Hey baby, how ’bout we get out of these clothes and into a dry martini.
Here at The Salonniere, we love a good gin. And the more complex, the better. For that reason, we’ve always been drawn to Hendricks, a Scottish gin with a unique infusion of rose petals and cucumber that enhances the brand’s classic juniper and citrus flavors. The result is a beautiful, crisp and aromatic gin that makes a wonderful gin and tonic, especially when garnished with a wedge of cucumber. A girl must get her vegetables, you know.
Given our fondness for gin, we were waiting with bated breath to hear the results of the annual World Gin Awards. Organized by TheDrinksReport.com, the world’s top resource for drinks professionals, the World Gin Awards recognizes the best gins in the world based on a series of blind-tastings. Judges rate the gins according to the following criteria: nose, palate, finish, balance, character, complexity, quality and functionality. Following are the 2014 winners and the judges notes for each:
World’s Best Gin and World’s Best Traditional Gin – Gilpin’s Westmorland Extra Dry Gin
All the expected characters of a traditional style gin are here in good proportion with a great balance of earthy, herbal and floral notes dominated by juniper. This balance carries through onto the palate to create a big flavor followed by good length.
World’s Best Cask Gin – Valentine Liberator Old Tom
The oak provides this gin with added notes of vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg, these combine nicely with the juniper making it a good, complex spirit with a touch of balancing sweetness. Perfect for mixing. NB: A cask gin is a gin that has been matured in wood, using barrels or wood chips with the intent of adding wooden character to the spirit.
World’s Best Compound Gin – Professor Cornelius Ampleforth Bathtub Gin
This is a monstrously complex, sweet and aromatic gin with cinnamon spice, sweet pepper and sweet juniper on the nose. It has depth and vibrancy, good length and a pleasant after taste. NB: A compound gin is a gin made without distilling any botanicals. Instead, the gin is made through means of maceration or infusion with fresh botanicals or the use of essences. The predominant flavor must be juniper.
World’s Best Contemporary Gin – Darnley’s View Spiced Gin
A well-balanced and interesting gin: clean and bright with a sweet, slightly floral nose with hints of pepper and angelica, which develop on the palate to reveal a little more of the juniper and citrus, but it’s the peppery spice flavors that dominate and linger. NB: A contemporary gin is a less juniper-forward gin, with other flavors such as citrus, floral, spice and herbal notes playing a more prominent role.
Grab your gimlet. I feel a party coming on.
The Classic Gimlet
1-3/4 ounces gin (we’re going to use Gilpin’s Extra Dry Gin)
2/3 ounce Rose’s lime juice (for a fresh twist on the classic, use equal parts fresh lime juice and simple syrup)
Pour ingredients into a rocks glass filled with ice
Stir and garnish with a wedge of lime
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