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Jan 5, 2009 10:17 PM

Should I really give gin another try?

I've been reading a lot of the old posts here and there are of course many gin lovers. It is tempting me to do something I usually regret but do from time to time anyway, try gin again. Sadly the only two gin's I remember trying right off the top of my head are tanqueray and some seagrams. I wasn't wowed by the botanicals, I felt like someone ran the christmas tree through the juicer. I'm considering trying another brand that I know I haven't had before though like tanqueray 10 or hendricks.

To give you an idea of my tastes I love fine beer although I can't drink it anymore. Cocktails I might make or order are a vodka gibson (none of that threaten the shaker with vermouth business either, it gets a reasonable splash), rob roy, rusty nail, old fashioned, vodka + cranberry, neat wild turkey, or a good single malt just off the top of my head.

So what do you think? Have I just had gin's that are too juniper heavy or am I one of those people that doesn't like such things in his drink?

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  1. Puritans, Plymouth and the Perfect Gin
    You may wonder why a Scotsman is responding to a post on London Dry Gin? Well, despite it's generic name, most of the gin in the UK is made in Scotland. I know, you're amazed. Although the gin I think you'll like is made at the other end of Britain. So. getting to the heart of the matter, I suspect that it is most likely that you just dont like heavy botanicals in your drink - not liking the taste, however faint, of juniper, is a wee bit of a problem. But before you give up altogether, let's have one last try. Forget Hendricks - all brand, fancy old bottles and a strange insistence on using cucumber garnish. And don't even think about Bombay Sapphire. No, track down Plymouth English Gin. A fruitier, coriander, rooty dryness dominate - not juniper as is the case with most if not all London gins. If you're a real man, try Plymouth Navy Strength at 57 degrees. And yes, it IS ironic that this gin is distilled in the place where those epitomes of unbridled happiness, the Puritans, set out in the Mayflower in 1620. You will recall they escaped to America as the Founding Fathers (much to the surprise of the actual founding aboriginals) for the religious freedom to whine and nag everyone who looked even remotely happy. They would never have tolerated Chowhounds. And they would have burned anyone found sipping a good pink gin at the end of a long day killing the locals. Enjoy this devil's brew. And when you grow up completely, stick to Scottish single malts! God's own tipple!

    7 Replies
    1. re: hungryscotsman

      I concur. Plymouth is a great introduction to the wonders of gin. Not to Junipery and at a lower proof as well

      1. re: quazi

        Third Plymouth. It's great stuff for a super reasonable price.

      2. re: hungryscotsman

        Thanks for the recommendation, I might have to give it a try. Corriander is one of my favorite spices so that could be a good match.

        1. re: Soybomb

          if you like coriander, perhaps try some Old Raj saffron gin

          1. re: Soybomb

            I thought I'd report back, I bought a bottle of Plymouth yesterday afternoon. I'm just coming off being sick so it isn't the ideal time to be tasting anything but I couldn't resist. I started with some just poured over rocks right from the bottle. I really don't think I picked up anything other than juniper (hopefully the next few days will let me pick up the other stuff), but it was much less than what I'm used to. It seemed to be just slightly sweet and oddly enough had absolutely no burn at all. Over the rest of the evening I tried some gin cocktails I just never make like the martini, gimlet, and gin rickey. Overall I think it was a positive experience. I'll probably wait a few days until my sinuses are 100% and try it again on the rocks and in a martini. I could probably sway a few gin hating peers with it. I'll probably keep some of the other recommendations on a list and maybe keep gin a shot in the future, just watching out for the juniper strong ones.

            As a side note though about it being a good value, I noticed in one of the other threads here that someone mentioned they had a price increase. My bottle was $22 in a a rural area, if I buy it closer to a large city I'll probably be paying $25 in my state.

            Is there any particular name that is given to such gins?

            1. re: Soybomb

              Plymouth Gin is actually a Plymouth style gin. It's the only one being made these days, to my knowledge. You may also want to give Hendrick's Gin a try. the most prominent note in it is cucumber, along with a nice assortment of other botanicals and some juniper.

              1. re: Soybomb

                Just coming off being sick? You 'missed' the chance of trying an old fashioned cure-all - hot gin and lemon.
                Muddle a half lemon or so (in a mug), add sugar to your liking, stir in some boiling water, add gin (I like citadelle, but it's heavy on botanicals. Actually any gin'll do) drink while hot. Repeat.
                May won't cure the cold, but sure alleviates the symptoms{:/)

          2. try substituting gin for whiskey or scotch in your Rob Roy or Rusty Nail and see whether you like it-- makes for a cleaner lighter drink when you don't want something as heavy as whiskey. If you like that, try branching out by adding a drop of Benedictine, Chartreuse or Maraschino etc to your gin/sweet vermouth mix.

            1. Definitely try Plymouth gin it is not as Junipery as the others, I really think you may like it. It is one of my favorite gins.

              Check out this post about Plymouth gin.

              1. My favorite way to enjoy Plymouth Gin is with seltzer/club soda. It opens up the flavors and aromas and not only makes for recreation, it makes a very refreshing beverage.

                1 Reply
                1. re: phantomdoc

                  I always have a fifth of Plymouth gin in my freezer. I usually drink vodka (pure grain alcohol), but gin is pure grain alcohol with various flavorings. Plymouth is practically the only gin I really like.