DAVID WOLOWIDNYK A Certified Specialist of Spirits and a founder of the Canadian Professional Bartenders Association, David is accredited nationally and globally, holding titles such as “World’s Most Imaginative Bartender” (Bombay Sapphire), “Canada’s Best Mixologist” (Grey Goose) and “Bartender of the Year” (Vancouver Magazine). David is an influential veteran in Canada’s cocktail culture.
The landscape of gin is constantly evolving to reflect the modern desire for unique and interesting flavours without disturbing the established appreciation for the classic, juniper-forward style.
G in has experienced many highs and lows throughout history, including a relatively short- lived renaissance during the American Jazz Age. A proliferation of gin cocktails in the roaring ‘20s took the spirit to new heights, but then vodka saw a boom in the western market in the 1970s causing gin to take a backseat. Skip ahead, with the resurgence of cocktail culture in the early 2000s, gin was once again on track to reign king in cocktails. Gin begins its journey as a neutral spirit, just like vodka, before being flavoured with juniper and a host of other herbs, spices, roots, flowers, seeds and leaves. By differing the base spirit, botanical recipes, method of flavour extraction and distillation techniques, there is an endless combination of flavours we can experience. Consider for a moment how this all adds character to your favourite cocktails. The base spirit will have some subtle influence on the final outcome of a gin but it’s the unique recipe of juniper and other botanicals that is paramount to establishing brand identity. Classic- style gins are juniper-forward, but there is also a modern, contemporary style, where juniper is still discernible, yet other flavours such as citrus, spice and floral notes are more prominent.
The method of extracting flavour from the botanicals is a key component in style. One method, maceration, which is an infusion of botanicals into the base spirit, will produce a stronger flavour by extracting all of the soluble components. With the vapour infusion method, the alcohol vapour passes through a basket containing the botanicals, extracting essential aromatic oils without cooking or denaturing them, capturing a gentler expression of flavours. Some producers choose to use both maceration and vapour infusion so that each botanical is treated with individual attention. Classic cocktails were created to showcase classic-style gins, which are unmistakably juniper-forward. A great example of classic-style gin is Tanqueray, one of the oldest dry gins on the market today. Continuously produced since 1830, its bottle was redesigned in 1948 to resemble a three-part cocktail shaker adorned with a pineapple on the cap to symbolize hospitality. Tanqueray has four macerated botanicals; angelica, coriander, juniper and licorice. It is wonderfully juniper-forward and balanced. Tanqueray is an assertive style of classic gin that works very well in a classic cocktail such as the 50/50 Martini. This is how the Martini began and was originally called a “dry Martini” at the time because it contained equal parts of gin and dry vermouth.
TANQUERAY LONDON DRY GIN United Kingdom $28.49 2691 With a unique herbal quality and dry finish, this gin is wonderfully juniper- forward with the drying and floral qualities of angelica, citrusy tones of coriander seed and earthy character of licorice root.
50/50 MARTINI 1½ oz (45 ml) Tanqueray London Dry Gin 1½ oz (45 ml) Noilly Prat
Extra Dry Vermouth * 1 dash orange bitters lemon peel, for garnish
In a mixing glass with cubed ice, combine gin, vermouth and bitters. Stir to chill and dilute. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon peel expressed over surface of the cocktail.
* Available at BCLIQUOR. SKU: 656876
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