Last night was a blast at Martin's West, a place where I (and I think everyone who eats there) really feel at home and at ease. We had a full crowd and the whole back room was reserved for us, plus we had a surprise guest in Davorin Kuchan - local distiller and maker of the soon to be released Blade Gin. After covering a bit of history and specifics, as well as the different types of gin, we launched into our blind tasting of seven delicious examples. On the menu for the evening were: Leopold's, North Shore #11, Plymouth, Hayman's Old Tom, Old Potrero Junipero, Old Potrero Genevieve, and the Blade gin making a secret appearance.
People tasted them without ice, and without knowledge as to which gin they were currently sipping. The goal was to recognize the style via the flavors of the botanicals involved. After that I did a brief demo of how to mix and we used the gins to whip some old fashioned cocktails - The Corpse Reviver #2, the Martinez, and the Blue Moon.
In the end, I had a blast hanging out and drinking with everyone, and I stayed to enjoy a delicious meal of roasted chicken and root vegetable stew. Martin West has a fantastic staff and the kitchen crew is top notch. I can't wait to do this again, and I think that for $15, we can all afford to do this somewhat often.