Recently I attended Spirits of the Times, a gin tasting at Hotel Juniper, the not-yet-open new venue from the Houston Brothers (La Descarga, Harvard & Stone, Pour Vous). The gin tasting was sponsored by the LA Times and Liquor.Com. Six gins were featured including Crater Lake, Caorunn, Oxley, Nolet’s, Junipero and No. 3 gins.
I tasted all the gins straight first and then sampled the cocktails. First I tried Crater Lake Gin from Oregon. Small batch distilleries really appeal to me and I could see and taste the indie spirit (pun intended) of the gin. It’s a bit rougher than I like and welcomed it being mixed.
Caorunn Gin also describes itself as an indie spirit. This one is from Scotland. We tried the Mid-Summer Dream (Caorunn gin, lime, apple-infused simple syrup, honeydew melon, apple slice). I’m allergic to honeydew but gave this a whirl anyway. It was crisp like the apple in the gin and quite perfect for the evening. The tasting was very inexpensive and included fare from the Vizzi Truck. Having Caorunn with my tacos was a great pairing.
Oxley was featuring their take on an Aviation, the Royal Airforce (Oxley, lavender syrup, lime, maraschino liqueur).
People were also invited to vote for their favorite cocktail. It came down to Nolet’s Japanese Breakfast and the Dover Calais Tonic with No. 3 gin. The Japanese Breakfast won by just a few votes.
Japanese Breakfast – Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin, yuzu marmalade, lemon, shiso, lemon peel.
Read more about my recent dinner with Nolet’s Silver Dry gin here.
Anchor Distilling brought two gins to try – Junipero and No. 3. Junipero is made in the classic dry style, distilled at their facility in San Francisco. No. 3 is a London dry style and is distilled by one of London’s oldest wine merchants. Although I like both, my heart is with No. 3 which I know makes a wonderful companion to Campari for my favorite Negroni.
The Dover to Calais Tonic featured kaffir lime leaves infused No. 3, Maurin Quina and Fever Tree Tonic.
I hope there will be more of these tastings. They could even do a few more gin tastings with the explosion of new gins out there.
See all photos of the gin tasting including pics of not-yet-open Hotel Juniper
Hotel Juniper6541 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028 — (323) 465-1902 © The Minty // LA Cocktails 2012