Gin is having its moment in the limelight, bolstered by a growing small-batch Craft Movement. Having anticipated the trend, our talented scouts at William Ashley have taken the cue to research the perfect glasses to enjoy the complex aromas of a spirit that has captured the imagination of modern mixologists around the world. Scroll down for a lightning quick history and a thirst-quenching recipe, courtesy of our neighbour, La Société Restaurant.
The rise of gin drinking today stems from its chameleon-like ability to change the taste of any signature drink. Known as the umami of the cocktail world, gin contains dozens of botanicals as well as the well-known juniper berry.This season, Gin Story by Waterford offers the new balloon/copa shape, a short stemmed glass tailored to high alcohol varieties, similar to the Gin and Tonic Stemware by Orrefors. Riedel’s version is stemless with a rounded seat that finishes curved at the top edge like an English rose. And of course, we can’t forget the traditional tumblers- our favourite- Street by Orrefors.
A BRIEF HISTORY: Popular opinion suggests that the juniper forward alcohol was discovered by the Dutch and used as a tincture to cure a plethora of ailments in the 16th century. Its rise as a preferred liquor developed with the ascendance of William of Orange, a Dutchman, to the throne of England, Ireland and Scotland in 1689. Far from the upscale happy hour go-to of today, the drinking of gin three hundred years ago was not unlike playing a game of liquid Russian roulette. It was not uncommon for the spirit to be laced with turpentine and distilled with sulfuric acid- not good. Fast-forward to the 18th century and gin was reborn as a base for a sailor’s drink, which contained carbonated water and quinine (tonic) to ward off malaria in the New World colonies. Later, a twist of lime was added and the drink became the mascot of every mini series the BBC has ever made of life in the British Raj. Today, the Craft Movement has taken the age-old concoction into a more floral and democratic realm. What is your gin-based cocktail favourite?
The Côte d’Azur by La Société restaurant
Ingredients: Craft Gin, Crème de Mûre (blackberry), lemon juice, blood orange & blackberry
In a shaker:
1 1/2 oz Gin
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
*Add some ice and shake *
3/4 oz Crème de Mûre (blackberry liquor) over a bed of crushed ice
Empty contents of shaker
Garnish with a quarter slice of blood orange & a blackberry on a pick