Tag Archives: gin

A recent Kojo Nnamdi Show featured 3 regional distillers

Distillers from Catoctin Creek Distilling Company | @catoctincreek of Loudoun County, Va., Blackwater Distilling | @sloopbetty (makers of Sloop Betty) of Stevensville, Md. and New Columbia Distillers | @dcdistillers(makers of Green Hat Gin) of D.C. were featured on The Kojo Nnamdi Show on February 20.

I have not sampled the products from any of these distilleries yet, but that will change.

Here is a video of Green Hat in action:

PREVIOUSLY

D.C. distilling: Green Hat gin12.09.2012

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D.C. distilling: Green Hat gin

A New Green Hat in Town: DC’s First MicrodistilleryWashingtonian
Following the trend microbrewery openings in and around Washington, D.C., a microdistillery has opened up. Green Hat, named for Capitol Hill Prohibition bootlegger George Cassiday’s signature headware, is producing gin and rye.

In 1920, fresh off a tour of duty in World War I, the West Virginia native walked off a French freighter and into one of the worst job markets in US history. With Prohibition in full swing, a well-paid friend explained that bootlegged booze was bringing a pretty penny. Especially with DC politicos.

(George) Cassiday would wheel his heavy luggage, overfilled with liquor, into the House Office Building, tip his trademark topper to the door guards, and make his rounds of discreet bureau drawers and library shelves—responding to 25 calls a day, on average, from thirsty lawmakers.

Cassiday got busted and moved his bootlegging to the Capitol lawn, eventually having to start making his own. That’s the story that Michael Lowe and son-in-law John Uselton are building a brand around at the District’s first legal distillery since before Prohibition. Their gin is available at several liquor stores, including Ace Beverage where my friend Joe works. I haven’t tried it yet, but probably will when the weather warms up again.

Another distillery, Catocin Creek in Purcellville, Va. distills white and rye whiskeys, gin, and brandy. I have not tried that either, but want to do so sometime in the New Year.

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The false winter has yielded to early spring

Daylight savings time began this weekend — our clocks shifted us into 70° weather and beautiful sunlight when we get home from work and school.

Get on your bikes and ride.

Gin and tonic season will begin either today or tomorrow in BeltwayLand. Make sure you are prepared.

Spring training is well underway, the real thing starts in 24 days, home opener (for the Washington Nationals at least) is 31 days away.

Cherry Blossoms are coming — peak bloom is less than 2 weeks away.

Get those grills going.

Spring!

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How to make a proper gin and tonic

Gin, tonic, squeeze of lime
There is no cocktail in this world more refreshing than a cold gin and tonic on a summer evening. With Memorial Day coming, the peak of gin and tonic season is here and will last into September. in order to truly enjoy it, I’m going to share with your how to make a proper gin and tonic, refined over many years of practice.

INGREDIENTS

Fresh Ice (empty your icemaker before you leave for work or make a fresh tray in the morning)
Fresh Lime
Cold, unopened Schweppes tonic water in 10 oz. glass bottles
Gin, ideally from the freezer. My go-to these days is Beefeater, but that brand is a personal preference and not the most critical part of the cocktail
16 oz. glass, though plastic cups are okay if you are drinking them outside

DIRECTIONS

Cut fresh lime into quarters (limes cost no more than 70¢ so don’t be skimpy)
Squeeze lime juice into the bottom of the cup
Rub the rim of the cup with lime
Place lime in the bottom of but, rind down
Remove gin from freezer and pour directly into lime at the bottom of the cup. Gin should reach the top of the lime.
Add ice, I use 6 cubes from a icemaker or 4 from an ice tray
Pour entire contents of Schweppes tonic water over ice
Stir the drink
Enjoy

COMMENTARY

The secret of a proper gin and tonic is not the gin. in fact, it might be the fourth most important part of the beverage. The most important factor is to have cold fresh Schweppes tonic water from a glass bottle. The glass bottle is better at keeping in the carbonation. Having fresh ice also makes a tremendous difference, it gets stale after a few days in the freezer, so cycle it often, maybe every 3 days at least. The lime should also be fresh, if it isn’t at peak anymore, get another one. No point in spoiling $2 worth of product to save a quarter with an old lime. As for the gin, pick whatever you like. I used to use Gordon’s since it was cheaper, but have since bit the bullet and gone to Beefeater all the time. It might cost a quarter more per serving. Also, contrary to what you get in a bar, the tonic to gin ratio is at least 5 to 1. Having it closer to 50% is silly because it lacks the effervescence of the tonic and you wind up with watered-down gin. If you want a lot of gin, just have a martini or drink it straight.

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Armageddon Cooler — a brief history of the gin and tonic

Through the magic of Web analytics, I learned my most recent post about gin and tonic was linked from a year old Wall Street Journal blog post called Armageddon Cooler: G&T by Eric Feltin that is essentially a history of the gin and tonic. I enjoyed this passage about JFK discussing nuclear war:

Asked how many bombs Russia would need to destroy the U.K., Penney said, “It would take five or six, but to be on the safe side, let us say seven or eight, and” — just at that moment a steward passed by — “I’ll have another gin and tonic if you would be so kind.”

This statement, Arthur Schlesinger Jr. wrote in “A Thousand Days,” “uttered in one rush of breath, summed up for the Prime Minister and the President the absurdity of mankind setting about to destroy itself.” For the rest of the summit, Kennedy and Macmillan used “I’ll have another gin and tonic, if you would be so kind” as an all-purpose punch line.

Apparently, Lucy the monkey developed a taste for them as well.

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I’ve been Express-ed

My return to Metroblogging DC is now officially triumphant. For the first time (that I know of) Express, the free tabloid The Post gives out, has referenced a blog post of mine…sort of. Yesterday’s entry about the difficulties of finding Schweppes tonic water in greater Arlandria got this blurb:



Page 36 (PDF)

I’m glad they liked my post enough to mention it. I have still got a ways to go before I pass dl004d for Express appearances though.
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Summertime is gin and tonic time

Are you concerned about scurvy or malaria this summer? I know I am.

Do you find that beer, wine or soda are not quite refreshing enough when you are sitting on your deck or patio after a day in the sun? Don’t be embarrassed, it happens to me too.

Do you wish there was way to address all of these concerns at once? Of course you do!

Thankfully, there is solution and it is called a gin and tonic. Many of you already know this answer, but I fear you don’t know the full glory of this cocktail. Most if not all gin and tonics I have ever ordered at a bar have been mediocre or just plain bad because of poor ingredients. By following the recipe below, you can realize the perfect gin and tonic this summer.

First things first, what is the most important ingredient in a gin and tonic? If said gin, you are incorrect. In fact, gin may be the third or fourth most important ingredient because a great gin and tonic starts with the tonic. Inferior or warm tonic (like many bars use) or club soda will ruin a gin and tonic faster than anything. To avoid this, I use Schweppes tonic water exclusively. If I don’t have any, don’t bother making a gin and tonic until you get some and refrigerate it because no other tonic water comes close. Schweppes stands alone at the top because of its excellent carbonation — tiny bubbles instead of big ones. Buy it in little glass bottles because they are superior to the big plastic ones because the chill and carbonation is retained. The extra cost is worth it.

It is debatable whether the ice, which should be fresh, the lime (I like cutting it when I make the drink, not before), or gin is the next most important ingredient. I’ve had good gin and tonics made with rail gin and bad gin and tonics made with good gin.

After years of tinkering my method, I have come up with what I believe is the best way to make a gin and tonic. You’ll need the following:

  • gin (I usually use Gordon’s or Beefeater)
  • tonic (Schweppes, chilled)
  • lime
  • ice
  • glass or cup (we’re partial to Solo cold cups)

    Start off buy cutting about 1/8 of the lime into a wedge. Squeeze the lime into the cup and then rub the it the rim and drop in the bottom.

    Pour about two fingers of gin into the cup.

    Feel free to add another wedge if you really like lime or don’t have a real juicy one.

    Add ice — I typically go with 8-10 pieces from my icemaker, but used about six when I used trays. Make sure there isn’t too much ice, you need room for tonic.

    Empty bottle into cup slowly.

    Stir and enjoy a scurvy and malaria free summer! Drink responsibly!

    Cheers!

    , , ,

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