25 May 2012

Three Gin Stories

Martini's are like women's breasts -- One's not enough and three's too many

I jacked up the brightness in Photo Shop with the Beefeater because that's what it taste like. Bright, like walking out of a movie theatre at high noon. There's a tingling in the mouth and lips and it almost takes your breath away. Soon after tingles, a smooth and long finish kicks in. It was the gin of my father and his father. It's probably in my Y chromosome.

Not the greatest for a G&T or Negroni. I think there's too much backbone -- almost heat. What it's good for is a serious, no bullshit, man up-up Martini. Skip the vermouth. Shaken until the stainless steel frosts over and sticks to your hand. That's why you never order this in a bar.Most state's Worker's Compensation laws prohibit bartenders from shaking a Martini more than five seconds.

Make this at home and risk the frost bite. I'm sure you can do without a finger or two. Rub lemon rind around the edge of the glass for a pleasant glass to mouth experience. I use olives or onions. Full Disclosure: I paid $21 for a 750 ml bottle. No one from Beefeater has ever contacted me.

Guy goes into his local bar- "Hey, Ralph. Give me 10 Martinis and make it fast." Ralph pours the Martinis and the guy drinks 'em in less than a minute. "Give me 10 more." Ralph arches an eyebrow, "Say, you celebrating something?" "Yeah," the guys says. "My first blow job." "Hey! Maybe I know the girl?" says Ralph. "Nope," the guy says. "I'm trying to get the taste outta my mouth."
Cue rimshot.

Caorunn is a small batch gin cooked up in a single malt distillery in Scotland. The Scots never miss a trick to make a buck -- or, a pound. Making gin is not that difficult. That's why it was the preferred spirit to make in a bathtub during Prohibition. Gin is on a world wide tear right now and whenever something old is new again, strange things happen.

Taking the heart out of something usually comes first. That's because most folk can't handle the original. Which is why it went out of favor in the first place. Bowties, work boots, unfused collars, stick shifts and gin. They've all been diluted. Caorunn (ka-roon) is soft and alone is far more complex than Beefeater. "Six traditional and five Celtic botanicals are hand infused by our Gin Master." Never underestimate a Scotsman in marketing.

That's not to say this stuff doesn't belong in your bar or freezer. It's perfect for the fella who comes over in work boots and a bow tie. It'll also suit your wife or girlfriend who's put off by the bright slap that's Beefeater. I like it cold but not shaken. Which explains the freezer.

You don't want the water from shaken ice to dilute the nuance you get when you drink this. So, like a single malt, you drink it neat but ice cold. A slice of apple is recommended as a garnish but you really don't need it less you get the attention of the guy in the work boots and bow tie.

Caorunn has a contest for bartenders who can create a cocktail and a story using their gin. Go here for details. Full Disclosure: Gifted a 750 ml bottle of Gin.

Martin Miller's Gin

Martin Miller is the kind of certifiable (I mean that in a good way) Brit you meet and never forget. A crazy Brit friend told me in a bar, "I'm not a homosexual -- but I once slept with a man who was." These guys love to shock and the more PC you are the better. There's a shocking rumor going around that Miller's Gin was created one drunken night by two guys who mixed the remains of gin and vodka. I have no idea.

Miller's claim to fame is the Icelandic water. Which, by the way, has a, 'hand infused -Gin Master' ring to it but I admit, it's very soft. That cucumber-water softness that I find addictive in Summer but a pain to make. I didn't like Martin's Gin as Martini nor did I like it as G&T. Too soft for me. 'Big Girl's Blouse' to paraphrase London's term for 'panty waist.' I did enjoy it as a punch.

The Punch

The secret to the punch

Amazingly refreshing and very dangerous since they go down faster than Amanda Logue. Reminded me of all good things British. Pimm's Cup, side bacon sandwiches, Stone's Green Ginger and all those certifiable crazies.

Full Disclosure: Gifted two Nips, Cocktail Recipe book & a very nice party


Makaga said...

I'm not much of a drinkin' man, but, wow!, now I want to stock up on some bottles for the summer imbibery.

Great writing as always, Tintin.

Main Line Sportsman said...

OK...a few points. First, do you not adhere to the rule that one does not shake a gin martini for fear of "bruising" the Gin?
Second, you left out he excellent new Gin: Bluecoat.
Third, You got that joke wrong in the punchline. It should have the bartender saying: "Your first BJ....that's great. let me buy you another drink to congratulate you..."
Guy says: " Nah, if ten did not get the taste outta my mouth one more ain't gonna do it..."
As for me...I like good old inexpensive Gordon's Gin....I really only drink Gin in G&T's so Gordons is very serviceable and has a nice mellow Juniper finish that goes well with the tonic and lime. I agree that Beefeater is to strong and medicinal for a G&T but does make a pipe scorching martini.
Enjoy the weekend. Remember to watch the Indy 500!

tintin said...

Makaga- My advice to you...stay a nondrinking man. You'll look a lot better at my age if you do.

Main Line- You, on the other hand, are too far gone. That joke is circa 1978. Told to me in the Dragon Club at Ft Bragg. I'm guessing your diluted version came from Jackie, "The Joke Man" Martling, who could screw up an anvil and a good joke, with a rotten banana.

I don't buy into this BS about bruising gin. I'll bet you $100, make that a $1,000, you couldn't tell the diff between shaken and stirred gin in a blind taste test. Venue is of my choosing.

And I don't watch cars making a permanent left hand turn.

LPC said...

Junipero gin! My mom drinks Beefeater. But I gave my heart to the hint of juniper and I meant it.

Main Line Sportsman said...

Tin, I do not drink martini's so I take no position on the bruising issue...was just inquiring. I would not book that bet as I am certain I could not tell shake from stir...I could tell Beefeater from Gordons though. When it comes to a Summer drink "up"...I favor a well made daiquiri with Mount Gay rum.
The Indy 500 really must be experienced live to get hooked...but it is a GREAT American tradition!

Never heard Jackie the Jokeman tell that one....I heard it at Deer Camp in mid-80's in this version.
By the way...one of my fighters might be on card at Roseland on 6/14...is so I hope you can join us!

Anonymous said...

"Martini's are like women's breasts -- One's not enough and three's too many." And see, here I'm still thinking about the old misogynist comment that women are like fine wine wines...

The bruising the gin theory I believe originated as a snarky, snooty James Bond quip, but don't know for sure.


james at 10engines said...

Shaken martinis are more effective in deactivating hydrogen peroxide than the stirred variety... not kidding. (http://www.bmj.com/content/319/7225/1600.full) Agreed, I always shake till reminded of Shackleton.

"this close" to a Friday belt post... Great stuff.

NYC kid in CHI said...

I'm reminded of another great piece of alcohol related verse:

I like to have a Martini,
Two at the most,
After three I'm under the table,
After four I'm under the host.

- Dorothy Parker

Anonymous said...

John-excellent writing as always, esp the movie theatre at high noon analogy- a perfect way to paint an image.

I also have to add Hendrick's as a great gin.

The funny thing is that today i bought an impossible to find BMW with a manual transmission- and was wondering if this was an idiot move and whether some "dilution" emerges to make our lives easier...

Your fortuitous mention of stick shift enables me to further revel in my own great trad taste. I can drive the car home to listen to Bill Evans on vinyl while I shave with my double edged Merkur razor.

I will remind you that because these comments are typed on the internet and not spoken at a party, they cannot increase my PTI (prententious tool indicator) score.

Regards- Edward Katz in Atlanta

Main Line Sportsman said...

PTI...now that is an excellent acronym!

KSB said...

Now I am dying for a martini. Pity its only 820AM here.

Hallock said...

Beefeater was my introduction to gin. Despite some flirtations with the bottom shelf (read: Gibly's 'Gin') and working for an agency that has Tanqueray on accounts, it holds a special place.

Tim said...

I, too, prefer Beefeater martinis but I have to say that I also prefer Beefeater in my G&Ts. I like the bite it provides.

I've been driving a stick shift since I got my license in 1965 but I feel myself getting old - and my wife tells me she is ready for an automatic. I am proud to have passed on the stick shift tradition to my son, however.

Sir Fopling Flutter said...

Indy 500??????

It's Monaco this weekend!

JMGIII said...

I will chime in on the "stirred" side of the issue. Shaking creates a colder martini and that tamps down some of the botanical nuances and can also cloud up -- although that's not that noticeable with a glass covered in condensation -- the drink.

Yes, I can tell the difference. I'm not proud of that, but there you go.

As re. stick shift cars: If I can't push-start it when the battery dies, I'm not interested.

GSV JR said...

Agree w/ you on Beefeater. And with your methodology re: martini making. And with Mainline on Gordon's---"smoothest, most mixable."

Both were my dad's gins and my dad's dad's gins---for very different reasons. I love them both, and cannot tell the difference between a shaken/stirred martini made with either. I must be pickled.

no hype. said...

I am a fan of Tanqueray for a G&T

Smitty said...

Tintin....you gotta add Plymouth to your A list! Good stuff.

tintin said...

Smitty- Did that a while ago. Still a fan: