Courtesy of The Optimist
With new styles of gin hitting the market, drinkers can no longer be separated into those who like it and those who don't. Defined simply as alcohol flavored with juniper and other botanicals, gin now comes from producers ranging from the makers of peaty Islay Scotch to American artisans with a taste for bracing overproof spirits.
“With gin the sky’s the limit and that’s one of the reasons it’s become so popular,” says Priscilla Young, bar manager at the Mandarin Oriental’s new Brasserie S&P, which soft-opened in San Francisco this week with 34 selections on the menu. Unlike other spirits like scotch or mezcal, there are very loose guidelines when it comes to making gin. The base can be nearly anything—London Dry Gins are typically made from wheat while Holland’s genever gins use fermented barley or rye and still other types start with grapes, sugar cane or even apple.
Most gins require no aging, which also means it's easier for producers to experiment and release new products quickly. Even restaurants and bars are making proprietary batches. Young hopes to blend one that caters directly to her palate, something “dry and citrus-driven.”