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Confessions of an ex-gin hater

Those who have spent some time around these parts know that I am not a gin fan. Now, I love my spirits, and nary a day goes by without some scotch, rye, bourbon, etc. being consumed in Chateau Scotto. I just have never been able to get past the perfumy, kitchen-cleaner scent of some gins.

I have tried martinis in many bars, and have always hated them. To be fair, I had tried mostly things like Bombay Sapphire and the like, and hadn't spent a lot of time exploring other gins.

Anyway, lately I began to ponder this. It isn't like me to not like alcohol :wink:, and the martini would seem to be, under other circumstances, something I should like. Therefore, I set out to see whether I really don't like gin after all these years, or if I was missing something.

Mrs. Scotto has traditionally been a fan of (regular) Tanqueray, so I bought a small bottle, figuring that she would drink it if I didn't. I tried it straight, in martinis, in G&Ts, and you know what? Not as bad as I thought. Perhaps even a tad pleasant. I think a lot of it is mixing drinks yourself; after all, the product I can mix, much like cooking, is almost always superior to what you can get at a restaurant or bar.

We finished off the Tanqueray last week, and I bought a bottle of Hendrick's. In a word - wow. Drinking martinis with this stuff is a revelation. Complex, smooth, and none of the off tastes I often associate with the grain spirit background of a lot of gins.

So I suppose I can breathe a sigh of relief. I do like gin after all. A little care at home, some good quality spirits, and 20 years of dislike got turned around. I don't think I'll be replacing my Manhattan's any time soon, but I am enjoying the possibilities of more gin-containing drinks in my future.
 
So I suppose I can breathe a sigh of relief. I do like gin after all. A little care at home, some good quality spirits, and 20 years of dislike got turned around. I don't think I'll be replacing my Manhattan's any time soon, but I am enjoying the possibilities of more gin-containing drinks in my future.

It's summertime, and both the gimlet and tom collins are quite refreshing drinks.
 
That's pretty good.

You are too kind, sir.

In that I posted that with a Hendrick's and tonic in hand I am having a hard time recalling my inspiration, but I am sure that it involved the mobilization of each and every of the few operating brain cells I have remaining.
 
I hated gin for many years. My hatred stemmed from a monumentally bad youthful indescretion. It took more than 20 years for me to even get a whif of gin and not wretching. I couldn't even stand to smell things that remotely reminded me of gin. Then one time I tried a Gin and Tonic and was amazed at how darn good it tasted. Not on the regular list, but I have one on occasion. Also, if you are in a setting where you want to maintain your designated driver status, a plain tonic and lime on the rocks tastes pretty good as well.
 
I've found that a gin martini is a very fine drink when one actually adds a decent amount of vermouth (2:1 or 3:1), and ignores the "wave the vermouth bottle over the glass" machismo.
 
I've found that a gin martini is a very fine drink when one actually adds a decent amount of vermouth (2:1 or 3:1), and ignores the "wave the vermouth bottle over the glass" machismo.

It's not all machismo btw -- skimping on "French" white vermouth was thought to be a matter of national pride to the London Dry Gin drinkers (Churchill being the most notable) who drank by the "wave the vermouth over the glass" rule.
 
It's not all machismo btw -- skimping on "French" white vermouth was thought to be a matter of national pride to the London Dry Gin drinkers (Churchill being the most notable) who drank by the "wave the vermouth over the glass" rule.

I too have moved on to a far lesser dry martini in recent years...I have added a twist of lemon as well. I find it to be far easier to drink, which of course leads to too many, but eh, c'est la vie.
 
It's not all machismo btw -- skimping on "French" white vermouth was thought to be a matter of national pride to the London Dry Gin drinkers (Churchill being the most notable) who drank by the "wave the vermouth over the glass" rule.

I was just kidding around, obviously (I hope).

I never thought of it in terms of the vermouth being French. That's pretty interesting, actually. You really do learn something new every day.
 
I stumbled onto gin by chance. Whenever our family went out to dinner to celebrate something at a ritzy restaurant, my father would get a gin and tonic. His favorite, and mine, is Beefeater. Some people consider it a rail drink. Beefeater can hold its own with any gin IMHO.

When I want to step it up, I love Hendricks. It seems to be a little sweeter to me, but smooth as a BBS shave.

I didn't like gin at first because it tasted like I was drinking a glass of pine needles. Over time, and thanks to better quality bartenders, I got to taste better quality and found that gin is quite the spirit of choice.
 
Interesting. I also have it in my mind that I hate gin and yet I can't remember the last time I actually tried it. I have of course had it on many occasions but not in the last ten years or so...perhaps it's time for a reassessment! Being a Bond fan and all it would be most convenient if I liked martinis. :biggrin:
 
My opinion is that people that say they don't like gin base that on the martini that they ordered in the bar last time. Most bars pour 3 ounces in shaker and give it a few limp wristed shakes and dump it into a warm cocktail glass. Most spirits served in this manner would be quite icky. I don't blame you if you've experienced these warm, straight gin, "martini's".

CastleCraver posted the proper way to make a martini a while back, and he did a fantastic job. I highly reccomend that you search for this post and follow his example. 3 or 4 parts gin to quality vermouth, stirred for 20 seconds to properly chill and dilute, served simply with 1 or 3 olives, or a twist. I'd challenge anyone to try this properly made cocktail and then say they don't like gin.
 
I'm not a gin drinker but I've always understood Bombay Sapphire to be one of the premiums. Have I been incorrect all these years?
 
My opinion is that people that say they don't like gin base that on the martini that they ordered in the bar last time. Most bars pour 3 ounces in shaker and give it a few limp wristed shakes and dump it into a warm cocktail glass. Most spirits served in this manner would be quite icky. I don't blame you if you've experienced these warm, straight gin, "martini's".

CastleCraver posted the proper way to make a martini a while back, and he did a fantastic job. I highly reccomend that you search for this post and follow his example. 3 or 4 parts gin to quality vermouth, stirred for 20 seconds to properly chill and dilute, served simply with 1 or 3 olives, or a twist. I'd challenge anyone to try this properly made cocktail and then say they don't like gin.

I, sir, am ready to take up that challenge! Oh, wait, I already like gin martinis. Well, I'll do it anyway, to provide moral support to the others!
 
I didn't think there was any gin left after RJames' fateful night...

Seriously Scotto, thanks for posting this. I, too, am an avowed despiser of the juniper juice. I shall have to hunt down a bit of Hendrick's to see if it changes my mind, as it's been a decade, I figure, since I arrived at my opinion.
 
As I said, and someone else posted in this thread, a lot of it comes down to making the drinks yourself. Unless you have a really high-end bar or restaurant to go to, most of the drinks you get when ordering out are appalling. Making them yourselves with quality ingredients and loving care is all the difference in the world.

Personally, I like my martinis with a fair amount of vermouth, typically 3:1. I think it is a more balanced cocktail that way. I haven't hunted down any orange bitters yet, but I need to find some to try in that cocktail as well.
 
I no longer imbibe, but I used to like gin. I started with Tom Collins, then settled on Gin & Tonics. Tanqueray and Boodles were my favs.
 
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