Imagine the renowned author, Ian Fleming, as he silently muses on one of the most iconic figures in Hollywood history, James Bond, behind the dimly lighted walls of Duke's Bar in London. According to legend, he first used the phrase "Shaken, not stirred" here. A gin martini was his beverage of choice.
You can enjoy one of the most well-known gin cocktails in the world if you go there today. The free-poured martini, which is served straight up in a frozen glass with just a dash of vermouth, is a testimony to the spirit in its purest form.
An Intriguing History
Gin, with its extraordinarily bizarre history, is undoubtedly one of the quirkiest spirits, aside from serving as the inspiration for one of the greatest cultural icons of our time.
Gin was far from the quality it is now when it was first introduced as a panacea sold in apothecaries throughout Europe in the 1700s. Back then, a pint of gin cost less than a pint of beer and contained questionable substances like sawdust and sulfuric acid. Yum! Thankfully, this is obviously not the case anymore as distillation and gin both underwent significant changes. Get rid of the sawdust and replace it with the delicious, pure beverage that we all know and love.
An Untamed Spirit
The well-known juniper berry, a common constituent in all spirits designated as gins, is the essence of gin. This plant that resembles a berry is actually a seed cone that is collected wild rather than grown. Gin is therefore a wild child at heart due to the nature of its constituents.
There really are no restrictions on inventiveness when it comes to gin making, as there are with anything wild in nature. There are many different styles to pick from when browsing the stores of today, but how do you decide?
For the Nature Lover: Floral and Herbaceous
The Botanist Isay Dry Gin, as its name suggests, is explosively flowery and contains a variety of locally foraged Hebridean botanicals on the Scottish island of Islay. It's absurdly complex, so we advise drinking it as any citrus-forward cocktail like a gimlet to fully appreciate the burgeoning floral, minty, and citrus nuances.
Hendrick's, also known as the "cucumber gin," is another distinctively flowery gin and is infused with rose petals and cucumbers after distillation.
For a lovely summer garden cocktail, we advise combining it with a cooling elderflower tonic.