One of the cool things about knowing Christa Wittmier (@SuperCW), who works for wine and spirit distributor Young’s Market Company, is that she always tries to educate me on products that I don’t drink — usually due to overindulgence and/or bad experiences in my 20s. If your college years were like mine, you were probably not sipping fine grain alcohol to taste the intricacies of the distillation process, so some of that needs to be reprogrammed with age.
I don’t think I’ve had any kind of gin cocktail since I was 19, after a party at the airport with my then-boyfriend who … well, the details don’t matter, but the upshot was that the cheap gin didn’t agree with me. So when Christa asked me to attend a special Bombay Sapphire gin media/industry workshop at Pint + Jigger, I flinched a little. She usually gives me a quick overview of the spirits in question, and when you think about it, Bombay Sapphire is a high-end gin that is known for its clean finish.
At this event, brand ambassador Dugan McDonnell had us taste the botanicals that go into their gin, so we would understand the science behind the art. His philosophy is to be completely transparent about the ingredients so that people can appreciate it. The ingredients are one thing; the way they blend them is another. But by deconstructing the process, when we tasted the two gins straight up at the end, we could pick out the distinctive differences and understand the flavor profiles that, when mixed with other ingredients, made great cocktails.
They set up a special tasting of the ingredients, while having mixologist Joey Gottesman create gin cocktails to go with the food being served.
So far, Christa’s workshops have helped me to appreciate liquors that I never thought I’d be into. What’s next? Tequila? (Shudder.)
Anyway, I wasn’t able to get a recipe for any of the drinks we tasted, but I found one that you guys might enjoy, courtesy of Drinksmixer.com.
1/2 oz Bombay Sapphire® gin
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz Cointreau® orange liqueur
1 tsp light marmalade
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a piece of a slice of toast.
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