Thursday, August 4, 2011

Club 209 Martini

Let's start with an off color joke shall we?

Why didn't Stalin drink Gin?

It made him mean.

Gin and champagne are two of the more falsely accused alcohols in the ethanol world. "Man, I don't drink champagne, gives me a headache" or "Gin makes me do stupid stuff" are constant refrains. Notice I didn't include tequila. Tequila is a criminal, and whether or not it is guilty of any particular crime, it is guilty of something.

Gin's best expression is in the martini. I'll grant you an afternoon of gin and tonics is no slouch either, but really a martini just feels better. Plus, rarely if ever is there a pair of gin soaked olives at the bottom of a gin and tonic. If there is, it is time to find a new bartender. My liquor cabinet at home has around four or five gins at any one time, each having there own purpose. Hendrix comes out when there is cucumber in the house, Seagram's for gin buckets in the fall, and so on and so forth. But suddenly a sultry, domestic gin walked in the door and she seems to be taking over. Her name even evokes the code riddled world of James Bond, No. 209 Gin.

Distilled in San Francisco, I first ran into No. 209 at Tales of the Cocktail. There were a few bottles in the media room and I grabbed one or fifteen. I went home and poured the gin into a glass and immediately sensed this was unlike any other gin I'd tried. Intensely floral and spicy, but not sweet, the gin also has some background citrus flavors. Hence, you can see why it is just as good with tonic and lime as with vermouth and olives.

So far I've been mixing four parts gin to one part dry vermouth. It's worked for me, I bet it would work for you.


RBPoBoy said...

I am a long-time martini lover. Hendrick's has been my go-to gin for some time, though I enjoy many others (Plymouth, Cadenhead Old Raj), but recently I was turned on to Nolet Silver. It has gotten 5-star reviews in several spirit journals. It can be hard to find. Currently they are carrying it at Dorignacs. I strongly recommend it in a very dry martini. One reviewer said it was the only gin where he could honestly recommend skipping the vermouth.

Pontchartrain Pete said...

You must have cleaned out the No. 209 samples at the swag room. I bereft.

I did attend the America's New Distilleries seminar where they were discussing, among other topics, gin. Aviation Gin from House Spirits sounded interesting. Less juniper, they said, and an odd ingredient, sarsaparilla; a choice made instead of vanilla for a "mid-palate mouth feel" that was missing in the dry style they first came up with. I can't personally confirm this just yet, but will look forward to playing around with it and No. 209 which sounds equally as interesting.

Pontchartrain Pete said...

"I'm bereft" would be the appropriate sentence had I proofed before posting.

Alisa said...

This makes me thirsty. Lovely blog by the way, lost track of time reading through I wonder where I can find me some of this No.209.