Gin can be an extremely flexible spirit for cocktails. Its flavour spectrum has broadened out considerably from what it was 20 years ago, appealing to a whole new generation of consumers seeking an ‘experiential’ encounter.
This younger generation are more partial to gin than were their forefathers who, in their respective youths, tended to regard gin and gin-based cocktails as an ‘older’ person’s drink or ‘just for women’.
Despite this, whiskey dominates the US on-trade cocktail market followed by rum before gin even gets a look in according to IWSR figures from US On-Premise Insights: Cocktail Trends a new report on the US cocktail market released last January.
The report finds that whisk(e)y-, gin- and rum-based cocktails are all trending up in the on-trade there.
Here, publicans find that having a high degree of gin brand availability and variety in their bar trumps cost considerations and may even determine choice of venue.
At newly-opened Street 66, formerly The Front Lounge in Dublin’s Parliament Street, Siobhan Conmy explains that the venue offers a growing list of nearly 30 gins.
Her business partner, Christina Llarena, hails from Barcelona where “there’s a massive gastronomy thing going on with gins,” says Siobhan, “We started off with just two or three but realised that the customer was interested in our ideas too as we grow our own herbs at home and have decided to add them into some of the gins. Every week we add a new gin to our collection.”
They add more fresh ingredients to further enhance the flavour.
“For example, Monkey 47 from the Black Forest mountains has a blackberries and blueberries profile and so we’d add botanicals that you’d find in the Black Forest mountains.
“We add Rosemary and Orange flavours to Dingle gin and for Gunpowder Irish Gin we add extra Juniper berries – we research the ingredients for the different gins.”
As a result, gins at Street 66 are selling very well.
“Our staff are trained to offer customers a new gin and tonic, one they’ve not tried before, to expand their knowledge of gins,” says Siobhan, “There seems to be a gin boom at the moment and we have the place well advertised as a gin bar. People are fascinated by the botanicals in gins.”
Street 66 tends to concentrate on the classic gin cocktails like Tom Collins and Gin Martinis.
“In the last year there’s been a dramatic increase in demand for gins,” she says.
So much so that before opening, Siobhan and Christina sat down with their suppliers and put together a two-year projection for gin. They’d already exceeded this after being open just four months.
“Two years ago it was rum. Whiskey is creeping up too but gin is ‘in’ today.”
After a G&T, the next most popular call in Street 66 is a Tom Collins, she says.
“Gin has many different flavours where vodka has little flavour without adding different juices. With gin you have many different botanicals and a huge range of gins to choose from. You can have a Gin Martini with a smooth gin in the makeup. Other spirits demand more work in cocktail-making”.
Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin
Irish bars are spearheading the gin cocktail revolution. The modern consumer is looking for an enhanced cocktail menu featuring a wide selection of premium gins and expectations now extend far beyond the classic G&T as consumers realise how the right premium gin can transform a classic cocktail.
For this month’s cocktail, Dalcassian Wines & Spirits presents Aviation, a collaboration between two super premium brands, one Irish and one German: Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin and The Bitter Truth.
Drumshanbo is slow-distilled by hand with oriental botanicals and gunpowder tea at The Shed Distillery in Drumshanbo, County Leitrim.
The super-premium gin vapour-infuses fresh lemons, limes and grapefruits along with the exotic gunpowder tea to give a truly unique gin experience. When combined with the depths of the award-winning Bitter Truth Violet Liqueur, flavours, creativity and learnings from the past century merge to create this ‘Michelin Star’ modern-day gin cocktail.
Aviation Cocktail Recipe
2 oz (50 ml) Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin
1/2 oz (15 ml) The Bitter Truth – Violet Liqueur
1/2 oz (15 ml) Maraschino Liqueur
3/4 oz (20 ml) Fresh Lemon or Lime Juice
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into cocktail glass.
Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin and The Bitter Truth are distributed by Dalcassian Wines & Spirits.
The creators of Brockmans shared a view that gin could be something more exciting, different and delicious than the traditional brands, so they set out to explore new possibilities in taste and push some boundaries to see where gin could go.
They wanted a new-style gin, one with a recipe that went beyond juniper into more avant-garde territory – something distinctive that would shake well with new mixers and create exotic cocktails. In their quest for new experiences, consumers are increasingly looking for interesting flavours and sensations and Brockmans certainly delivers, states the company.
It’s intensely smooth with a soft, fruity character derived from the carefully-selected botanicals used in distillation. Italian juniper berries provide pine, lavender and camphor notes, Spanish lemon and orange peel add zesty citrus. But the unique use of dried wild blueberries and blackberries gives Brockmans its most distinctive flavour.
For cocktails, the smooth taste works exceedingly well in a Brockmans Merry Tea – “The refreshment for teatime and onwards’’.
Brockmans Merry Tea Ingredients:
50ml Brockmans Gin
25ml Elderflower Cordial
35ml Red Berry Puree
20ml Lemon Juice
Chilled Red Berry Tea
Shake all ingredients, apart from the tea, with ice
Strain into a Collins glass with fresh ice
Top with tea and stir
Garnish with crushed ice, a long thin slice of cucumber, a blackberry and a small sprig of mint.
Bombay Sapphire, the world’s No 1 premium gin – A heritage rooted in innovation
Since its creation, Bombay Sapphire has taken an innovative approach to gin-making. It’s based on a 1761 recipe created by pioneering English distiller Thomas Dakin. To this day Bombay Sapphire continues to be made using the artisanal Vapour Infusion distillation process at the Laverstoke Mills distillery in Hampshire. Launched in the 1980s, the striking translucent blue glass bottle rejuvenated and reinvented the gin category.
Bombay Sapphire was the first premium gin to showcase the importance of its botanicals, hand-selected from exotic locations around the world by Ivano Tonutti, Bombay Sapphire’s Master of Botanicals; 10 carefully-selected botanicals give the gin its distinctive and balanced flavour – juniper, lemon peel, grains of paradise, coriander, cubeb berries, orris root, almonds, cassia bark, liquorice and angelica.
Bombay Sapphire & Tonic – Mint & Ginger
Mint complements the fresh bright notes of juniper while fresh ginger draws on the spicier notes of the coriander, cubeb berries and grains of paradise.
Fill a balloon glass with lots of ice, stir to chill glass and discard any water. Add 6 mint leaves and a sliver of ginger to the glass. Pour 50ml of Bombay Sapphire over the ice. Pour in 100ml of premium tonic water. Gently stir and garnish with a lime wedge.