A Muddled Thought

Month: April, 2010

Gin Madness Day 18-A Look at Seneca Drums

Our next gin hails from a distillery located in Upstate New York, known as the Finger Lakes Distillery, taken its namesake from the very area it calls home, specifically the Finger Lakes Region.

Formed in 2007 when Brian McKenzie, and Thomas Earl McKenzie(no relation) met at a distillers conference. Brian, with a background in finance, was looking to open a business in the Finger Lakes Region of New York, and connected with Thomas who has a long history of consulting with distilleries, and as a wine maker. Out of this chance meeting, Finger Lakes Distillery was born.

The Last Days of Summer. A combination of Seneca Drums Gin, Green Chartreuse, Black Pepper Watermelon Syrup and Lemon Juice.

Finger Lakes Distillery creates all its spirits via a 300 gallon copper pot still that was created by the Holstein Company and flown in from Markdoff Germany. Finger Lakes Distillery tends to keep everything close to home, with the company run by Brian, his wife, Jennifer, Brian’s parents, several cousins and Thomas.

Starting with a neutral grape alcohol base, that’s blended with some grain neutral spirit. Finger Lakes then macerates its botanicals during the first distillation. During a second distillation the botanicals are soaked directly in the base spirit.
Using a series of botanicals including juniper , cardamom, coriander, citrus, fresh cucumber, black pepper, and licorice results in a spirit, that introduces itself with notes of floral and sweetness on the nose. These notes are balanced just right so as to tempt and stir the desire to see what the spirit feels like whence it meets with your palate.

When you finally indulge in tasting this homegrown gin, you’re hit with notes of lemon, black pepper, candied ginger and coriander that ends with an refreshing twist of lime.

With Seneca Drums Gin, the Mckenzies have managed to create something a bit different than a standard dry gin. The spirit manages to balance occasional sweet notes with hints of dryness without introducing an overpowering presence of juniper. Any gin lover looking to experience something truly different should seek Seneca Drums out as they’ll be pleasantly surprised.

The Last Days of Summer
1 ¾ Seneca Drums Gin
½ oz Green Chartreuse
½ Lemon Juice
¾ Black Pepper Watermelon Syrup
Garnish with Lemon Slice and if available watermelon that’s been sprinkled with black pepper presented on toothpick.

Three Outta Three

Milagro Blanco 1 3/4
Milagro Anejo 3/4 oz
Seneca Drums Gin 1 oz
1/2oz Lime Juice
1 Mole Bitter
2 Dashes Grapefruit Bitters
2 Barspoons Agave Nectar

Three Outta Three. A combination of Seneca Drums Gin, Milagro Anejo and Blanco Tequilas, Mole and Grapefruit Bitters, Agave Nectar.and Grapefruit Juice.

Gin Madness Day 16-A Look at Blue Coat

Released in 2006 by Philadelphia Distilling and named to pay homage to the revolutionary soldiers who fought for this country, Bluecoat Gin continues to keep close to home by using botanicals such as organic juniper berries, and American citrus peels including sweet oranges and lemons. Other than these few botanicals, the remainder of the ingredients used to bring Bluecoat to life remain a secret to all except Master Distiller Robert Cassell.

Robert works his magic creating Bluecoat by a means of a ten-hour distillation process that starts with a slow heating of the pot still to enable Robert to slowly separate the heads and tails (the impurities) and leave the heart of the spirit. Once this process has been completed, the remaining spirit is bottled with triple filtered water to bring it down to 94 proof (or 47%ABV) and is filtered and tasted before Robert gives the go-ahead to begin bottling.

Bluecoat is a gin that starts off very soft and floral. This softness leads the way into notes of lemon, and hints of black pepper that tag along with each sip. Blue coat finishes with a touch of heat and sweetness.

A very light and refreshing gin that’s soft enough for one to sip on its own with a rock of ice.

1 ¾ Bluecoat
¾ oz Aperol
¾ North Shore Aquavit
½ oz Simple Syrup
Grapefruit Bitters
Shake, Serve in Collins filled with Ice
Top with Club Soda

Philisski. A combination of Blue Coat Gin, North Shore Aquavit, Simple Syrup, and Grapefruit Bitters. Top with Club Soda.

Cool Revolution
2 oz Blue Coat
¼ oz Yellow Chartreuse
½ Lemon Juice
½ Simple Syrup
Egg White
Top with Mint Leaf

Cool Revolution. A combination of Blue Coat Gin, Yellow Chartreuse, Simple Syrup, Lemon Juice and Eggwhite

Gin Madness Day 15-A Look at Junipero

Coming in at higher proof than most gins you’ll normally come across on the back bar of your favorite speakeasy or local spirit vendor, Junipero Gin rings in at a hefty 98.6 proof or in another words 49.3% alcohol.

Hailing from Anchor Distilling, the same company responsible for Old Poterero Rye and the infamous Anchor Steam Beer, very little information is currently shared regarding the background of Junipero Gin.

What is known is this; Anchor Distilling uses a minimum of twelve botanicals, and uses the “soaking” method to infuse the flavors of these secret botanicals into the spirit, billed as a Dry or Distilled Dry Gin.

As the master distiller, Fritz Maytag currently refuses to share any information regarding any of these twelve botanicals, we can only taste the spirit and guess what he must use to create Junipero.

This secretive spirit starts out with a nose filled with juniper, and spice. As you begin to introduce Juniper to your palate, you hit with notes of lemon, orange zest, occasional flavors of celery, that mellows to introduce a flavor similar to a fresh baked bread or a dough that finishes with an almost sweet white wine like finale.

Sunset over the Bay
1 ¾ oz Junipero Gin
½ oz Orange Juice
¾ Lillet Blanc
2 Dashes Regans Orange Bitters
Barspoon Orange Marmalade
Bar Spoon Vieux Carre Absinthe

Sunset over the Bay. A combination of Junipero Gin, Vieux Carre Absinthe, Lillet Blanc, Orange Marmalade, Orange Juice and Regan's Orange Bitters.