8.01.2006

Notes on gin

Those souses at Martini Republic blog on an MSNBC article on "the perfect gin-and-tonic". Money quote:

Don’t start, therefore, by trying to make “the perfect gin and tonic,” a silly marketing ploy pandering to the natural uncertainties Americans have about alcohol. Let’s have no pressure here! This is a drink, not—work!

No. Start your midsummer by making a barely acceptable gin and tonic.

Make it tall, with a real gin like Plymouth, Calvert, or Beefeater. Sip it slowly. There is plenty of time to drink it.

Good advice. Except that I don't like Plymouth, my favorite martini gin, for gin-and-tonics. The very smoothness that makes it lovely in a martini (and it will change your mind about martinis, as it did mine), makes it inadequate to the sweet bubbly tonic. It's as if Cary Grant had been cast in "Night of the Hunter."

I got a bottle of Miller's gin from some friends of mine and the effect was just the opposite -- hated it in martinis, it had an excess of personality, as if the gin itself had had too many martinis. But it stands up to tonic. Once I use up that bottle, though, I'm not getting it again. In general it's not worth ponying up more for gin if you're just going to use it with tonic, I think. Beefeater's -- which I'm glad to see M.R. single out, because I think Tanqueray/Bombay snobs look down on it -- is perfectly fine. Even Gordon's, which is what I'm drinking now, is acceptable.

My father likes rum-and-tonics, too, after his tennis. This might be too sweet for some, but with a ruddy squeeze of lime once in a while I think he's on to something.

Thanks to wifi I'm on my back porch in the cool California night. It is summer and I'm drinking a gin-and-tonic. The piper is to be paid, but not yet. God is good. It is a beautiful night.

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