Gin is very much in revival. Like it’s colorless cousin, Vodka, it was once very much en vogue, serving as base spirit for a myriad of classic cocktails. The Martinez, The Aviation, and The Martini are just some examples.
Due very much to the sensitive and unadventuresome palates of the drinking public, who’d rather slosh down a good ole batch of something mixed in an ice chest, (let’s face it, we’ve all been there),Vodka slammed on the scene. With the advent of good, clean distillation and not without much help from mainstream billboard and creative advertisements, the shelves of liquor stores are filled mostly with vodka.
Now, with the revival of a true blue Cocktail Culture, drinkers are demanding something more..flavor. Subtle flavors. Citrusy, fruity flavors.
Gin, however, has been touting the subtle flavor of a host of botanicals for years…first to hide the harsh taste of bad distillation. These days distillation has become somewhat of an art form, yielding some very interesting product. This ain’t your grandpappy’s white lightning, ya’ll.
Okay, all of this social commentary on drinking vodka and gin does have a point. And the point is a review of New Amsterdam Gin.
I normally do a bit of reading on the product I’m reviewing before I taste, but to be honest with the folks over at New Amsterdam, I did not. I was jonesing for a Martini, and by that I mean a drink made with GIN, DRY VERMOUTH and garnished with a tasty olive or two….or three.
So, I found on the shelf the sample of New Amsterdam Gin I received. I make my Martinis 2 parts gin to 1 part dry vermouth. Shaken or stirred, it’s a toss up and I leave that debate behind like discarded ice.
My first impression was…oh, man…this is Gin in its truest sense. I love Gin, and normally drink Bombay or Beefeater…preferably one with a little bit of juniper bite. While my first taste of New Amsterdam Gin left me with no doubts of that bite, I detected a lot of citrusy flavors in the background. As I made my way through the drink, I found that it really didn’t suit my personal tastes as far as a Gin for making my traditional Martini or Gibson. Instead, I found it more suited for something like a Gin Rickey….a gin drink with juice of a citrus fruit in it. I can see where in a drink like that New Amsterdam Gin would really shine and add depth to those drinks.
I did some reading and looking at the website for New Amsterdam Gin, and found the recipes there were geared toward exactly those sorts of drinks. Mind you, there is nothing wrong with fruit juice in a drink. As a gin drinker, I can and do enjoy other gin-based drinks. While I didn’t have the opportunity for this review to sample them, I am sure that they are delicious. I even think that New Amsterdam would be great as a substitute for vodka in a Bloody Mary perhaps lending a fruity undertone to the spicy nature of that drink. Hell, a good Tom Collins sipped on while around the pool sounds, even in the dead of winter, inviting.
All in all, I appreciate the effort of the distiller’s efforts here in creating a very versatile spirit in New Amsterdam Gin…with, I believe, a true effort to compete with the fruity-flavored vodkas on the market, lending a hand in furthering the gin revival of present. At around $15 for 750ml, New Amsterdam has a definite place behind your bar.