Gin - begreen's beloved elixir

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,727
Philadelphia
I am really interested to get gin connoisseur @begreen 's opinion on this, but also always interested in hearing from other englightened folks, as well. The PA liquor stores are mostly shut down, so I've taken to ordering items online, and Chips has been a good source despite their location (west coast to east coast takes awhile).

Chips doesn't carry my favourite (British spelling intended) martini gin, another older recommendation from begreen, Bombay Sapphire. So I'm browsing the selection they have. Any must-tries?

If you're going to say Beefeater, Tanqueray, or Hendricks... please don't bother. I'm looking for something a little less everyday. It's getting mixed with Carpano dry vermouth this month, another new pick for me, I have mixed feelings on it so far. My usual recipe is very traditional:

2 oz. gin
1 oz. dry vermouth
1 dash orange bitters (Angostura)
2 large vermouth-soaked olives
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,668
South Puget Sound, WA
Actually, I don't drink that much gin except in the summer. Scotch, a good Irish Whiskey and red wine are more my winter drink. There are several good gin guides on the internet. Here's one to start with.


Can't you just drive over to NJ and buy booze?
 

festerw

Feeling the Heat
Nov 16, 2009
441
Cambridge Springs, PA
I am really interested to get gin connoisseur @begreen 's opinion on this, but also always interested in hearing from other englightened folks, as well. The PA liquor stores are mostly shut down, so I've taken to ordering items online, and Chips has been a good source despite their location (west coast to east coast takes awhile).

Chips doesn't carry my favourite (British spelling intended) martini gin, another older recommendation from begreen, Bombay Sapphire. So I'm browsing the selection they have. Any must-tries?

If you're going to say Beefeater, Tanqueray, or Hendricks... please don't bother. I'm looking for something a little less everyday. It's getting mixed with Carpano dry vermouth this month, another new pick for me, I have mixed feelings on it so far. My usual recipe is very traditional:

2 oz. gin
1 oz. dry vermouth
1 dash orange bitters (Angostura)
2 large vermouth-soaked olives
Any local distilleries? Not sure in Philly but here in Erie they're still open for pickup orders even with the state stores closed.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,668
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, that's what I did last summer. I like supporting the locals and learn a lot sometimes. I don't think any of them ship cross country though. There is a NJ? hard booze seller that I have bought some Ukranian pepper vodka from online. I will see if I can locate them.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,668
South Puget Sound, WA
There is a Total Wine in Cherry Hill, NJ and The Liquor Store in Brooklyn. Maybe start out by trying some Hendricks and Plymouth gin. I've always wanted to try some Monkey 47. One of these days maybe.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,212
Downeast Maine
I've tried a few gins, neat and in a martini, and this might be one of the few types of alcohol I find unpalatable. In fact I'd rather have Wild Turkey neat than have any form of gin.
 
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Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,727
Philadelphia
Yep, total wine in Cherry Hill, and many others. But I no longer live close enough to Jersey to make that round trip practical, I'd rather save that 2+ hours of my life and have it delivered.
 

PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
655
MA
A winery by me started making spirits, too.


A friend made some gin last year. Gave me a sample to try. Didn't want to buy tonic water just for a single drink. Searched what I had in the house. Ginger ale and lemon juice. Made a gin buck. Never heard of it before. It was big in the 1920s. Really good. :)
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,727
Philadelphia
I'm no expert on micro-distilleries, but assuming they have more in common than not with start-up micro-breweries, you need to work your way thru a mile of garbage to get to one or two actually worth the hype. That's easier with 12 oz. bottles of beer consumed in a single sitting, but a tougher sell on 750 mL bottles of spirits.

Besides, those few that have remained open in PA have converted over to making hand sanitizer!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,668
South Puget Sound, WA
Yep, total wine in Cherry Hill, and many others. But I no longer live close enough to Jersey to make that round trip practical, I'd rather save that 2+ hours of my life and have it delivered.
I think they ship along with the Liquor Store in Brooklyn. Why ship cross country?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,477
central pa
I've tried a few gins, neat and in a martini, and this might be one of the few types of alcohol I find unpalatable. In fact I'd rather have Wild Turkey neat than have any form of gin.
I agree with you completely. I can't do tequila either but that was the result of a very bad night. But I have tried many different gins many ways and I just don't like it
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,212
Downeast Maine
I agree with you completely. I can't do tequila either but that was the result of a very bad night. But I have tried many different gins many ways and I just don't like it
Yeah, I've had a few "top shelf" gins as well and they all taste terrible. Cheap tequila is pretty bad, but it's a lot like bourbon and usually the aged and non blended stuff is excellent. I'm glad to have never made myself sick on expensive alcohol, just the cheap stuff.
 

PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
655
MA
I first experience with getting really, really drunk was on whiskey over 45 years ago during a church ski trip to NH over February school break. Can't do anything in that family of drinks now. Just the smell gets me. :)

I only drink light beer anyway (wife doesn't drink). The single gin buck I mentioned above was my first mixed drink in 20 years.
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,147
Northern Maine
Have you tried Nautical Gin?
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,727
Philadelphia
Have you tried Nautical Gin?
Nope! Will read up on it tonight. Thanks for the recommendation. In the meantime, I have a bottle of Sapphire en-route from an east-coast reseller.

I’m mostly a bourbon and rye guy, but I do enjoy a good martini or gin and tonic once or twice per week, especially as the weather gets warmer.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,668
South Puget Sound, WA
You mean you don’t just drink Costco Kirkland gin. In my glass right now!
I haven't tasted it, but it looks like a good value. I am interested in the botanicals that are added. Looks like it may have some rose and cardamom. Might have to try it this summer for g&ts. Do you drink it neat or in a mixed drink?
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,727
Philadelphia
I haven't tasted it, but it looks like a good value. I am interested in the botanicals that are added. Looks like it may have some rose and cardamom. Might have to try it this summer for g&ts. Do you drink it neat or in a mixed drink?
Never tried Kirkland liquor, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s decent. Most of all of their daily grocery products I have tried have been at least as good as popular name brands.

But I have trouble with the concept of applying economics to pure pleasure items. Whether it’s booze or cigars, if it’s killing you, then you’d damn well better get the maximum enjoyment out of it. Buy the best, whatever that is to you. If that means affording and consuming less of these vices, you’re better for it.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,230
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I haven't tasted it, but it looks like a good value. I am interested in the botanicals that are added. Looks like it may have some rose and cardamom. Might have to try it this summer for g&ts. Do you drink it neat or in a mixed drink?
Honestly, since I started kegging beer and cider years ago we now always have a keg of carbonated water on tap. We actually really like the "fizz water". So it's gin and soda for me with a lime slice and ice even though we have tonic on hand. This really lets the gin flavor come out without being overwhelmed with booze. I put the kirkland gin right up there with the tanqueray and sapphire as far as smoothness but I am certainly not as advanced in my booze knowledge as many.
 
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Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,147
Northern Maine
Nope! Will read up on it tonight. Thanks for the recommendation. In the meantime, I have a bottle of Sapphire en-route from an east-coast reseller.

I’m mostly a bourbon and rye guy, but I do enjoy a good martini or gin and tonic once or twice per week, especially as the weather gets warmer.
I had a Bombay on the rocks last night with a Filthy Olive, well two olives actually. My summer drink is Hendrick's, real lemonade (not that sugar water crap), slice or 3 of fresh lemons and cucumbers on ice. Adult lemonade is what we call them. Works with vodka too!!!
Yes my go to is also bourbon and beer.
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
2,785
Eastern Ontario
This is what I get from our local distillery
About the best I have ever had.
no idea if they would or could ship to you
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,668
South Puget Sound, WA
Never tried Kirkland liquor, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s decent. Most of all of their daily grocery products I have tried have been at least as good as popular name brands.

But I have trouble with the concept of applying economics to pure pleasure items. Whether it’s booze or cigars, if it’s killing you, then you’d damn well better get the maximum enjoyment out of it. Buy the best, whatever that is to you. If that means affording and consuming less of these vices, you’re better for it.
I can agree with that philosophy if one drinks it neat or on the rocks and can afford it, but for mixed drinks, not so much. There's a difference between a daily mixer and a special occasion liquor.

Highbeam, it looks like the Kirkland gin scores decently. I will pick up a bottle and try it.
 
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Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,727
Philadelphia
I can agree with that philosophy if one drinks it neat or on the rocks and can afford it, but for mixed drinks, not so much. There's a difference between a daily mixer and a special occasion liquor.
Yeah, I get what you’re saying, but I’d split that hair a little farther and say it depends on the mixed drink and the liquor. I could give several examples, but since we’re on gin in this thread, my Sapphire martini tastes substantially different than my Beefeater martini, even with a fairly heavy dose of dry vermouth. I would say I can detect if the wrong was liquor used in most of the mixed cocktails I usually favor.

If you move into sugary citrus or soda-based drinks, then I’d agree the liquor matters less.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,212
Downeast Maine
Yeah, I get what you’re saying, but I’d split that hair a little farther and say it depends on the mixed drink and the liquor. I could give several examples, but since we’re on gin in this thread, my Sapphire martini tastes substantially different than my Beefeater martini, even with a fairly heavy dose of dry vermouth. I would say I can detect if the wrong was liquor used in most of the mixed cocktails I usually favor.

If you move into sugary citrus or soda-based drinks, then I’d agree the liquor matters less.
Agreed, brand/quality isn't very important if you are going to drown the spirits in soda or fruit juice. When you are talking about an all alcoholic cocktail, then it's a bit different. I suppose that's why Begreen said mixers instead of cocktails though. I take my martinis with a splash of dry vermouth, olive brine, and a few olives, and definitely quality vodka. Every gin martini I've had was terrible.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,727
Philadelphia
I take my martinis with a splash of dry vermouth, olive brine, and a few olives, and definitely quality vodka. Every gin martini I've had was terrible.
If it’s not gin, it’s not actually a martini. It’s vodka and olives. :p

I came across this related and fairly entertaining read, a few weeks ago, while trying to find my “pandemic” source for vermouth as all of the PA stores had closed. You might enjoy it.