Spring is in the Air
Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow this past Groundhog's Day so it looks like we're in the clear. Weather forecasters are predicting a balmy 71 degrees for the Super Bowl this Sunday, which means it's time to break out the white spirits and ice cubes—it's time for an early season gin cocktail! I decided to party a little too hearty last night, pouring glassfuls of both the Gin Mare and Faultline Gins respectively until I was forced to retire early. My mother, who like her mother is a bit obsessive with her gin martinis, has been actually blending her gins for the past few years and is now doing a recipe with 50% Beefeater's and 50% Faultline (she has another one that uses Monkey 47 in certain quantities). She called me yesterday to tell me how much she's been enjoying the "Jaime Hernandez Edition" designed by St. George distiller Dave Smith. In return, I told her about Gin Mare—a Spanish gin we've finally got on the shelf distilled from olives, thyme, rosemary, and basil. We traded recipes and then went off to practice with our respective bottles.
If you haven't had the Gin Mare yet, you need to add this to your list. Back in Edinburgh a few years back I filled my suitcase with both this bottle and the Monkey 47 as neither was yet available in the U.S. It's both savory and delicate on the palate with only subtle hints of that briney goodness. Think of it as a dirty martini that's naturally dirty! The Faultline, however, continues to impress me and only further reminds me of how good a distiller Dave is. I think with all the hoopla of the artwork and the limited edition vinyl that originally came with it, we forgot to talk about how amazing the spirit is. I had the bartenders from Whitechapel come in recently to express their love and ask if they could potentially work with the product at their newly-established gin bar downtown (alas, there's no legal way of selling it to them). It's like a far more-drinkable version of the Monkey with hints of red berries on the initial entry that give way to an almost creamy mouthfeel accented by vibrant Indian spices. I think it needs to be re-introduced this Spring because it's by far the most exciting gin on our shelf and the most versatile.
But how many people are ready to give up whisky for gin at this point? Just me? Anyone? Buehler?