Stocking Your Bar: Gin

Jim Meehan, owner of NYC speakeasy Please Don’t Tell, knows that mixing a great drink means having access to great ingredients. Here’s what he has to say about gin:

What is it?
A neutral spirit infused with juniper, gin can feature a wide range of other botanicals, including coriander, citrus peel, fennel seed, and anise.

What varieties does it come in?
The most widely used style of gin is the lean and crisp London Dry. It’s the perfect base for a Gin & Tonic, Tom Collins, or extra dry Martini. Try Gordon’s, Bombay, Beefeater, Tanqueray or Bluecoat for a traditional taste, or the cucumber-infused Hendrick’s for something a little different.

Closely related to London Dry is Plymouth, a fuller bodied gin with a decidedly fruity taste, accented by notes of citrus.

If you’re a sucker for rediscovered classics, you’ll want to sample two varieties of gin that the cocktail renaissance has recently saved from near extinction. Old Tom, a sweeter version of London Dry has been a necessary ingredient in the Tom Collins, the Martinez, and the early Martini. Try the lean and mild Hayman’s brand, or the fuller-bodied Ransom, which bears a greater resemblance to the original stuff.

For something a little more intense, try gin’s close cousin, aquavit, a spiced Scandinavian number with the pumpernickel-y notes of carraway. Choose Linie, a barrel-aged rendition from Norway, or House Spirits, for a taste that is clean, crisp, and bold.

What to Use It In
Gin & Tonic, Martini, Negroni, Tom Collins, Martinez, French 75 and more.

This is an excerpt from Speakeasy Cocktails: Learn from the Modern Mixologists, an iPad/iPhone book by Betterbook.