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gin in the freezer?

  • j

Can i keep my gin (Bombay) in the freezer? What are the arguments against this? For it?

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  1. Why do you want to keep it in the freezer? It would take a looooooooooooooooooong time for it to go bad. Surely you can finish it off before then?

    1. Assuming that you like your gin COLD, by all means keep it in the freezer. Like vodka, it'll get a bit viscous. The bouquet is suspended because it's so cold, but returns as the gin warms up. I keep my Sapphire in the freezer.

      1. I have kept my gin in the freezer forever. A twist, a few drops of vermouth and fill er up. No ice to melt ensuring a potent libation. Cheers.

        16 Replies
        1. re: Dale

          Actually, I think the ice melt is an essential part to a great martini . . . and several bartenders i know agree.

          I tried an experiment and made martini's both ways -- the ice melt is definitely preferable . . . to *my* palate.

          1. re: zin1953

            I agree. but not too much melting. that is why I always stir vs shaking. Shaking (the James Bond way) chips the ice and melts it faster, thus watering the drink down and making it weaker.

            But then again, 007 was a spy and had to stay on his toes, so a watered down drink may have kept his senses on edge and saved his life - vs having a stronger drink and getting killed.

            1. re: borngiantsfan

              That makes no sense. If you use 2 ounces of gin in a martini it doesn't matter how much ice melts as you are still consuming 2 ounces of gin

              1. re: ac106

                But thev total weight of the drink is something over the original weight, and the gin is less a factor than without the water.

                1. re: ac106

                  Actually, it makes total sense . . . if you're drinking two ounces of gin (or whiskey or vodka or . . . for the sake of discussion, let's presume it's a straight 80°/40% abv) *straight* you are drinking two ounces, period. If you are drinking two ounces of gin in a Martini, or two ounces of gin in a 12-ounce gin-and-tonic . . . you're consuming MORE than just two ounces. Your body *does* absorb it differently, and it's more dilute . . .

                  1. re: zin1953

                    There might be a difference in the irritation to your upper digestive tract or how dehydrated you become, but not to how drunk you get. A dose of (say) 20 grams of pure alcohol affects your drunkenness regardless of how much water comes with it, just like your dose of 400mg of ibuprofen helps your sore elbow regardless of how much water you drink with it. Drinking water will reduce the risk of stomach irritation, but doesn't affect the does to your joint.

                    This is assuming the rate of consumption is the same. I tend to finish a Martini in about the same time (or even longer) than a Gin and Tonic.

                    1. re: EvergreenDan

                      Dan, it has been long known that -- just as drinking on an empty stomach will affect one differently than on a full stomach, so too, for example, will the same volume (ounces/ml/bottles) of 12.5 percent abv still wine versus 12.5 percent abv sparkling wine.

                      We are speaking by degrees when it comes to ice melt vs. no ice melt, true, but the principle remains.

                      1. re: zin1953

                        Sure. An empty stomach empties more quickly than a full one (regardless of whether it's got 20gms of alcohol from a Martini or a G&T in it), but I I'm throwing the myth flag on the still v. sparkling.

                  2. re: ac106

                    It may not be weaker in the amount of alcohol but it will be weaker in flavor which could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your tastes.

              2. re: Dale

                water is an essential ingredient, not something to be avoided

                1. re: Dale

                  So, you're saying your ideal martini is basically a 3-4 ounce shot of chilled straight gin. Yeah...that sound like quite the sophisticated and tasty cocktail...

                  1. re: The Big Crunch

                    What's with drinking chilled gin flavored with a dash of "bitters" made from vermouth. I personally wouldn't call it a Martini and barely a cocktail, but drinking spirits straight (chilled or neat) is both sophisticated and tasty in my book. And gin isn't as accessible to drink straight as rum or bourbon.

                    Gin from the freezer has a lovely viscous texture. It is rather strong, so lower proof gin is probably best. Try it.

                    3-4 ounces would be more like a double, though.

                    1. re: EvergreenDan

                      Gin on the rocks is one of my favorite tipples, cocktail or not. I think it tastes good with both high and low proof gins as long as they still have some character after dilution.

                      for a softer one try Malacca on the rocks with a lime wedge. Lots of experimenting to be done if your using vermouth as your "bitters". I usually stick with the Angostura.

                      1. re: The Big Crunch

                        He never called it a martini or a cocktail. If he likes it, what the hell do you care. And yeah, it sounds tasty to me.

                    2. I always keep a bottle of Tanqueray Malacca in the freezer for martinis, with tonic, and for Bloody Mary's.

                      1. NO, NO, NO, NO!!!!!!!!

                        you need to keep your gin in MY freezer!
                        just show up whenever you need a martini & I will be more than happy to pour whatever is left.....er...I mean...to mix a martini for you.....esp. if it is Bombay


                        Noilly prat vermouth & a twist of lemon in a chilled martini glass. It just does not get any better.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Lan4Dawg

                          ROFL - Outstanding (and correct) response.

                          1. re: applehome

                            Whatever else is in my freezer, there's always a bottle of gin and four martini glasses, and vermouth in the fridge. Used to keep'em there for when my mom came to visit. Now that she won't do that anymore, I have one myself every now and then as a sort of memorial...among other things!

                            I'm an olive guy myself, though our Meyer lemons provide a really nice twist...

                        2. j
                          Janet A. Zimmerman

                          Depends on what you're using it for, but it's definitely not necessary, nor, in my opinion, particularly desirable.

                          The only reason I can think of to keep any spirit in the freezer is if you want to drink it straight and ice cold. Vodka is often drunk like that, but gin rarely is. If you're using it for martinis, keep in mind that a martini should contain some melted ice to dilute it a bit. Also, as another poster mentioned, keeping it in the freezer will destroy (if only temporarily) the aromatic qualtities -- that is, it won't smell (or taste) like gin until it warms up a bit. So if you like the flavor of gin, I'd say don't store it in the freezer. If you don't like it, drink vodka.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Janet A. Zimmerman

                            I agree with this 100%. I have come to find that Gin is all about the flavor of the botanicals. Chilling it damps down the flavor greatly. Gin should be stored at room temp. It's really funny to see my above post of three years ago when I said I keep a bottle of Tanqueray Malacca gin in the freezer. back then I was a know it, I have learned so much since then. JMF formally "The Rogue"

                            1. re: Janet A. Zimmerman

                              I agree. I got the bright idea to store pre made martinis in the freezer. I did not like the results. Now I store gin, vermouth, and olives in the beer fridge, and glasses in the freezer.

                            2. Unlike vodka, which is supposed to be flavorless, the delicate aromatics in gin are diminished when it gets too cold. Room temp or in the fridge is best.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: seiun

                                Hendrick's stays out. Gilbey is perhaps actually better frozen …

                                1. re: Will Owen

                                  To elaborate: Gilbey's and the like are for the weekday, I-feel-like-a-martini martinis. Just need something icy and sharp to set the tone. So it's an eyeballed amount of Generic Vermouth (about a tablespoon) in the frozen glass and top it up (w/room for two olives) with frozen Generic Gin. Bitters maybe. Sip and be joyful. BUT: for a Martini Experience, seven ice cubes in the shaker, measured half-ounce (or maybe one) of my best vermouth and the remaining volume of interesting gin at room temperature. Shake with a rolling motion for about ten seconds, pour into icy glass, garnish appropriately and drink thoughtfully.

                              2. I've never tried out storing gin in the freezer, so I can't comment on how it would affect the flavor. I can say, though, that if you're going to be making cocktails with it, then keeping it at freezing temperatures might not be the best idea, since then you'd end up not getting enough ice dilution during the shaking/stirring process.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: sanjacinto

                                  I'm puzzling a bit over "ice dilution", since one of my biggest gripes with most bar martinis is they use itty bitty shakers and wet ice, adding at least a tablespoon of water to the booze. I do not like a watery martini. I don't mind a bit of softening to the edge, but hate drowning it.

                                  In cleaning out the in-laws' house we found several bottles of interesting booze, including a liter bottle (tad over half full) of Bokma Genever, a Holland gin. I've made a few shaken martinis with that, garnishing with fresh lemon zest, and it's both good and different. I would certainly not freeze this!

                                  1. re: Will Owen

                                    When I say "ice dilution" I'm talking about the small amount of water that will invariably get added to a drink when mixing room temperature ingredients with ice. Naturally, I'm not saying so much ice should melt that it will actually taste diluted, but as far as softening the edge, as you mentioned, especially in as spirit-heavy a drink as a martini, I'd say that small amount of water plays an important role.

                                    I'd think that if you mix ice with liquids that are at freezing temperature then you probably wouldn't have that transfer take place. Then again, you probably wouldn't mix something that's already at freezing temperature with ice anyway.

                                    1. re: sanjacinto

                                      sanjacinto, I keep my martini glasses in the freezer too, and I put them away wet. This provides as much dilution as I need, thanks.

                                      I do like a vigorously shaken martini in a big shaker with at least six cubes of very cold ice. The blur of tiny ice crystals I've seen others disparage is part of my enjoyment.

                                2. I get the point about the botanicals, and I sometimes taste gin neat. But....

                                  While I don't keep gin in the freezer anymore, I do miss the syrupy lusciousness of a Martini made with frozen gin and (a lot) of refrigerated Boissiere vermouth and a nice olive. It starts out piercingly cold, then warms, revealing more of the gin and vermouth flavors. If made the right size, it's gone before warming too much. It is a nice experience, at least once in a while. Maybe I'll freeze a small container of gin for the summer. 80 proof is best to allow reasonable proof after dilution with the vermouth.

                                  I also agree that a Martini ordered out is very often a watery mess, even if stirred. The wet bar ice (at 32*F) usually ends up diluting the drink too much for my taste. I can make much better Martinis at home because I start with bone dry -10*F ice. Some drinks need to cook; a Martini isn't one of them.

                                  YMMV. I understand that I am not espousing the usual craft cocktail dogma.

                                  www.kindredcocktails.com | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: EvergreenDan

                                    I agree with this martini strategy 100%. Once I pour my drink, there is plenty of time for the gin to warm up and release its aroma.

                                  2. I too keep gin and vodka in the freezer. I prefer the vodka ice cold when I drink, but do like the gin to get a bit warmer, so as to release the bouquet, as others have talked about.

                                    I must say that this past weekend I finally had a Hendricks martini with a slice of cucumber. Friggin' gnarly.

                                    11 Replies
                                    1. re: EarlyBird

                                      If I remember junior high correctly, that could be either good or bad. Do you mean friggin' gnarly like an algebra test you hadn't studied for or friggin' gnarly like "Annette's Got The Hits" by Redd Kross?

                                      1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                        Just googled. Those two examples seem to be the same meaning to me. ;-) #tooold #sayingthingsjustlikemomanddadwheniwasakid

                                        Just bought a bottle of Berkshire Mountain Ethereal Gin. Holy botanicals. I've only sipped it neat so far, but I get it would stand up to the freezer.

                                        1. re: EvergreenDan

                                          Where do you find something like that please?

                                          1. re: EvergreenDan

                                            Berkshire Mountain is a Massachusetts distiller. http://berkshiremountaindistillers.com/ I'm not sure how widely it is distributed. I find it regularly in the Boston area. I bought this particular bottle at Discount Liquors in the Fresh Pond shopping plaza, Cambridge, MA.

                                            Massachusetts forbids shipping liquor into the state. I'm not sure about shipping out of the state.

                                            I did find it at DrinkUpNy.com, but the picture was of some different batch. I believe each batch has a unique color and flavor. I'm not sure what batch they currently have. The bottle has the batch number on it. My bottle is batch 4. http://www.drinkupny.com/SearchResult...

                                            www.kindredcocktails.com | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

                                            1. re: EvergreenDan

                                              I checked and it's served and sold in CA. I'm going to be in the LA area in a couple of weeks. Will have a little and maybe buy a little. Thanks.

                                            2. re: EvergreenDan

                                              Chris Weld of Berkshire Mountain is doing some great stuff at his distillery. I like his gins, and the whiskeys are coming along well too.

                                              1. re: JMF

                                                Indeed, the Ethereal Gin is strongly botanical. It's a fine unique gin which I didn't precisely enjoy for mixing, it's better neat and in simple gin-forward mixes.
                                                And the Ragged Mountain Rum from the same place is a current summer favorite. Nice spicy complexity from this American pot stilled rum. It takes very well to fruit or plain shrub.

                                                1. re: marais

                                                  I drink Scotch neat at times but somehow room temp gin just doesn't sing to ME.

                                                  1. re: bobcam90

                                                    Oude genever is worth sipping with a splash of cold water. That Bokma I "inherited" from pa-in-law is a whole 'nother gin experience for me. Looked up the various Dutch varieties and saw immediately that I could spend an awful lot of money here …

                                                    1. re: Will Owen

                                                      I'm going to be in the LA area in a couple of weeks. May have to do some "research."

                                            3. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                              "If I remember junior high correctly, that could be either good or bad. Do you mean friggin' gnarly like an algebra test you hadn't studied for or friggin' gnarly like "Annette's Got The Hits" by Redd Kross?"

                                              I mean friggin' gnarly as in tubular, awesome or radical. : )

                                          2. Gin won't freeze solid. So it's OK. Probably a harmless thing to do. The dutch serve some potent gins - the zeer oude genevers chilled - so if you're drinking something like that (most likely Bols) you would be drinking it straight up from the freezer. As a general proposition though Americans drink many things way too cold. Chilling kills the taste (at least until things warm up again) - that works with things that don't taste too good like bad American beers. But with things that taste good you do not want the drink to be too cold. An example is scotch - in Scotland it is served straight up and room temperature - in England 50/50 with water no ice - if you've never tried your scotch without ice you should try these variations and see what you think. With most "premium" vodkas chilling doesn't kill the taste as these ridiculous products are made to be tasteless anyway. Bombay Sapphire gin is a nice tasting gin - not stong tasting - and if it is too cold you will lose that taste.

                                            8 Replies
                                            1. re: kagemusha49

                                              "Straight up" does not mean room temperature, it means chilled over ice then strained - "neat" is the correct term.

                                              1. re: ncyankee101

                                                I thought "up" was chilled but no ice in the glass. "Over" is over ice. And "neat" is room temp, no ice. No?

                                                1. re: bobcam90

                                                  That's pretty much what I said - though I don't think there is a term for "chilled from the freezer".

                                                  1. re: ncyankee101

                                                    Sorry. I missed the word "strained." I agree.

                                                  2. re: bobcam90

                                                    bobcam, I thought "straight up" was your definition + in a stem glass; so it's literally "up." Otherwise, I'd just ask for a chilled shot. Which may or may not be liquor straight from the freezer--though considering most bars don't freeze their liquor, I'd expect it to be shaken or stirred with ice to chill it.

                                                    That said, if I asked for a liquor "straight up," I would not be at all surprised to get it neat.

                                                    Though of course if I ask for a margarita "up," I'm saying I want it chilled in a stem glass as opposed to on the rocks in a highball glass. Or do I mean a lowball glass . . . ?

                                                  3. re: ncyankee101

                                                    I beg your pardon - I should have said straight not straight up. Lived in this country so long that I'm getting careless with my slang.

                                                  4. re: kagemusha49

                                                    In Scotland the whisky _is_ served neat -- but there is a pitcher of water alongside (or on the bar) for dilution as the imbiber desires. And the weather there is usually a healthy chilly temp every day so ice is not necessary.

                                                    This is a fine discussion. There are so many variables: Seasonal temperature, % alcohol, ice (large, small, dry, wet), ... (And any discussion that includes Redd Kross deserves 5 stars!)

                                                    1. re: Up With Olives

                                                      Yes. And, dammit, don't spell it with an "e" :)

                                                  5. I guess I agree that room temp. gin mixes well with the ice whether shaken, stirred, or on the rocks.
                                                    The spirit that should be kept in the freezer is Snaps, otherwise known as Akvavit. It should be drunk freezing and neat, in a frozen glass. Vodka is often drunk this way, too,

                                                    1. Came across this post when searching for classic gin information. I too used to put my gin in the freezer, mainly because I didn't like the ice melting too quickly in my G&T (made with 2 parts G, 2 parts T, and 1 part club soda). But since I drink more flavorful gins (Hendricks, Van Gogh, and more recently Junipero), I was finding what others here posted - that the freezing temps knocked down the botanical flavors I enjoy.

                                                      Also, I think a gin martini does taste better when stirred propery to chill vs starting with cold gin. Plus I serve them in small glasses (4 or 6 oz), so it doesn't warm up halfway through. And stirring (in my opinion) chills it well without overly watering it down.

                                                      So now what I do is keep 1 bottle in the fridge (not as cold, just cool) and a couple bottles in the cabinet. Now depending on what I am making, I have the temp that I want. And right now I have:
                                                      - Junepero in the fridge
                                                      - Hendricks, St George, and Aviation in the cabinet