattan, IMO.

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MatthewB   

Your portion juggling according to type of gin/type of vermouth sounds spot on.

Of course!  Their regular bitters is really good too (although perhaps not for a martini).  I don't often use bitters in a martini, but it's absolutely necessary in a Manhattan, IMO.

I aim for 3-5 "drops" of Fee orange bitters per martini. I'm pretty regular about this. Not much of an impact if using either Vya or Eider though. But I think orange bitters enhance a martini made with Prat.

A Manhattan without bitters is simply a bourbon & vermouth cocktail. :biggrin:

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I'd like to take the time to compare flavors myself, but I can't get myself to buy a bottle of every brand at one time just to have a tasting (especially if I don't like some of them). Plus, that would be quite an expensive endeavor and I would prefer to only spend my money on gins that I would expect to like.

Have you looked into having a tasting at a local bar? Trying shots rather than whole bottles.

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trillium   

Has anyone tried Hendrick's gin? It's on my list (along with Plymouth) to try when the Junipero runs dry.

regards,

trillium

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MsRamsey   

I once read Beefeater described as "salty," and I agree.

I like Bols Genever gin.

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Lan4Dawg   
Has anyone tried Hendrick's gin?  It's on my list (along with Plymouth) to try when the Junipero runs dry.

I will have to try some of that. It looks interesting enough. I wonder if Tower carries it.

btw, sitting here w/ my Bombay & Noilly Prat, about 12:1, w/ a twist of lemon, stirred over ice & strained into an icy martini glass and enjoying myself immensely thank you very much.

We were out to dinner a few weeks ago & the waiter returned w/ our cocktails including my martini. I looked up & said, "Look! here comes my best friend in the world.......and he has a waiter attached." The poor waiter had to put the tray down on another table to keep fr/ spilling the drinks.

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MHesse   

I like J.H. Henkes' gin, from Holland. I used to travel to St. Croix, USVI regularly and could buy it in Woolworths (which shows it's been a while). The was a wide selection of liquors from around the world, some not oftn seen in the States. Duty free, too.

It's a white gin, in a tapered green bottle.

--mh

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slkinsey   
Has anyone tried Hendrick's gin?  It's on my list (along with Plymouth) to try when the Junipero runs dry.

Hendricks is actually one of my favorites... I float a paper-thin slice of cucumber in the martini instead of an olive or twist as the garnish. Serve it with a little dish of cucumber slices with coarse salt sprinkled over it.

I recently tried Junipero myself... wasn't crazy about it for martinis. It was a little hot and the juniper flavor was a little too up front and harsh for my taste. Would be great in a G&T, though, where the stronger juniper flavor would cut through the tonic.

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LEdlund   

I have been experimenting around with gins for the last couple of years and have found Junipero to be my favorite gin for martini's. The taste of the dutch style botanical gins vary so much that it comes down to personal preference. Since I like Junipero, people keep wanting me to try Tanquerey 10 and others which I just don't like. Unfortunately Junipero is costly in Washington so I keep some Boodle's on hand as well.

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trillium   
I recently tried Junipero myself... wasn't crazy about it for martinis.  It was a little hot and the juniper flavor was a little too up front and harsh for my taste.  Would be great in a G&T, though, where the stronger juniper flavor would cut through the tonic.

I didn't like Junipero in martinis either, but I did really like it in drinks that you mix with a fruity liqueur like Cointreau or Maraschino. It was good in things like Aviations, Delilahs and Pegus. Especially in Aviations that you garnish with one of those Italian wild cherries in syrup.

I'll have to give Hendrick's a try. So many cocktails...so little time.

regards,

trillium

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slkinsey   
I didn't like Junipero in martinis either, but I did really like it in drinks that you mix with a fruity liqueur like Cointreau or Maraschino.  It was good in things like Aviations, Delilahs and Pegus.  Especially in Aviations that you garnish with one of those Italian wild cherries in syrup.

I'll have to give Hendrick's a try.  So many cocktails...so little time.

Exactly my thought as well: "this is not a great gin for martinis, but a great one for other mixed drinks where you want the flavor of the gin to come through."

Hendricks, on the other hand, really is a "martini gin" IMO. The flavor is fairly delicate and the things that make it interesting would probably be largely lost in a drink with more assertive flavorings.

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Lan4Dawg   

if you are in the Atlanta area....

the Tower over on Buford Highway (not the Buckhead store--that I know) has Hendrick's gin as a close out for $20/bottle--marked down fr/ the usual $29.

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Meow-Mix   

I like gin a lot, but only in mixed drinks. I've never heard of anyone drinking gin on the rocks or shots of gin. Does anyone ever drink it straight?

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slkinsey   
I like gin a lot, but only in mixed drinks.  I've never heard of anyone drinking gin on the rocks or shots of gin.  Does anyone ever drink it straight?

The vast majority of gin martinis consumed these days is straight gin, more or less.

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slbunge   

Similary, if you order a gimlet these days, it's essentially straight gin. Not sure why, but bartenders now seem prone to mixing severely dry cocktails.

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