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Gin, anyone?

  • m

I'm going to a retirement party for a friend and have decided to give her a selection of different types of gin since she loves a good gin and tonic. Not being a gin drinker myself, I need a little help. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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    1. Hendricks has only recently become widely available, and it is a very nice change from more traditional gins. It has cucumber! Very subtle flavors and would be a great addition to her collection.

      1. I second both selections. Tanqueray 10 is a fresh, botanical, flavour. Really distinctive. Hendricks is a bit smoother, but doesnt have the same flavour profile.

        Boutique distillary gin is also on the rise. Bendistillery out of Bend, Oregon produces the increasingly common Cascade Mountain Gin, which uses fresh juniper berries. Very different, but excellent as a gift.

        Imports out of London are a good option too. Gordon's is the standard martini gin. Boodles is a superior gin, and has better flavour.

        Since you are going for a selection, my everyday gin is Bombay Sapphire, which is cheaper than the others and readily available. And excellent in it's own right.

        Hope that helps

          1. re: JMF

            Great link! thanks for the reference. How readily available are the Gin's mentioned though? I havent heard of many of them.

            1. re: yen

              Most are available at Astor Wine an Spirits in NYC who do mail order. Depends upon where you are. Some like Bluecoat and South Shore are only distributed in limited areas.

          2. My three favorite gins for all-purpose consumption are Beefeater, Tanqueray (not Tanqueray 10), and Bombay (not Bombay Sapphire) -- they are all readily available and they all cost about the same. Also, they all have similar flavor profiles and represent the classic, London Dry Gin style, as opposed to Hendricks, Tanqueray 10, and Bombay Sapphire which are less traditional taste-wise.

            Incidentally, my favorite gin for a G&T is Gordon's, probably because the juniper flavor is so up-front. I would never use it in a Martini though.

            9 Replies
            1. re: Fozzie_Bear

              I just bought a bottle if Plymouth. Haven't tried it yet (waiting for the temperature in VT to break 40 degrees for a G & T).

              1. re: TonyO

                plymouth and tangueray are two of my favorite Gins. Though I think the higher proof and more up-front Juniper in the tang are better for a g & T. The plymounth is much smoother with a great taste. try it on the rocks with a twist of lime

                1. re: quazi

                  Living in Canada, im envious at your Gin selection. Plymouth sounds awesome.

                  1. re: yen

                    I've found some really hard to get gin in Canada. Some were available there from the UK before they hit the US. I guess it may depend upon your province and you may need to seek out stores that specialize in fine spirits.

                    1. re: yen

                      Plymouth gin is available at most liquor stores in Ontario.

                  2. re: TonyO

                    Since Plymouth is an entirely differnet style, and the only one of it's style, as well as just good gin, I would definitely include that in the mix.

                  3. re: Fozzie_Bear

                    interesting to know about Gordon's, because the reason i have always drank Tanueray (not Tanqueray 10) in my G&Ts is because of the juniper flavor, which i do not find in the "fancier" gins. I will have to try that. is Gordon's price similar to Tanqueray?

                    1. re: mariacarmen

                      I think Tanqueray is still more juniper-y, but Gordon's is a great bargain and I enjoy it quite often. How great a bargain is it? Going by New Hampshire state prices: 1.75L for Gordon's is $14 and Tanqueray is $28!

                      1. re: skokefoe

                        In Baltimore, Gordons is $11.99!!!!

                  4. Gin is one of the reasons I wish I lived outside the UK. Gordons export. It is illegal to sell it in the UK so no go there. Also, make sure it is the 'export' rather than Gordons gin that is made outside the UK.

                    1. For a gift I would recommend Junipero, by Anchor (distilled in the US). My old standard is Plymouth.

                      1 Reply
                      1. If your friend is a real gin connoisseur then he's almost certainly tried most of the standard gins suggested. One he may not have tried and something distinctly different is Tanqueray Malacca: http://www.alcoholreviews.com/SPIRITS... It's soft, not crisp and has a unique mix of botanicals. It should be relatively easy to find in any big city.

                        12 Replies
                        1. re: inuksuk

                          FYI, Tanqueray Malacaa is no longer made and hasn't been for awhile,
                          Nor is there any availability of old stock from distributors. Your only hope would be to score a dusty bottle or two lanquishing on a bottom shelf in some out-of-the-way liquor emporium. That is, unless someone else has beaten you to this half-a holy grail :-))

                          1. re: Harp00n

                            Oops, thanks for catching that. It just goes to show I really need to drink more. If the Malacca is out (and my liquor store was selling it as recently a last summer) I'd suggest one of the Dutch Gins http://www.starchefs.com/wine/starspi...

                            1. re: inuksuk

                              Thanks for the link. I've really haven't explored the Dutch genevers as much as I should. If I was stuck in the old "on a desert island" scenario and was limited to only one gin appearing regularly, like magic, behind that big palm tree over yonder; make mine Plymouth please, pretty please.

                              1. re: Harp00n

                                I recently discovered the pleasure of Plymouth. It was on sale in NH for around $18 for the 750 ml. It is SMOOTH ! Interestting that it is not more widely known.

                                1. re: Harp00n

                                  No, I'll have to go searching for it. Speaking of meatsauce, in the words of the great Meatloaf, "Now don't feel sad, cuz 2 outta three ain't bad " ! Don't count the Yanks out !

                                  1. re: TonyO

                                    Here's where that all falls apart Athony. Roger looks like Meatloaf,only heavier, and will throw like the real Rocket-Man, Sir Elton :-))

                                    1. re: Harp00n

                                      I doubt that Harp00n. Rocket will throw like Rocket. I just fear he will simply be not enough for this year and that George wasted money signing the Rocket.

                                      And FWIW, on another off-topic, I had Green Spot that was distilled about 35 years ago at the Bow Street Distillery. Heaven. Too bad I will never find that languishing on the shelf of some out of the way liquor store. I did bring back three bottles of the more recent green Spot from Midleton's distillery.

                                      1. re: Captain

                                        Hmmm.....that's strange Cap, I've been awaiting that bottle of Green Spot that you told me you'd sent but it hasn't shown-up as of yet. Should we put a trace on it or wait a few more days? I trust that the first trip to Eire was all you'd expected?

                                        The only difference in stupidity between the Stripes and Soxs bid for the man formerly-known-as-Rocket. is about $8 mill. IMO, at 45, he just won't be able to pull that trigger consistently, even over the course of a shortened season. Worry more about Rivera my friend.

                                        1. re: Harp00n

                                          Worry about Rivera? Why? I have been a proponent of letting Mo go for a long time. He stopped being the dominating pitcher he once was a few years ago.

                                          Rocket will put people in the seats. So George will keep sending him out there.

                                          hhhhmmm, I cannot seem to recall saying that I would send you a bottle.

                                          1. re: Captain

                                            Yes, but not against The Sox it appears.
                                            So I shouldn't be expecting my/your liquid gold then?

                                            1. re: Harp00n

                                              You shouldn't expect a delivery of liquid gold any time soon. I think the last of the three bottles was just committed.

                                              However, I will have a niece attending Trinity College this fall, which is close to the source. So, I may soon be able to get someone to buy it for me. If only we can figure out how to get a case through customs.

                            2. re: Harp00n

                              There were two bottles last Friday at Beltway Fine Wines in Towson Md. if you're in the mood for a road trip!

                          2. Mimi - I'm not sure where you are located, but I have another, quite different, gin offering. Bend, Oregon has a distillery that makes a gin called "Desert Juniper". To the open the bottle alone smells a bit like the light fragrance of pine trees. It's an extremely smooth gin, one you could drink sans tonic. The website for the distillery is www.bendistillery.com. From there I know that the site has a link on where to buy one of their liquors. Online sales are also possible through another retailer you can link to at the distillery site. Just a bit different from the "normal" gins.

                            1. Old Raj gin is great for martinis, it's quite a head above the rest. I have been noticing the gin selection at local stores slowly expanding though. Recently tried a bottle of Sarticious, while it's not a traditional gin, it was very unique.

                              14 Replies
                              1. re: ihearteats

                                hello my favourites are Blackwoods, made at a small scottish distillery, Hendricks, Tanqueray 10 then Martin Millers..

                                1. re: rekha

                                  Hi rekha,

                                  I have never had nor heard of Blackwoods but it sounds interesting. How readily available is it? Martin Millers is very good indeed and doesn't get nearly enough mention and praise on this board, IMO.


                                  1. re: Harp00n

                                    No. 209 gin from San Francisco has been getting good reviews. It's in the 'artisan' class of gins. A new one just out is Tanqueray Rangpur, made with "rangpur limes and other botanicals." They have a full page ad in the June 30, 2007 issue of Wine Spectator that's kind of strange.

                                    1. re: taco clandestino

                                      Hey "tc", interesting blog site before I forget it, No. 209 is already on that "list'. The Rangpur is another matter all together! They have a great website ad, if you haven't Googled it already. Something of a cross between Monty Python & The Firesign Theatre. http://www.globeprobe.com/ If you don't know who Firesign is don't feel too bad, It just means you weren't frying your brain in the 60's & 70's :-)

                                      JMF, our resident gin expert, no, seriously he is, and I have agreed to disagree on the Rangpur. He thinks that the lime is too overt whilst I just love it chilled neat or with a rock or two. I've wanted to try making a Pegu Club sans additional lime with it but have gotten around to it as of yet.
                                      Cheers, Harp00n

                                      1. re: Harp00n

                                        Hi Harp00n

                                        sorry I didn't read this thread till tonight, Blackwoods is sold in Peckhams and Oddbins in the UK no sure if it has a big export market yet.. Just wanted to say that one of the best Martini's we have had was at the Pegu club.. espcially liked the fact that they serve you the surplus in a carafe..

                                        1. re: rekha

                                          ......and I just saw your new post, rekha. I'm assuming you're referring to the Pegu Club in NYC? I haven't been there myself, as of yet. One of these days, well nights, I'll be there. Thanks for the Blackwoods feedback, as well. As they say in the old westerns, I''ll have my eyes peeled, on the look-out for it.

                                          All the best,

                                        2. re: Harp00n

                                          I have a new favorite gin. It's from a brand new, family run place called Sweetgrass Farm winery and distillery in Union, Maine. It's called Back River Gin and is really something else. Everyone I have turned on to it has loved it, even those who hate gin.


                                          1. re: JMF

                                            Thanks JMF, I actually caught your rec of this on another post awhile back. So do they sell it in the back room, out of the boot of the Rover or where???

                                            1. re: Harp00n

                                              Any Maine liquor store can order it if they don't have it. Otherwise they sell it at the winery / distillery. In a few weeks it will be available in NY, NJ, and CA. Then who knows, it is a super premium limited edition gin, but at a reasonable price.


                                              1. re: JMF

                                                Thank you Sir!
                                                Obtw, I know it's not gin but have you had any of the Maine produced blueberry vodka of Dave Carlson (3Tides) that Maine Foodie & Infomaniac were raving about?


                                            2. re: JMF

                                              What, with growing legions clearly preferring flavour-neutral and artifically-flavoured spirits to gin [Exhibit A : The Vodka "Martini" Revolution], your "conversions" do not speak to the quality of this particular gin ipso facto. <chuckle>

                                              All joking aside, I hope to see this product in Chicago soon. Thanks for the heads up.


                                          2. re: taco clandestino

                                            I've tried the Rangpur - it tastes like Lemon Pledge. The fake lime juice just ruins the clear juniper tang for me.

                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                              I just saw the Rangpur Gin today for the first time and had to try it. I am sipping on a bit now. I think I like it. I can get the juniper nose and don't find the lime too assertive. I do like limes.

                                              Sorry to say though, it is not Malacca. Boy I do miss that stuff.

                                    2. No one has mentioned either of the french gins; Citadelle or Magellan. both have different botanicals than either the English or Dutch gins. They are both very smooth also. I would do an assortment of different types; a traditional english like Tanqueray 10, Plymouth or Broker's, one or two single botanical-predominants like Hendrick's or Tanqueray Raijpur, one or 2 boutique like Junipero or Black River, a dutch Genever, a french (see above). that will keep a gin lover busy for a while. bviously because gins are much more distinctive than vodka, personal taste is a significant factor. Maybe a big selections of miniatures to try the many different types and brands, with a gift certificate for a bottle or 2 of her favorite.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: chazzerking

                                        I definitely wouldn't call Tanqueray 10 a traditional English dry gin. It is one of the new, sweet and thick, citrus forward gins for people who don't like gin. Just like Tanqueray Rangpur, which so unbalanced that all it tastes like is heavy lime zest.

                                        I personally can't stand Citadelle or Magellan and think they both have too much oris which gives a plasticy taste. Junipero is boring, mild, and has only a mid-level juniper taste. I don't understand how it became popular.

                                      2. Try "Aviation" from Oregon...it's an outstanding, earthy gin that blew me away at first taste. I don't know how available it is outside of the west coast, but if you can find it, do yourself a favor and try it!

                                        1. Tanqueray 10 and Old Raj

                                          They both make wonderfully different martinis on the gin spectrum

                                          1. I like Plymouth (especially for martinis) while my SO prefers Bombay Sapphire, which I think is decent, especially for Negronis, though not as aromatic. But we both agree that the Tanquaray Rangpur we just got is fab for G&Ts and Gimlets. It's infused with rangpur limes, rangpur allegedly being to limes what meyer is to lemons. At any rate, I generally thumb my nose at fruited liquor--I can squeeze my own lemon into vodka, thank you--but this stuff is a bit different and superb for summer gin jrinks.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Poindexter

                                              You kill me...in addition to being completely correct. An Asian citrus fruit is a beauty to behold, despite being lackluster in flesh. Thicker rinds, though a juicer/more pungent fruit. Makes wicked cocktails.

                                            2. Great to see so many gin lovers here. It is so underappreciated in my circles, . I loved Tanqueray Malacca and am finally out of my carefully hoarded stock. I had high hopes for Rangpur, and my housemate's boyfriend certainly consumed it enthusiastically, but alas, it was too sweet and candyish for me. I agree that it is nice for summery G & Ts, though I am always out for martini gins.

                                              1. Tanqueray 47.3%, Old Raj, Miller's Westbourne Strength and Hendrick's are my faves - lot of different styles, depends what mood I'm in! OMG, nearly forgot about Crown Jewel - what a great gin that is too...

                                                What's Boodle's like??

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: drinkslover

                                                  Boodle's is heavy on the juniper; I love it, and it has gone up in price too. Where can you still get Crown Jewel. I only ever saw it in a dutyfree shop and used my bottle ever so delicately and slowly to stretch it out.

                                                  1. re: drinkslover

                                                    Boodle's a a great London dry style gin. I prefer it to Bombay Sapphire, but lately I have become a Plymouth drinker...especially since a local store sells 2 x 750 for $30 (they had been selling the old bottles for $26 for 2!). A martini made with Vya dry vermouth, Plymouth and a dash of orange bitters has got to be the most elegant cocktail in the world...

                                                    1. re: kenito799

                                                      I love Plymouth on the rocks, but want a London Dry Gin for mixed drinks.

                                                  2. Similar to the Dutch gins in that the flavor of this gin is aromatic, give the French saffron gin by Gabriel Boudier of Dijon a try. I found a bottle in the duty free shop at the Charles de Gaulle airport and it is wonderful.