Me and the ladies. Friday night. Off for cocktails and chatter at busy Clive’s Classic Lounge. Service is swift and the cocktails delicious. There are so many gins to play with that it seems appropriate to try the classic martini gin against gin.
First up, a couple of relative North American newbies: Victoria Gin, an intense spirit, is a bit pungent with lots of botanicals and Aviation, a new American gin that has notes of lavender rather than juniper shining through.
Then we went old school. The next cocktail is with Plymouth Gin, a favourite of mine that I first read of in a New York Times article that saw four renowned palates holding a taste test for best martini gin. Plymouth won and curiosity got the better of me: I tried and loved it. I had been a Tanqueray fan but with barely a glance over my shoulder, I switched to this slightly subdued juniper-noted spirit. One of Plymouth’s unique claims is that it’s the only gin in the UK to have a protected geographical zone.
The final martini used Tanqueray. Since Plymouth went bye-bye at the LCB, I switched back (being a thrifty imbiber) and I have to say tonight, as I compared it head-to-head, it became my favourite again. Stronger juniper notes and a dry, crisp finish won me over for a second time. There are so many gins to try these days, I don’t know how one can keep up.