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Tag Archives: gin wigmore

A Few of My Favorite Friends

The Twilight Lounge – December 16, 2011

Gin, sweet, juniper laced, glorious gin.  Bombay gin.  Beefeater gin.  Tanqueray gin. Gin Wigmore (just checking to see if you are paying attention).  Hendricks gin.  New Amsterdam gin.  Seagrams gin.  Plymouth gin.  London Dry gin, local gin, craft gin…gin, gin, gin.  Invented by the Dutch, co-opted by the British, where would we be without it?  No martinis – the only civilized way to end an uncivilized day.  No gin and tonics.  No Aviations.  No Singapore Slings or Sleigh Wrecks!

The invention of modern gin is credited to Franciscus Sylvius in the 17th century, although its roots go back to 11th century Italian monks who used juniper berries to flavor crudely distilled spirits.  The term gin is derived from the Dutch word genever, their word for juniper.  Originally used for what was supposed to be medicinal purposes, the British came upon it during the 30 Years War and called it “Dutch courage” for the effect it had on their bravery when taken before battle. 

Gin’s popularity in Britian soared during the reign of  William of Orange, who assumed the British throne in 1689.  With the taxes placed on brandy from France and on beer being quite heavy, locally distilled gin became the spirit of choice throughout England.

From 17th century England, gin has seen its ups and downs.  It its high point in the quintessential martini as enjoyed by FDR and Churchill to it’s low point as bathtub gin during Prohibition, gin has been a staple of cocktail culture for centuries.  Over the next few weeks I’ll explore the different styles of gins and include a number of gin reviews as well.  In the meantime, have a gin question?  Then fire away and I’ll do my best to answer!


I wonder if Gin Wigmore drinks gin?

Day 72, Cocktail 72

After my ill fated foray into the Slow Comfortable Screw I just had to do something to get the sweet, syrupy taste out of my mouth.  What better way than a real cocktial made with real gin?  The real London Dry kind by the way, not the rockin’ Kiwi R&B artist who has the chops to be the next Amy Winehouse.  Several weeks ago I had bookmarked a recipe on Colleen Graham’s cocktail blog that she described as a variant to a martini.  Actually, it’s a variant on the Aviation, adding sweet vermouth to the gin, maraschino liqueur and lemon juice found in that classic that is a favorite of mine.  So I set to work and mixed one up for myself.  Not bad, but something is still missing.  The sweet vermouth needed to be offset by something.  Most of the cocktails with a “dark” component and maraschino usually work better with a dash or two of bitters. 

So, back to the shaker it was with this drink and a heavy dash of Agnosturo was added.  A few quick shakes and back into my cocktail glass….and….mmmm, delicious!  The Agnosturo adds just the “bite” this needs to balance against the sweet vermouth, bringing all the flavors into harmony.  I will be drinking this one again!


  • 2 oz Bombay gin
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1 dash Agnosturo bitters

Combine all the ingredients in shaker with 4-5 ice cubes.  Shake to chill and mix.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with a lemon peel.

I’ve been sipping on mine as I write this and the flavors are just growing in their depth.  This is a really tasty treat!