Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Plymouth Gin

Gin is a spirit flavored mostly with Juniper berries. The most common type of gin used today in mixed drinks is "London dry gin", which has a dry, robust juniper berry flavor which some people consider to be akin to "drinking a pine tree". People these days tend to lean towards vodka since it is neutral in terms of flavor. Martinis, which were originally made with gin, are usually being made with vodka because of James Bond.

Gin is considered by some as a "flavored vodka", but to me it is much more. It contains a complex blend of botanicals which includes some or all of the following: juniper berries, lemon and orange peel, anise, coriander, licorice root, cinnamon, cassia bark, orris root and angelica root.

Now, on to the issue at hand.

Plymouth gin, which can only be produced in Plymouth England is a unique style of gin, similar to how cognac and champagne, etc... can only be called that if it is produced in that geographical region. Plymouth Original Strength is 41.2% alcohol by volume. It is also available in "Navy Strength"which is 57% alcohol by volume, being the traditional strength demanded by the British Royal Navy since it was the proof that would not prevent gunpowder from igniting should the spirit be spilled on it. Plymouth gin differs from "London dry gin" as it has more of a mellow citrus flavor with a hint of juniper. According to the distillers website Plymouth gin contains 7 botanicals: lemon and orange peel, coriander, orris root, angelica root, juniper berries and cardamom pods.

According to Wikipedia: "
Plymouth Gin was favoured by such notable individuals as Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ian Fleming (Ironic how James Bond always orders a vodka and not a Plymouth martini *sigh*) and Alfred Hitchcock. "

The Nose: presents you with pleasant citrus and juniper aromas as well as other "earthy notes".

The Palate: Citrus flavors along with mild juniper

Finish: lingers with a dry finish

***** (out of 5*)

Although gin is not for everyone people may find Plymouth gin to their linking. I seriously recommend trying Plymouth gin.

Here are a couple of mixed drinks which contain gin:

  • 2 1/2 ounces gin
  • 1/2 ounce dry vermouth
Stir with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with either a lemon zest or a green olive.

  • 1 ounce gin
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1 ounce Campari
Stir with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a orange slice.

Gin & Tonic
  • 2 oz gin
  • top with tonic water
  • 2 1/4 ounces gin
  • 3/4 ounces Rose's lime juice
Stir with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Tom Collins
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
  • 2 ounces soda water
Shake with ice. Strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Top with soda. Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry and orange wheel.

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