They say we all have a twin in the world. Somewhere out there is another you going about their daily life. Well, I’ve found my twin. She lives in Salem, Massachusets and we look nothing alike. I call her my east coast twin. I met her sometime circa 1998 (ish? It gets a little fuzzy) The Rockstar was traveling to New York with the band for the Mtv music awards and I was tagging along. Liz was A&R for their label and kind of “showed us around”. That entire trip was fantastic and I really should write about it sometime… But not today. So, that was way before social media. Hell, I barely had an email! But somehow, she and I managed to stay in touch. Years later we realized that our lives had run parallel in some ways. We had been married within a year of each other, our oldest sons were born within a month of each other, eventually our youngest sons were born a few months apart but that’s not even the half of it. We were sick at the same time, our kids were sick at the same time, we changed jobs at the same time… ALL THE TIME. Aside from all of the coincidences, I just really love her. She’s funny and kind, she’s a far more patient and gentle mom than me (what can I say?), she’s got a big heart and is just a genuine person.
Liz’s friend Ian is co-founder of a distillery by the name of Deacon Giles. The name is fantastically ironic. Deacon Amos Giles was “an impious man, distilling rum on the Sabbath, paying his employees with liquor and selling bibles from his counting room.” It’s seems that his story was created during the temperance movement in the early 1800’s. He supposedly employed a demon crew that tricked him, branding his barrels with messages of damnation. I find the story of a deacon and his band of demons selling bibles and booze to be a fantastice dichotomy as I’m sure the founders of this distillery intended. You can read more of that story Here.
So, she sent me a bottle to see what I could come up with. Gin is an herby spirit. I’ve heard many people say things like “I don’t drink gin because it’s too strong!” Or “Gin turns me into a bitch!”. Well, gin is getting a bad rap! It’s not stronger than other spirits, as far as alcohol content goes. It is stronger in flavor, though. Unlike gin’s clear cousin, vodka, it doesn’t mask well. I mean seriously, you can mix vodka with anything and it’s a chameleon. It goes from booze to koolaide in a snap. As far as the “turns you into a bitch” part… Let’s not blame gin. Ok, bitch?
The trick to gin and her “strong flavor” is not fighting it. You need to play into the notes. Embrace the sometimes pungent botanicals. We’re grown ups, and we can do better than gin and juice. Life is too short for cheap wine, shitty cocktails and weak women! Be strong and drink accordingly! So, I tasted this gin when I was ready to create something. I didn’t do shots (though you’re welcome to), I just let a little swirl around my mouth and took some deep breaths. Immediately, I could smell how herbaceous and botanical this liquor was. I really felt like I should do something citrusy with it. Excitedly, I realized that those tart little cousins of the Orange, the kumquat, were in season and that settled it. This beverage is pure gold. Tart and sweet, but not too sweet, bubbly and refreshing with just enough kick that you don’t lose the special flavors within the gin itself.
You will need the following:
- Deacon Gile’s Gin, [website] if it’s not available in your area and you can’t wait for the delivery, try Hendrick’s or something along those lines, but I built this drink around THIS gin. You can order the Deacon Gile’s Gin here
- Sparkling water
- 1 pint whole kumquats, sliced (if not available, try this with thin slices of orange. It will be slightly less tart but still fantastic)
- 1 orange (or 3 Tbsp orange juice)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- In a medium sauce pan, bring 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water to a boil for a simple syrup.
- Once the sugar is melted, add kumquats and continue to simmer for 15 minutes or so. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Pour syrup and kumquats into a mason jar, seal and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it. This can be stored in the fridge for up to a month as the sugar acts as a preservative.
- In a muddling glass, add the juice of half an orange and three heaping spoons full of the kumquat simple syrup INCLUDING the kumquats. Smash the hell out of this mixture to get as much flavor as possible.
- Next, add three 1 ounce shots of gin. Stir it well and strain the liquid over ice evenly between two cocktail glasses. Top off with sparkling water and garnish with two or three slices of kumquat.
I hope you enjoy this and let it open your mind and palette to the sophistication of a well made gin! Swearing Mom out.