By Warren Bobrow
Martin Miller's Gin is one of the most unexpected pleasures that has touched my lips in recent memory. Perhaps the method of blending the distillate from England with the purest water on earth has something to do with it? I think so. The water from Iceland is just so luscious that you cannot imagine drinking anything else so unadulterated.
Martin Miller's is a super-premium gin distilled in England and blended with the world's most pure source of water, Icelandic spring water. Six botanicals and three citrus fruits are used in the distillation process: juniper, cassia bark, coriander seed, angelica root, licorice root, florentine iris, Seville orange, lemon and lime. The botanicals and citrus fruits are distilled separately to create a fresh, clean taste that no other gin can match. The finished spirit is soft, citrusy, with juniper appearing on the mid-palate.
I'm sitting in front of the fireplace right now. Also in front of me are over twenty bottles of Artisanal gin. My new favorite is the London Dry from Martin Miller's Gin. This is truly exotic stuff. Upon opening the handsome bottle I detect immediately the scent of cucumbers. Not just any cucumber but an especially aromatic variety. This gin doesn't need to be mixed - it's got all the stuffing right inside. I'm absolutely blown away by the softness of the nose - coupled with that unmistakable aroma of the cucumber. I got to thinking - when was the first time that I smelled this quality of gin?
Hendrick's does a cucumber and rose scented gin that I like very much. This gin from Martin Miller is a very sophisticated and dare I say sensual slurp of liquid pleasure. The cucumber is right there in the foreground. You cannot miss it. I'm almost shocked by the depth of the vegetable aroma and flavor. White chocolate notes follow up immediately - then those little tobacco flowers that only bloom at night. Suddenly there is an attack of herbs and spices as they come quickly into view. I'm just blown away by the finish - it goes on and on and… on.
I thought I would introduce a new cocktail too. Gin and citrus come to mind. Charred grapefruit juice is in my view because for some reason when we need citrus the most it's wintertime.
To make this cocktail you must be ready to take your palate to another place. In this case, the drink is Martini-like but not a Martini. Sure it has Vermouth, but Carpano Antica is sweet Vermouth. I like using it in this drink instead of using a dry; it has a more assertive, robust flavor.
There is the slightly crispy grapefruit bringing up the rear with a healthy burst of citrus and the burn from the char. The Bitter End Bitters are a spicy reminder that all bitters are not sweet. This cocktail requires something deeply grounding.
I love working with great ingredients and you should too, good ingredients just taste better!
The Gin Twist
Makes two invigorating cocktails for whatever you desire to do at the end of the day.
• 2 oz. Martin Miller's London Dry Gin
• 1 oz. Carpano Antica
• 3 oz. Grilled grapefruit juice (Heat a sauté pan and char chunks on all sides lightly, cool completely, then juice)
• Several cucumber chunks
• Several lime chunks
• Several slightly charred pink grapefruit chunks
• Fresh mint carefully picked over
• Excellent Seltzer water like Perrier Pink Grapefruit
• 4 Drops Bitter End Thai Bitters
• Lemon zest infused Ice made with filtered water from a MAVEA "Inspired Water" Pitcher. (Essential)
With your Mavea pitcher - filter water, fill an ice cube tray, then zest a couple lemons over the tray. Freeze overnight. Use in all your cocktails.
1. Muddle a couple cucumber chunks with lime chunks and grilled grapefruit chunks until they are well mashed together, releasing their secrets - the citrus oils and liquefied juices.
2. Add 3 oz. grilled grapefruit juice and a few sprigs of fresh mint.
3. Continue to muddle.
4. Add the Martin Miller's Gin.
5. Add the Carpano Antica.
6. Fill the shaker ¾ with ice and shake for exactly 13.5 seconds.
7. Place several lemon zest "Inspired Water" ice cubes into a Collins glass.
8. Double strain the Martin Miller's Gin concoction over the top of the ice.
9. Splash a few hits of the Perrier Pink Grapefruit Sparkling water over the shaken liquors.
10. Drip exactly 4 drops of the Bitter End Bitters over the top.
11. Garnish with fresh mint and a cucumber wheel.
Cheers from DrinkUpNY!
Article by Warren Bobrow, a nationally published food and spirits columnist who writes for Williams-Sonoma, Foodista and the Beekman Boys.