I get a little frustrated when people turn their noses up at gin. Of course, I probably shouldn’t because up until a couple of years ago I did the same thing. Then The Patterson House came along, and their gin cocktails changed my attitude.
If you’re one of those that steer clear of this spirit, I have a feeling that like me, you’ve had an experience that left you feeling like you’d been chewing on a Christmas tree branch. While there are definitely gins out there that can do that to you, not all of them do.
Case in point: Plymouth Gin. It’s softer and not as bold as some others can be. Completely smooth, but still full of flavor, it has a higher proportion of sweeter root botanicals than other gins. It’s a perfect “beginner’s” gin, as you can taste the hints of citrus, lemon, orange, and coriander a bit more than the juniper.
In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that I was sent a bottle of Plymouth Gin free of charge to sample. However, this wasn’t my first experience with it, and as is always the case, I wouldn’t bother telling you about it unless I was truly impressed. I’ve actually been enjoying Plymouth in drinks around town for a couple of years, but hadn’t yet been adventurous enough to purchase a bottle for our home bar. This sample bottle was the kick in the pants I needed to experiment and prove to myself that I could make gin drinks just as good as the big boys.
You might notice in the photo above that there isn’t too much left in that bottle. We’ve definitely created some tasty concoctions from it, but there is one in particular that will likely be showing up quite often at my house this summer.
Please allow me to introduce the Ginger Rogers. This cocktail is a classic, yet can be found with many variations, my favorite being from Absinthe Bar in San Francisco.
Claim you don’t like gin? Make one of these. Have friends that claim they don’t like gin? Make this and don’t tell them what’s in it. Changing attitudes, one gin cocktail at a time…..
8-12 mint leaves
1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin
1/2 oz ginger syrup*
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
Put mint leaves in a highball glass, cover with syrup, and muddle lightly until the mint begins to release its aroma. Fill glass with ice; add gin and lime juice and top with ginger ale.
Using a bar spoon, stir the drink from the bottom up to mix. Garnish with fresh mint and/or a lime wedge.
*To Make Ginger Syrup:
1 cup unpeeled, washed, fresh ginger, roughly chopped
1 cup sugar
3 cups water
Finely chop ginger chunks in food processor or blender. Place in a large stock pot. Add sugar and water to the pot and stir. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook for one hour until syrup is created. Strain the syrup through a sieve into a jar or bottle. Refrigerate.