Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hip Gin

Can gin ever be hip?Or trendy? New York Times Dining writer Eric Asimov does. He expands his weekly Pour column to defend one of the most traditional liquors. Along with fellow Times writer Julia Moskin, he defends this sometimes maligned drink. In his revelations he finds that it is now trendy and on the verge of being rediscovered by young hipsters.

Gin itself has had somewhat of a bad reputation for the last two centuries. Originally created by a 17th Century Dutch doctor to cure stomach problems it fell into abuse a century later. Gin became the drink of choice amongst England's poor working class.It was finally accepted by the upper class after genteel companies like Beefeater and Boodles started to manufacture it. However there were bad connotations like gin soaked and bathtub gin to also deal with in the 20th Century. Nowadays most people prefer their drinks, especially summer ones mixed with the drink's rival vodka.

This is all changing. Gin is starting to be made by smaller distilleries, thus the drink is getting a taste makeover. Juniper is the main ingredient in it and different blends of botanicals and fruits are being added to give each distillery's type unique flavors, different from each other.Mr. Asimov predicts that some distilleries may take a crack at the Dutch classic genever, a form of gin , which has a malty edge to it.The best gins according to him and Ms. Moskin are still the standards:Beefeater,Tanqueray and Plymouth. These are better straight or mixed with juices, other liquors and seltzers. Smaller distilleries seem to produce gins that are not quite up to par or try too hard to make something amazing. Yet these do sell.

Looking for a hip drink? Try a punch or a gin fix  made with that classic gin. It's a refreshing departure  ye tit also harks back to another time when gin and tonics or a gin fizz ruled the summer cocktail party.

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