Friday, May 11, 2012

Hendrick's Gin...My Return to Gin 15+ Years Later

As many of you who know me personally attest that I have a major aversion to Gin. Back in the last century, circa 1995 I had arguably the worst hangover due to drinking a myriad of things in one evening capping it off with Georgi's Gin and Shasta. I know, I know that was a recipe for disaster to which I followed to a "T". So since that day I could barely smell let along drink Gin. It was easy to avoid the Gin when I was on the floor side of the bar. But now that I am behind the bar, I have more contact with it. When having people ask me which Gin I would recommend, I would always say that I don't drink Gin. But honestly, that doesn't work. How can I serve someone a drink without really knowing what it tastes like. Without actually giving it a chance by tasting it. Saying that I don't drink Gin is a cop out. So this past Sunday night I decided to man up. But why Hendrick's?

According to the Hendrick's Gin website:

Hendrick's wondrous botanical signature consists of flowers, roots, fruits and seeds from the world over. They function to complement and set the stage for our delicious duet of infusions: rose petal and cucumber.

Well based on that description, why not go against the proverbial grain for my triumphant return to Gin as Caesar did with his return to Rome...Hmmm, History states that it eventually didn't work out too well for Caesar. Not a good analogy. Never mind. But yes, a different kind of Gin would work wonders to try and erase the stigma of the hangover of the last century. Not to mention that I can smell Hendrick's gin without wanting to curl up into a ball and that the bottle we had behind the bar was almost empty, it seemed like the best Gin to use. For my return to Gin I decided on a classic cocktail: The Martini.

Here is the recipe for the Martini from the Hendrick's Website:

2½ parts Hendrick's Gin
½ part dry vermouth
cucumber slice

Stir Hendrick's Gin and vermouth in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Finish with a cucumber garnish.

Ok, so I didn't have any cucumber slices and I shook it instead of stirring it (saying it in my Sean Connery/James Bond voice). But I made the cocktail as I was taught to do by the iconic bartender, Pete Sophy. So here's how it went down.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I'll be honest, I was pleasantly surprised. The gin had a crisp clean aroma and taste. It wasn't harsh in any way, shape or form. The drink played well in my mouth and went down my throat very smoothly. Quite refreshing.

So will I now become a Gin drinker? Well, maybe not right away. This new excursion on the Hendrick's highway will definitely take baby steps. But at least now when someone asks me which Gin I prefer, I can give them Hendrick's as a start.

Happy Drinking,
Sisco Vanilla