I enjoyed reading an advance copy of Michael Turback’s All The Gin Joints: New Spins on Gin from America’s Best Bars (ISBN 978-1466282988), a book celebrating gin with “101 artisanal cocktails.” Mr. Turback writes in a light, engaging style, weaving quotes from Casablanca through the prologue and the brief history of gin that front the cocktail recipes. A small fairly complete section covers proper bartending tools, material which should be familiar to people who love cocktails.
The cocktails themselves range from the staggeringly simple “Wolf’s Bite”, (3 parts gin, 2 parts grapefruit juice, and 1 part Green Chartreuse) to the almost comically complex “Daikon Dream”, which has intrepid home mixologists stirring up dongchimi broth, taking two full days to ferment at room temperature.
That’s not to say that there aren’t some intriguing drinks in this book. I am honored to know all of the Texas bartenders in the book, and Bobby Heugel’s “Smitten” is not only delicious, but within the abilities of the home cocktail-maker. Likewise, Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s “East of Eden” takes an gin sour with equal parts citrus and syrup, but enhances the white flower aromatics of St. Germain with a floral-lychee scented Gewurztraminer reduction. There are some cocktails in “All The Gin Joints” that combine deliciousness and ease of construction into a pleasant whole.
Swapped the Chartreuse for Suze and the dashes of Fernet with Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters. Strong and sweet drink, but not too sweet! Used Rittenhouse (100 proof) rye which I feel helped balance things.
Using Creme of Coconut (1:1 sugar to coconut milk), this was a delicious drink. Well balanced with some funk from the dark rum and orgeat, but without the heavy marzipan some orgeat drinks can get. A great staple.