When I make my own gin I feel like a Renaissance man. And calling myself a Renaissance man means only one thing – that i’m pretty pleased with myself. Leonardo Da Vinci, considered the archetypical Renaissance man, and i have a lot in common. We’re both left handed, we both have long hair … maybe that’s all we have in common. But maybe he made gin. I’m going to add that as a new chapter to his Wikipedia page and see how long it stays up there.
Beautiful isn’t it? Juniper, citrus, coriander, cardamom in a triple filtered vodka.
So i was making this as a surprise for my daughter M’s next visit. Then i was so pleased with this gin recipe that i posted a video of it on Facebook – completely overlooking the face that M and I are friends on Facebook. Tben i get a text from M – “making gin”. Then i put it all together – you can’t surprise somebody with an invention if you post it all over the internet. I bet DaVinci never had this problem with his daughter. Maybe he wasn’t facebook friends with her. That’s sad.
How interesting that the week after I get back from my first visit to Tennessee – the moonshine mecca of the world – I find a distillery open in my home town! [maybe I’ll let you be the judge of how interesting that is – read on]
The people at Dixon’s Distillery have been building and distilling for over a year and just opened up their doors to help with public consumption this August. I didn’t even know Guelph needed a craft distillery until we got one. Thanks to mayor Cam Guthrie for ending prohibition so early in his term.
As one who dabbles in his own dark magic – converting cheap American vodka into premium gin – I am always keen to chat it up with fellow elixir makers and sample their potions – so i had a great time with co-owner Vicky Dixon, chatting up the finer points of distilling. Finer points like how to put some of that into my glass so that i can taste it.
White lightning, vodka, and gin is what they make from locally sourced grains and water. Finally a healthy use for water. They even age some of the moonshine with an oak spiral in the bottle to give it a bourbon character.
I have the unaged moonshine in my freezer right now because I like drinking it cold. I really like that i can taste the grains through the alcohol – more so than any spirit I’ve had before. Straight up it makes a fine martini.
You can pick up a bottle of your own for under $40 at the distillery. It’s worth a visit and a much shorter drive than to Tennessee.
Sometimes I get in the spirit of sophistication and order a martini. There are many great quotes about the Martini. Gin or Vodka is a question for another time.
“A man must defend his home, his wife, his children, and his martini.”
“He knows just how I like my martini – full of alcohol.”
”I had never tasted anything so cool and clean.” “They made me feel civilized.”
Ernest Hemingway novel Farewell to Arms.
“I never go jogging, it makes me spill my martini.”
With this in mind I visited Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers in Beamsville, ON. I had already purchased the White Rye from the LCBO but wanted to have a go at the Gin and the Eau de Vie. The Gin is a botanical lovers dream – delicate enough that I think the gin martini made with it should be straight. That’s so dry that you aren’t even allowed to think the word Vermouth while pouring it. The people at Dillon’s also have a little bit of fun on their website – PulltheCork approved fun! In their Spirit descriptors they mention Papa Hemingway, Khan [the Mongolian ruler not the Star Trek guy], Smith and Wesson, and generally entertain throughout. Their collection of bitters would make any mixologist giggle like a school girl – well maybe only if they liked making cocktails – but you get the point.
If you are driving down the QEW past Beamsville stop in and have a look – their tasting room is simply stunning. Otherwise stop in at the LCBO – the Gin is dang good.
DILLON’S GIN 22 UNFILTERED
LCBO 358556 | 750 mL bottle Price $ 39.95
DILLON’S THE WHITE RYE
LCBO 337600 | 750 mL bottle Price $ 37.95
Sometimes my palate is not discerning and sometimes it’s so good that I’m convinced I can taste “goat farm next door to the vineyard” in a wine.
However, I think that floral notes are not my strength – and that’s why I’m undecided about Gin.
Does your brand of Gin make a difference? Anyone?
What if I only drink Gin and tonic? What if I drink a Gin martini?
Somebody help me on this one please.
We bought Tanqueray after years of Bombay and I don’t know if I even notice a difference. I think I like Bombay better but I’m not even sure.