March 26..time for a sponsred TDN again! this time we were ponsored by Beefeater gin, which i think is nice as i have a special relationship with this gin as its the gin i grew up with. This gin also transports me to London in my memories from times when i have visited that city and then its really just perfectly fitting that it also is made in London.
Beefeater is a London Dry gin which is a gin that is fresh, dry and light, distilled from 100% grain spirit. It ´s 47% ABV (94 proof) in the US and New Zealand, 37.1% in Australia, and a 40% (80 proof) elsewhere in the world (including the UK).
Beefeater contains 9 different botanicals - juniper – which as we know is the basic essential for gin, seville orange peel – adding a clean citrus flavor as is the sundried sicilian lemon peel, further – orris root for a floral aroma binding the botanicals together, corainder seeds – so fresh and spicy, angelica root with their dry woody spiciness, liquorice root – adding a woody sweetness paired with an underlying mellow spiciness, bitter almond, and finally angelica seeds for a floral edge.
Beefeater also uses use Russain coriander as opposed to Morrocan.The Russian variety has maller seeds and more intense flavour.
The founder of Beefeater gin was pharmacist and also tea merchant James Burrough who in 1876 distilled many brands of gin making Beefeater gin the Chelsea distillery´s flagship brand. Beefeater moved from its birthplace Chelsea distillery to Montford Place in 1958. Master distiller Desmond Payne replaced Brian Martin in 1995 and is the master distller of Beefeater gin today. Beefeater is the only globally known gin that is still made in London and has been produced since around 1820. It was aqcuired by Pernod Ricard in 2005.
I find that this gin has a very clean and crsip taste and i really enjoy it.
As expected this TDN was crowded and too many cocktails for me to count was submitted, i surely had my share, from a range of wonderful drinks all the way to Rick`s zombie-like drink “Romero`s Resurrection” which was the one that finally defeated me in the late night.
The best drink of the night will be voted for at the poll on the Mixoloseum blog and the winner will receive a case of fevertree soda. The Beefeater sponsored TDN was also sent live by webcam from Vessel in Seattle hosted by Paul Clarke and Stevi Deter with guests such as Robert Hess, Jamie Boudreau and others and the fine bartenders at Vessel did a great job mixing up our drinks.
Also many thanks to Dan Warner from Beefeater who answered our many questions and told us about Beefeater gin. Among the many interesting things he told us was that early gins would definately have been similar to genever and a lot of them would have been really bad tasting. For a long time it was still called genever or “Hollands” and Old Tom was the predominant style for a long time. When Coffey invented his still lighter spirit was available and the London Dry style was born.
“Gin wasn’t born in Holland – its father Geneva was.When Geneva arrived in England us English are too lazy to speak anybody elses language so we shorted the name to one sylable. However genever and gin are very different tasting spirits.”
Only 6 people (!!) are working at the Beefeater gin distillery producing 2.4 million cases a year.
My cocktails for this evening were mostly a little bit of Ramos style fizzes because i like their freshness and i also love how egg whites mellows a drink and makes it smooth as silk..
The first cocktail here is inspired by the beautiful vanilla orchid.
VANILLA BEAN CASCADE
1.5 oz Beefeater gin
0.75 oz vanilla syrup
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 egg white
1 vanilla bean, 2/3 split and seeds scraped out and added to shaker
3 dashes Bob`s vanilla bitters (or other bitters)
Fevertree bitter lemon to top
Garnish 2 vanilla beans
Split the vanilla bean and crape out the seeds and add to the shaker with all ingredients except the soda. Shake without ice long and hard to mix the egg white really well. Shake again with ice, strain and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the 2 vanilla beans.
This one i found very yummy,light and fresh and on the sour side.
1.5 oz fresh blood orange juice
1.5 oz Beefeater Gin
1 oz Bourbon
0.5 oz Campari
¼ oz Cointreau
Sprinkle of fresh lime
Top with fevertree bitter lemon and a splash hibiscus grenadine
Garnish blood orange slice and mint.
Shake the ingredients except the soda and grenadine. Strain or double strain per your preference into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with mint and a blood orange wedge.
This drink is just a variation of my Bourbon and Blood cocktail which was invented one day when i luckily found a whole bunch of nice italian blood oranges after not seeing any blood oranges for a long time thinking the season was over.
LEMONGRASS & HONEY FIZZ
2 oz Beefeater gin
0.5 oz sourmix (1 part lime, 1 part lemon, 1 part simple syrup)
1 egg white
1 small piece of lemongrass
0.75 oz honeymix (1 part honey, 1 part water, warmed up to become liquid, then cooled)
soda water to top
lemongrass stick for garnish
Muddle the lemongrass piece with the sourmix and honey in a shaker, add the rest of ingredients except for the soda water.
Shake vigoriously without ice, then again with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, top with soda water and garnish with a lemongrass stick.
Just as light and smooth as the vanilla bean fizz but the lemongrass gives a bit of a fresh spicy crispness here and the extra 0.5 oz gin is noticeable. yet i prefer the vanilla variety, its something with the more sourness of that one that i really like.
1.5 oz Beefeater Gin
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
1 egg white
0.5 oz creme de cassis
0.5 oz campari
Top with Fevertree bitter lemon
Dry shake first all ingredients except the soda, then with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish lime twist.
A LITTLE GIN HISTORY
The name Gin is an anglicised version of the Dutch genever. Gin is made from at least 96% spirit and has no flavor.The flavouring for Gin comes from Botanicals; these vary from producer to producer but includes juniper and other botanicals such as coriander, lemon peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel, angelica and cardamom amongst many others.Typically fine gin contains between six and ten botanicals.
Back in Holland in around 1550, prof of medecine Franciscus Sylvius de la Boe (or de Bouve) tried to create a cure for stomach illness using juniper berries, and concocted an infusion he called genever, after the French term genèvrier meaning juniper.
During the Thirty Years’ War dutch soldiers boosted their courage before the battles with it, and the taste for this “Dutch courage” spirit was picked up by english soldiers who brought it back home with them. In England small distillation took place developing to a greater scale. The quality of this early gin was often quite dubious but that improved when gin started to be distilled in London and Westminster by the members of the formation of King Charles I.
In 1689 King William III aka William of Orange, came to the English throne. He encouraged the distillation of English spirits and now anyone could disill by posting a notice in public and then simply wait for 10 days. Workers were sometimes given gin as part of their wages. Beer and ale which was more expensive soon was outsold by gin.
But the consumtion of bad spirits rised due to an excise license of £20 which was introduced in 1729 and two shillings per gallon duty was levied and the retailers now also demanded a license. At this time, 1730 over 7000 spirit shops operated in London and the poor people´s abuse of alcohol was a major problem and at sept 29 in1739, the Gin Act was introduced which made gin extremely expensive.The Gin Act lasted 6 years but finally this led to riots causing this law to be broken in 1742.
Now the distillers formed a new gin policy with reasonably high prices, excise duties and licensed retailers, and many companies now establieshed themselves, like Gordon`s, and gin became the high quality spirit that it is today.
Gin was widely used as a cocktail ingredient during the golden 1920s cocktail age. Old Tom was born in London but it fell out of fashion when the London Dry style arrived.
The Gin & Tonic was originally an anti malaria concoction in colonial India. Quinine was added to carbonated water to give Indian Tonic and mixed with Gin to make it more palatable.
GIN IN THE US
In the 1860s the Martini was born. At San Francisco’s Occidental Hotel, bartender Jerry Thomas mixed up a “Martinez” for a traveler bound for that town. Made with bitters, maraschino, vermouth, ice and Old Tom Gin. And adding 2 dashes of gum syrup to guests with a sweet tooth.
Americans during the prohibition produced something called ”bathtub gin” by recovering the ethyl alcohol by taking the poisons out of denatured alcohol.This was then flavored with juniper, diluted and finally bottled. This was a dangerous way to make it as there were several ways to do this and if it wasn`t done by someone knowing what they were doing, the results were even sometimes deadly.
In the US, repeal day came dec5 in 1933 and that is really a day to celebrate!
Read more on Beefeater Gin on their website!