Tomorrow may be St. Patty's Day, but I'm going to suggest you take a small mental visit to Amsterdam, Holland. Imagine quaint canals, tulips as far as the eye can see and quirky buildings that hold histories of the city's vibrant past. Now consider that in addition to the eye-catchers that Amsterdam is known for, that one of those things should be gin. You think of the aforementioned and perhaps even Vincent Van Gogh when thinking of Amsterdam, but not really gin. Well not until now.
Think of the beautiful enchanting star-filled night that inspired Mr. Van Gogh so long ago then liken that to a smooth gin almost as flavorful as 'Starry Night' is colorful. Van Gogh Gin is that gin. How fitting the moniker for such a gin and an appropriate tribute to perhaps the city's most famous name. I made a wonderful cocktail courtesy of Jonathan Pogash, The Cocktail Guru, but first I wanted to sample the experience that was Van Gogh Gin straight up.
The one word came to mind was smooth. Crisp and smooth to be exact with a tinge of that tangly sweet juniper berry that seamlessly merged wonderfully with the slightly nutty herbal freshness that makes gin such a sophisticated spirit. This is probably since this grain-neutral spirit was distilled three times, the first two in column stills and the last in a potstill, all in small batches. The cocktail from Mr. Pogash contained a nice combination of ingredients to bring out the essence of the gin. Below is his recipe for Southside of Amsterdam. This contains simple ingredients that balance sweet with herbal with tart and that all together with the crisp nutty Van Gogh Gin created a flavor profile that is very tasty, easy to drink and quite satisfying.
Southside Of Amsterdam
2 oz. Van Gogh Gin
3/4 oz. Fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz. Simple syrup
8-10 Mint leaves
In a mixing glass, slap the mint and throw it in, along with the Van Gogh Gin, lemon and simple syrup. Add ice and shake well. Strain over ice into a highball glass and top off with the sparkling wine. Stir briefly. Garnish with a lemon wheel and a mint sprig.
Making it at home? Don't be scared to make a simple syrup. All you need is 1 cup of white sugar and 1 cup of water. Bring water and sugar to a boil stirring until sugar is dissolved then let cool for about 30 minutes. (Or you can buy it). Enjoy this one as much as I did and as always, please remember to drink responsibly. Van Gogh Gin is available now at your finer wine and spirit retailers.