Friday, September 28, 2007

No. 209 and Western Gin

My luggage was briefly lost on my way back form San Francisco and I panicked thinking my treasure from the Sierras would be lost forever.

Thankfully, Jet Blue delivered my suitcase today and I was able to make my first cocktail with No. 209 Gin.

Originally a distillery in the Napa Valley during the Gold Rush, No.209 gin was revived in this century by Leslie Rudd and the Edge Hill Winery. The gin is distilled five times making it smooth and the juniper is tempered with citrus and fruity notes. One sip and I feel transported to those dry western mountains.

When Adam and I were in San Francisco last month, we noticed a plethora of fine gin available at the local watering holes. Gin is one of Adam's favorite spirits and I have recently been converted as those gins of high quality go so well with the classics. One of our favorite discoveries was the Spruce Gin at the Rouge Public House. Not available for purchase in the state of California, we were lucky enough to get snifter full right at the bar. The character of the gin reflects the distinctly different climate where it was made. While No 209 gin is dry, with hints of sage, Rouge's Spruce gin was more wet and juicy. The piny notes were softer and greener. And they make it with "Free Range Coastal water"! I sure that water is so much happier being range. I am currently looking how to get my hands on a bottle here.

In the meantime, last night we made some classics with No. 209:

Lavender Gimlet
No 209 Gin

I ground the lavender with a mortal and pestle and threw it in the glass with the lime, gin and agave, stirring briskly, but gently with cracked ice. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a chilled cocktail glass.

The Bijou Cocktail
No 209 Gin
Green Chartreuse (that fun stuff in the little wooden box I got in Paris)
Sweet Vermouth (Antiqua Formula)

Stir ingredients gently over cracked ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

No comments: