Now that you've made a few cocktails with American Whiskey, it’s time to add a second bottle to your home bar. Rather than add a complimentary spirit, we have chosen to add a second base. This will let you create cocktails with different flavour profiles from the ones you made with american whiskey. For your second bottle, we recommend gin.
Gin is based on the earlier Dutch spirit genever, and is made by adding botanical ingredients to a neutral grain spirit. These botanical ingredients vary widely, but juniper berries are the most common (that’s where the spirit derives its name). Because the base spirit has very little taste, the botanical ingredients are what give each gin its unique flavor.
There are many styles of gin, including London dry, Plymouth, new western/new American, and old tom (also sloe gin, but we'll get to that later). London dry gin is the modern classic and most common style, made to legal specifications. The “dry” in the name means that no sugar is added, allowing the botanical flavours to stand out. A bottle of London dry is a backbone of any bar. For London dry Gins, Bombay Sapphire works well as a starting point, but Broker’s, Tanqueray, Hendrick's, or Beefeater are all decent choices. Plymouth gin is very similar to London dry, but comes from Plymouth, England. New western/American style gins are typically dry, but are made in small batches in craft distilleries. There is tremendous variation in flavour and quality. Finally, a couple distilleries have started making old tom gin again. Old tom is the stepping stone between genever and London dry. It's sweeter and not as juniper forward. The only real old tom options available in North America are Hayman's and Ransom.