MARTIN MILLER`S GIN & SPONSORED TDN

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When i first tasted Martin Miller´s gin i found it had a special flavor and i really like it, it has a smooth and a bit earthy-bitter juniper flavour paired with an overall pleasant spicinress and slightly bright citrus and herbal flavours in between.

There´s one thing i specifically like with good gins and its that you can make such refreshing cocktails as gin contains both fruity, citrusy, earthy and spicy elements.

Actually gin is flavored alcohol – but it isn`t that simple.The alchol must be re-distilled and made from grains of the highest quality, there´s a lot of herbs, spices, roots and citrus peels involved which are picked from all over the globe and individually treated. All done by recipes kept secret to only a few of the makers.

And then you have the distillation which is a whole process of its own.Martin Miller`s gin is distilled by a single pot still (as opposed to most gin`s using three pots) using only the heart of the distillate, discarding the rest which isn`t re-distilled.This single pot still which seems to make the flavours more concentrated is called Angela and was made in 1904.

This is the gin that uses pure soft glacier water from Iceland because this water is said to be cleaner, softer and full of life force. I find that pretty amazing that they actually ship the gin all the way to Iceland! There its blended with more neutral spirit and glacier water, then its shipped away again.

There´s no doubt that this is very soft and i wouldn`t mind trying that glacier water sometimes just to see how it tastes by itself, i just don´t know how a bottle of pure glacier water from island would reach me unless i go there myself.

As for steeping the herbs and spices the old traditional methods are used where the botanicals are steeped overnight in spirit and hot water and this gentle maceration is what is needed to create a premium gin.The dried citrus peels are also separately distilled in order to achieve a brighter citrus flavour.

The dried bitter seville orange rind is the most important botanical after juniper in gin making and personally i love the bright seville orange flavour – it has such a refreshing aromatic aroma, and my homemade seville orange syrup always goes fast.In Martin Miller`s gin lemon and lime rinds are also used.

These are the botanicals used as far as i know, surely there are some secrets too:

Juniper, seville orange, lime, lemon, coriander, angelica, liqorice root, cassia bark and to bind it all together and impart a floral aromatic flavour – Florentine iris.

I try sometimes to make just one cocktail in my posts but mostly it doesn´t work, and that is simply because i enjoy making them so much! So here are four, at least its not ten! three of them was submitted to the TDN. Unfortunately they are all quite similar, that is because i like the light and fresh style of drinks with gin, like gin&tonic.

GRAIN OF PARADISE  G&T (GOP)

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1.5 oz Martin Miller`s gin
0.5 oz GOP syrup
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
Top with a good quality tonic water

Build in glass over ice and garnish with lime wedge or if you can find it – Grain of Paradise leaves.

This is a very fresh G&T with a slight peppery note, the flavor of Martin Miller´s gin shines through just perfectly – serve it with the glass loaded with large ice cubes!  This is for the moment my favorite cocktail.

GRAIN OF PARADISE  SYRUP

Make a simple syrup using 1:1 water and raw sugar, add a handful lightly toasted grains of paradise seeds and boil lightly for 2 minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer for another 5 minutes, cool and strain into a clean bottle.

The grains of paradise seeds adds a slight earthy hot peppery aromatic flavour.The plant is related to cardamom and surely looks very similar but with thinner leaves, also reminding very much of the ginger plant. Its also called Guinea pepper or Melegueta pepper.

GOP`s are found (at least here) in speciality stores and by health or herbal medecine suppliers.To substitute GOP you may use a mixture of pepper and a little ginger.

GIN CHILI

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2oz Martin Miller`s gin
Juice of ½ lime
piece of red chili
0.5oz simple syrup
1 stalk fresh mint
Tonic.

Muddle chili, lime, mint and simple. Add gin, shake and strain and pour into ice filled glass.Top with tonic.Garnish one large red chili and mint or other green leaf.

MARTIN MILLER´S SPONSORED TDN

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As a grand finale after much gin in the mixoloseum chat room we were sponsored by Martin Miller´s gin this last thursday and there were many drinks parading. Part of the crew were doing TDN live from Bourbon and Branch in San Francisco.

This was the announcement:

TDN – Martin Miller’s Gin  Thursday Drink Night has had a love affair with gin lately, and I’m pleased to say it’s ending on a sultry note. Martin Miller’s gin is like the triple cream offering on the cheeseboard. You save that last cracker and dot of kumquat-vanilla jam for the final remaining sliver of goopy heaven.

This week, Martin Miller’s gin is that morsel of yum. Join us on TDN  where we’ll be mixing an endless onslaught of original ginny libations.  A contingent of freaky mixologists will be live at Bourbon and Branch in San Francisco, mixing up MM potions live.

There will be a webcam and Camper in the same location. Saying more would be pointless.

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As far as i could see from the webcam Bourbon and Branch is a real interesting and nice looking place.

It has an intersting history taking you back to the era of Prohibition when the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverage was outlawed.Its  an actual speakeasy that operated illegally at this location from 1921 to 1933. During prohibition it was a “cigar shop” – The JJ Russell Cigar Shop –  and operated from 1923-1935 during the height of prohibition at the very same address that today is Bourbon & Branch.

This speakeasy featured five secret exit tunnels which are still there today and the exit tunnels allowed for a quick underground getaway from the basement speakeasy.The most obscure was specifically made for the ladies exit leading a safe passage a whole block away.The speakeasy actually managed to escape the the governments prohibition agents attention for the remainding time of the prohibition.

I find this fascinating, hope to be able to visit some day.

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Its really fun to see your own and the other drinks being mixed up live and commented on in addition to the global mixing in the chat room that is TDN.

The prize for the best cocktail of the evening will be voted by a poll at mixoloseum blog and the winner will receive a bottle of Bitter Truth orange bitters courtesy of Mud Puddle Books.

Usually its about 30 cocktails per night that is made when its TDN and of course you cannot try them all, but of all the drinks that were submitted, here are a few of mine plus one whimsical late-night volcano fire drink and one tasty cocktail from cocktailnerd. Many thanks to the bartender Jon Santer for mixing up our drinks at Bourbon & Branch. He was one of the bartenders who was there when B&B opened.

All the drink recipes can be seen at http://twitter.com/mixoloseum

MEDITERRANIAN SUN

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2  oz Martin Miller´s Gin
0.5 oz seville orange syrup
1 oz Aperol
Bitter lemon soda to top

Shake all ingredients except the soda, strain and pour into a hiball filled with large chunky ice. Garnish with a orange slice and fresh mint (also in the glass)

Very similar to the GOP but with a slighly orangey-bitter flavor of both the seville syrup and Aperol instead.

DANCING ELF

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2 oz Martin Miller´s gin
0.5 oz simple syrup
1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
1-2 thin slices fresh ginger
Dash Bob`s cardamom bitters (or muddle a few green cardamoms with the ginger and syrup)
Prosecco to top

Muddle ginger and simple syrup in shaker. Add gin and grapefruit juice, shake hard and strain into a highball and garnish with a ginger slice or cardamom leaf.

VOLCANO QUEEN  (by Tiare and Rick)

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1 oz Martin Miller´s  gin
1 oz rhum agricole blanc
0.5 ox fresh lime
0.5 oz orgeat.

Top with bitter lemon soda or other soda. Float Jwray. Garnish: Pour Jwray in a passionfruit shell, set alight and dust cinnamon on top to get those flames alive and sparkling.

This is an example of the kind of drinks that are most spontaniously invented on the spot during the late TDN hours.

And here is a original concoction from no other than Cocktailnerd – the  King of Word Replacements in the Mixoloseum chat room – the recipe calls for Creme de Framboise which i didn´t have, so i made mine with Creme de Cassis, it was also tasty but i`ll have to re-make it later as i want to mix it the way its supposed to.

LONDON BRIAR (By Cocktailnerd)

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2oz Martin Miller’s Gin
0.5oz Creme de Framboise
0.5oz Lime Juice
0.25oz Maraschino liqueur
0.25oz green chartreuse

Shake togehter the whole thing and strain into a ice-filled glass. Enjoy!

Every week cocktail bloggers, bartenders, enthusiasts, experts, and novices get together for a virtual cocktail party mixing drinks in real time, tweaking, rearranging etc until the night is gone and well into the morning. Join us every thursday at the TDN!

http://blog.mixoloseum.com/

MIXOLOSEUM IS A CREATIVE PLACE!

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BEEFEATER 24

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Beefeater 24 is being distilled to a new recipe using specially selected botanicals including a blend of Japanese Sencha and Chinese green teas.Beefeater’s original creator James Burrough constantly tried different combinations of ingredients and used seville oranges already in the 1860s.

Sharing Burrough’s passion for experimentation and flavour, Desmond Payne started experimenting too, trying a whole range of botanicals to complement the range of botanicals that Beefeater traditionally uses, resulting the discovery of the tea as a natural ingredient.Using these Japanese and Chinese teas which leaves are steamed after the harvest and thus getting fresh green flavors lifting up the aromas and flavors of the gin itself.Since the 17thcentury, both gin and tea are distinctively brittish.Its disitlled by master distiller Desmond Payne who has 40 years of experience in the business.

STEEPED GIN

This gin is distilled in the traditional pot stills and the spirit and 12 natural botanicals are actually left to steep in the still for a full 24 hours – longer than any other premium gin and its this 24h steeping that has given this gin its name.This process unique to Beefeater and each botanical comes through at different times in the process resulting in a complex, smooth, scented and full flavoured gin.I find this steeping process very interesting! I wonder how the gin tastes at different stages of the steeping?

Partly inspired by the 20th century the bottle is very beautifully designed – marrying the era of the 20s with our present time.

Apart from the teas, Beefeater 24 is made with 12 different herbs from all over the world,including peels from seville oranges and grapefruit.Its 45% ABV.According to Desmond Payne the crucial thing in gin making is the balance – how the flavors work together. And in this gin they sure works fine.The new gin is refreshing and light like a feather, and a bit sweeter than the regular Beefeater gin.Because of its light character its best on its own or in lighter style of cocktails, fresh and fruity.If mixed with heavier mixers it will be lost.

These are the 12 botanicals used:

Japanese Sencha tea,Chinese green tea,seville orange peel,grapefruit peel,lemon peel,juniper,coriander seed,liquorice,angelica root,angelica seed,almond,orris root.

I`ve been curious to try it ever since i read one of my cocktail blogger friends review after the launch party in the UK,and now finally it reached my homebar.To me this gin just shouts for citrus mixers! so citrus is what i choosed to mix with.Perfect for the pre-summer season, needing refreshing light mixers allowing the flavors of this gin to come through.

My two drinks for the Beefeater TDN were these:

B24 FRESH

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2 oz Beefeater 24

1 oz Aperol

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

¼ oz simple syrup

¼ oz fresh grapefruit juice

Top with Tonic

 Shake and strain into a fancy glass with crushed ice.Garnish lime spiral.

SEVILLA SUNSET

 sevilla-sunset

 2 oz Beefeter 24

0.5 oz fresh lime

1 tsp seville orange marmalade or 0.5 oz seville orange syrup

Top with bitter lemon soda

Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass Garnish orange spiral and if you can find it – a tea leaf.

Apart from the obvious clean gin base Beefeater 24 has nuances of flavors that are quite delicate and i feel its best to keep it simple and go fruity.Of the two cocktails i liked the first one (24 Fresh) most.

I find Beefeater 24 really nice to mix light refreshing cocktails with and i would recommend anyone to try it out.

BEEFEATER – LONDON DRY GIN – AND SPONSORED TDN

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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 GIN

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.

BEEFEATER TDN

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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.

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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

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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.

BEEFEATER BLOOD

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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

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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.

RANGOON ROSE

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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!