If memory serves me correctly, it was a bon voyage party 10 years ago when I last enjoyed gin. Goodbyes, laughter, tears and gin fizzes flowed freely to the point that everything because one big giant blur. I can't remember much, but I do remember a hangover that made me curse my mother for ever giving birth to me and cursing the man upstairs for giving us free will. How else could I explain a night of being a willing participant indulging in cheap gin, glass after glass after glass? At that fateful party I not only said goodbye to a good friend but I also said goodbye to a spirit that has not touched my lips ever since.
It was a work assignment involving Hendrick's Gin that ended my gin hiatus. I'd noticed that gorgeous squatty bottle for some time but assumed it was filled with that juniper-laden venom that always made me hurt. Oh, the label can claim it's different, but I wasn't fooled. But because I had to write a few paragraphs about the wonders of Hendrick's I thought it would only be fair if I tasted it. My customers deserve it.
Gin, welcome home.
Hendrick's is a small batch gin distilled in Ayrshire, Scotland, and it is anything but ordinary. Crafted with high quality botanicals makes a huge difference, but it's the infusion of Bulgarian Rose and cucumber that sets it apart. While the first initial notes are quite strong as they are with most gins (which is why it's rarely sipped by itself), Hendrick's reveals a beautiful and intriguing aftertaste. It's hard to put your finger on it but you know you are drinking something different, so intricately flavorful. This stuff rocks.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have some drinking and catching up to do. After all, ten years is a long time.Rosemary Salty Dog
This recipes comes from Enoteca Vin in Raleigh, North Carolina by way of Food & Wine Magazine. Muddled rosemary adds intrigue and imparts a marvelous flavor to this herby graperuity classic.Ingredients
1 grapefruit wedge and kosher salt
one 1-inch piece of rosemary sprig, plus 1 sprig for garnish
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 ounces fresh red grapefruit juice
1 1/2 ounces gin
Moisten the outer rim of a martini glass with the grapefruit wedge and coat lightly with salt. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the 1-inch rosemary sprig with the sugar. Add the grapefruit juice, gin and ice and shake vigorously. Strain into the martini glass and garnish with the rosemary sprig.