Gin is back in fashion, according to the soon-to-be-released "The Spirit of Gin: A Stirring Miscellany of the New Gin Revival" by Matt Teacher. It has always been in fashion for me. I make it no secret that it’s my spirit of choice, so I was particularly interested in checking out this book.
Teacher traveled the globe to learn about the origins of gin, to taste gins from around the world, to visit gin bars and distilleries, and to do all the research needed to write “The Spirit of Gin.” It’s a big book, 366 pages, but don’t let that overwhelm you. It’s well-written and organized, and 155 pages or so are dedicated to a useful catalog of gin distillers.
The book starts with the history of gin, from the first recorded history of “genever,” a juniper-flavored spirit from the Middle Ages to the London Gin Craze to the bathtub gins of Prohibition to the new modern-day craft gins that are popping up weekly. As Teacher observes, “For a lover of gin, this is a good time to be alive.”
What will you learn, besides history and brands of gin? Teacher explains gin varieties and takes readers on tours of several of the best gin bars in the world. He discusses the common mixers and garnishes used with gin — vermouth, bitters, syrups, olives and more. Plus, readers get a mini-lesson in distilling gin. The book is educational, and I feel better prepared to continue along my gin journey with the information I’ve garnered from Teacher's book.
Of course, there are also cocktail recipes, 40 of them to be exact, including this one for a drink called Police and Thieves that uses cinnamon syrup, a drink mixer that I’ve been obsessed with this fall since I made my first batch of it for the Candy Apple Cocktail.
Police and Thieves
- 2 oz. London dry gin
- ½ oz. lime juice
- ½ oz. pineapple juice
- ¼ oz. grapefruit juice
- ½ oz. cinnamon syrup
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
- Fill completely with ice and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.
- Strain into a cocktail coupe*, being careful to strain out any ice chips or errant citrus pulp.
- Garnish with two striped dashes of Angostura, if desired.
*A cocktail coupe is a glass that’s similar to a Champagne saucer glass. I imagine this drink would also work in a martini glass if you don’t have a coupe.
More gin cocktail recipes on MNN
- Gin and Tonic – the classic summer refresher
- The Foghorn – Gin and ginger ale
- Pink Gin – Gin, bitters and orange liqueur
- Cucumber Dill Fizz – A gin and tonic with dill and cucumber
- Bee’s Knees – Gin and honey syrup
- Bee’s Nectar – My own take on a Bee’s Knees made with honeysuckle syrup instead of honey syrup
- Basil Gimlet – Muddled basil is added to the basic gimlet