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Not familiar with the Plymouth but will try and scope it out.

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After Hendricks, Plymouth is my favourite.

Agreed.

After them I like Broker's and Gale Force from Triple 8 distillery/Cisco Brewers, though I don't know how far they distribute.

 

I also must add that I was fortunate to receive a sample of the Kensington and was fairly pleased with it.

I was happily suprised that the wood didn't overpower the more delicate gin flavors. I had it in a martini and it was very smooth and drinkable, though I love the character wood gives to bourbons I found it a little distracting in a martini.

I will say it is well made and could be fun to play around with in other cocktails.

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BS"D

 

:dribble: MMMM....GIN.... Absolutely love it. One of my favorite cocktails is the gin & tonic. And speaking of which, does anybody know of a GOOD tonic water to mix with a gin such as Hendrick's?

 

I've not developed an affection for tonic water, but was curious about the recipe published in the March/April issue of Imbibe magazine. It looks a little messy, but as a determined DIY'er, I may give it a try. Anyone want to recommend a source for the quinine (powdered cinchona bark)?

 

I can excerpt the recipe if anyone is interested.

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As described in the March/April issue of Imbibe:

 

Ingredients:

 

4 cups water

3 cups pure cane sugar

3 Tbsp quinine (powdered cinchona bark)

6 Tbsp powdered citric acid (apparently available in larger grocery stores in the bulk section)

3 limes, zested and juiced

3 stalks lemongrass, roughly chopped

 

1. Dissolve sugar in water (facilitated by heating in saucepan to a boil and reducing heat to low)

2. Add remaining ingredients, stir well, simmer for ~25 min.

3. Cool. Strain out the chunky stuff using a colander, filter through cheesecloth (or coffee filters). [Looks messy!]

4. Pour into storage container(s) and store for up to several weeks in the refrigerator. [The article recommends using sterilized bottles that can be closed tightly.]

 

The article has nice photos and entertaining background. The final product is blood red from the photos.

 

I missed it before, but they recommend herbspro.com as a good source for the quinine.

 

Herbspro.com link for quinine

 

The January/February issue of Imbibe had a brief "taste-test" of 8 artisanal gins. I haven't tried them all, but would agree the Hendrick's, No. 209, and Martin Miller's gin are quite nice. I have tried unsuccessfully to find Aviation Gin (from Portland, Oregon) in my area, nor will the local liquor stores be able to get it soon since none of the distributors carry it. Given current state restrictions, I am not sure I can order it online... I have a bottle of Bluecoat Gin coming by personal courier in a couple of weeks. Other favorites are Sarticious, Old Raj, Tanqueray No. 10, and Magellan.

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Plymouth is fantastic. That and Hendrick's are my top two as well.

 

 

I'll always take the advice of John D. MacDonald and Travis McGee and recommend Plymouth, although the stuff went through a bad period for about 20 years and even McGee stopped drinking it, switching to Boodle's. It's back now at its original quality.

 

For those of you who remember Travis McGee fondly, or those of you who have never met him, I give you the recipe for the McGee Martini:

 

 

 

THE "McGEE SPECIAL" MARTINI

 

"...a familiar face was working the quiet and elegant bar, and he remembered The Drink, and seemed so pleased with himself in remembering, that we each had one, sitting and watching the deftness with silent and respectful attention. Two ample old-fashioned glasses, side by side, filled to the two thirds line with cracked ice. A big, unmeasured slosh of dry sherry into each glass. Then swiftly, the strainer placed across the top of one and then the other, as with a delicate snap of the wrist he dumped the sherry down the drain. Then fill to the ice level with Plymouth gin, rub the lemon peel around the inside of the rim, pinch some little floating beads of citrus oil on the surface of the drink, throw away the peel, present with small tidy bow and flourish to the folk. 'Two McGees,' said he."

Edited by Bob

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Schweppes still is a legitimite king...

 

Here in America however, our "Tonic Water" pales in comparison to what they get in the UK. Quinine is the issue, in that it has been determined to need to be limited in its quantity in the tonic water we get here in the states.

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I love Plymouth and Boodles...guess that is because my parents were big John D. McDonald fans. I thought the McGee Martini was the only one until I was quite a bit older! Does anyone remember the couple of SciFi novels that McDonald wrote?

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Here in America however, our "Tonic Water" pales in comparison to what they get in the UK. Quinine is the issue, in that it has been determined to need to be limited in its quantity in the tonic water we get here in the states.

 

To what degree is the quinine content limited? I could probably look it up, but... Besides, I am wondering if you would elaborate on whether there is a generally recognized preference for the UK strength vs. US version. Also, any notion whether the home-made version is worth the trouble? I checked on the availability of the cinchona bark and most sites sell it by the pound (cheapest I've found so far: ~$17/lb and with shipping would be ~$25). If I try it once and hate it... argh!

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Schweppes still is a legitimite king...

 

Here in America however, our "Tonic Water" pales in comparison to what they get in the UK. Quinine is the issue, in that it has been determined to need to be limited in its quantity in the tonic water we get here in the states.

 

Poor you :wave2: in Poland as well as in Czech Republic quinine in Schweppes amounts to 75 mg/l. I

am not sure how much would you get from the home-made but give it a try or import Schweppes from Poland :thumbup:

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I love Plymouth and Boodles...guess that is because my parents were big John D. McDonald fans. I thought the McGee Martini was the only one until I was quite a bit older! Does anyone remember the couple of SciFi novels that McDonald wrote?

 

 

One of them was The Girl, The Gold Watch, And Everything. Can't remember another offhand.

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To what degree is the quinine content limited?

 

I'm not sure what the limits are, but the traditional tonic water from England can't be imported into the US because it has too much quinine. I haven't tried the home-made recipe yet, so I can' comment on that...

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I got around to trying the "homemade" tonic as described in Imbibe magazine.

 

I've gotta say it turned out great! I was never much of a gin & tonic fan, but this may make a convert out of me. I ended up ordering the cinchona bark from Penn Herb. It was somewhat coarse and had to be ground to a powder (used my coffee grinder). The other ingredients weren't too hard to find locally, but it did take a bit of searching to scare up the citric acid. My batch isn't quite as red as shown in the magazine article, but it is a kissing cousin. After dilution with the gin and soda water, it looks more reddish/golden.

 

The only real problem is that a batch makes roughly a liter of the tonic syrup/concentrate. I've already shared about half with friends and co-workers, but am going to try freezing some to see if it will store for more than a few weeks (at refrigerator temperatures as suggested in the article).

 

The taste is relatively strong and citrusy, so pair it with a bold gin. The article suggested No. 209, which was good. I also tried it with Sarticious and plan to go with the Tanqueray No. 10 next.

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Personally I really like the Kensington ( and yes, Hendricks is a favorite too)- it has a nice woody overtone to it that works well in a martini or even a gin and tonic (not something I would have thought). But yeah its pricey .

The bottle you are talking about is aged 2 years by the way.They also made a 3 year old version in a Steuben glass type decanter that sold for $175-200. Needless to say that bombed pretty quickly. I still have trouble with any gin over $30 never mind that kind of money !

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I don't have any problem paying over $30 for a gin if it's really good. Same with any other kind of liquor. I like Kensington, too.

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