Spirits: Gin Revival | Wet by Beefeater

FoodandWine Recipe

What's the most popular ingredient in a martini? The answer would make a traditionalist cringe. Vodka earned 42 percent of the votes, with gin—the classic partner to vermouth in the cocktail—coming in last, at 9 percent. But the new Wet by Beefeater should help revive gin's popularity. The gin, which is infused with the essences of at least 17 different varieties of pear, is the first new Beefeater product introduced in the United States since the company was founded, 183 years ago. Wet has a softer, fruitier, less medicinal taste than many gins. True to its name, it's less dry, or harsh, on the palate. At the New York City launch party for Wet, guests sipped gin martinis, though not the old-fashioned kind: They were made with fresh mint, simple syrup, lemon-lime soda, lemon juice and a splash of Hiram Walker Blue Curaçao ($24 for 750 ml; www.wetbybeefeater.com).

—Salma Abdelnour

PUBLISHED August 2003