My Tales of the Cocktail swag bag contained a miniature bottle of G’vine gin from France. Time for a mini tasting. . .
I am sitting in a hotel room in the Caribbean with nothing besides the rest of my Tales of the Cocktail swag bag mini-bar, a maxi-bottle of Beefeater that came with the Tales of the Cocktail goodies, and some little bottles of Dominican Republic rum. OK, and I also have my computer, clothes, toothbrush, etc. What I was really getting at, in my typically convoluted manner, is that this post is not going to contain the words “double strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with three drops of orange bitters and a lemon twist”. I don’t even have ice handy. I’ll drink the gin straight, then with tonic water. No lemons or limes will be hurt in this tasting.
I started by admiring the bottle’s clean Gailic mini-lines. Ces’t Manifique!
Next I opened it and poured a little (half a bottle to be precise) into a glass. I somehow skipped the nosing step. I guess the bouquet was so tempting I had to plunge straight in. Hmm. . . this stuff is peculiar. There is a definite grapeiness going on. It reminded me of grappa and I figured it must be based on grape alcohol. A little online research confirmed that to be the case, but also revealed that grape vine flowers are included in the botanicals. Besides this grapeiness there is heavy citrus. Juniper is there but not in a big way. This gin is sweet and fruity rather than dry and spicy.
Next I tried putting some tonic water in it. Unfortunately Canada Dry was all I could find. Hmm. . . now it tastes like gin with nasty tonic water. Either this gin is too light to stand up to tonic or Canada Dry is truly awful. I think it is a bit of both. Thank goodness I only ruined half the bottle.
I’d have to try this gin in a few more drinks to get a fuller impression. It seems designed to appeal to non gin drinkers. Despite its grapieness I doubt it would stand up to vermouth in a traditional Martini. However, it might be nice with lighter aromatized wines like Lillet. The grapey character would probably come through in a Tom Collins, but seems a subtlety likely to get lost in a Gin and Tonic. It does not seem ginny enough for typical gin applications, meaning its use needs a little thought.
I’m not left with an overwhelming desire to own a bottle of this stuff, though just maybe that grapey quality could make for interesting drinks. Though this gin is unlikely to become a favorite of mine it could be right for vodka drinkers seeking an approachable gin, and for mixologists looking for something subtly ginny to work with.