Many a Southern and WASP friend has extolled its virtues. In fact, my pal Celeste can't imagine holding her wedding without an ample supply, so her Carolina kin can have their ritual Gin & Tonics. WASPs, on the other hand, seem partial to their traditional Martinis. No Vodka Martinis in the Connecticut crowd.
Growing up a Jew on Long Island (yes, I'm admitting to my Giland upbringing!), I didn't see much gin popping up at my household, my grandparent's seder table or the plethora of "themed" bar mitzvahs we were forced to attend.
It's been a good long time since I left the Giland and even longer since I've attended a bar mitzvah, so I guess it was high time that I learned about the wonders of gin. And, wonders they are in the hand of skilled bartender - especially when the gin is top shelf. At the moment my fave is Plymouth, andaccording to a recent company press release:
In recent consumer taste tests of premium gins, Plymouth Gin's smoothness was preferred when tested against Bombay Sapphire. Plymouth Gin, first distilled in Plymouth, England in 1793, was also at parity in taste with Bombay Sapphire and, in a separate test, at parity in taste with Tanqueray.
"Plymouth's great taste and smoothness is a result of superior craftsmanship and true attention to detail in blending its seven unique botanicals," said Sean Harrison, Head Distiller for Plymouth Gin, who is personally responsible for overseeing the spirit's production. "We have distilling and production standards dating back 200 years, which has helped us perfect the nuances of the botanicals to create just the right smooth taste and long, dry finish."
According to the study, which had a margin of error plus or minus 5.6 percent, when consumers were asked, "Which gin is smoother?" 55 percent preferred the "smoothness" of Plymouth Gin over Bombay Sapphire (41 percent). In the test against Tanqueray, Plymouth Gin was at parity (50 percent) with Tanqueray (46 percent).
Regarding taste, when asked "Which gin tastes better?", in both tests, consumers ranked Plymouth Gin at parity to both Bombay Sapphire and Tanqueray -- Plymouth 49 percent to Bombay 47 percent; Plymouth 48 percent to Tanqueray 48 percent.
Right now, my favorite cocktail made with this heavenly stuff is the Juniper Breeze at Flatiron Lounge. It's no longer on the cocktail menu, but they have no problem shaking one up, if you're inclined to give it a whirl. (I strongly suggest that you whirl.) It's a lilting concoction: Plymouth gin, pink grapefruit juice and a dash of elderflower syrup on the rocks.
Last night, I had the bartender at One make a facsimile, since neither Plymouth or elderflower syrup was on hand: Tanqueray ten, pink grapefruit juice and a dash of Rose's Lime syrup on the rocks. Not quite as spectacular, but the effect was still delightful.
At this point you may be scratching your head about the title of this posting. I've covered gin and kin - but where's the sin? Here it goes: I indulged in two Gin & Tonics at the notorious Langan's with a client - after only having two chocolate dipped strawberries for lunch.
Now, I know that you're probably disappointed that my sin wasn't more titillating. But, heck, I know if my mother reads this posting that she'll admonish me to no end. Didn't she raise me better than that?!?
Then again, perhaps if I had been properly introduced to gin earlier in life, I might not be the sinner I am today. And, she can forget about repentment. The cause is lost. Looks like I'll be a gin sinner/sipper to the grave.