Tuesday, February 23, 2010

House Gin Challenge: The Gin & Tonic

It's odd.  Not that long ago, my bar was disturbingly ginless.  Now I have 4.  Time for a gin challenge.  I'll be doing three challenges: neat, the martini, and the gin & tonic.  Which very well means that we could have 1-3 winners.  Like the other House challenges, we'll pit these winners against other brands as I acquire them.  Since gin always gives me a hangover, I'm pretty sure that keeping the the winners winners in stock won't be an issue.

We are using Q Tonic tonight, which is made with agave nectar instead of corn syrup.  It's lo-cal, still flavorful, and ridiculously expensive for a mixer.  If anyone knows of a cane sugar based tonic, I'd be interested.

It seems logical to see which of the Rogue gins works best.  I have already reviewed the Rogue Spruce gin.  The Pink Spruce takes it up a notch,  they age the spruce gin in pinot barrels.

The pink gin is slightly overwhelmed by the tonic.  The spruce on the other hand, overwhelms the tonic.  I'll go with the spruce since I still want to taste the gin.

The next semifinal will be between Whitley Neill London Dry Gin and New Amsterdam.  The Whitley Neill tastes like your protypical gin, with juniper and orange peel being the dominant flavors.  The vanilla flavor of New Amsterdam really comes through here.  I found that flavor to be nice when drinking it straight, but it is off-putting and tastes artificial when mixed with Tonic.

The final is Whitley Neill vs Rogue Spruce:  The battle of the evergreens.  The Rogue Spruce is really interesting.  It's just a little strong.  I'm going to go with the traditional style of Whitley Neill for my gin and tonic.  I'm looking forward to see how the Rogues and New Amsterdam work in a martini, but not tonight.  I feel my quinine hangover creeping in already.  At least I'm safe from malaria.

The House Gin & Tonic Winner: Whitley Neill.

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