Ah, gin. Brisk, peppery gin. Once, it epitomized summer elegance. It was the cool-breeze component of martinis and gimlets, rickeys and slings, fizzes and Collinses. It was the soothing tonic that helped the quinine go down. It was yardarms and pastel sunsets.
Then the ground trembled and the sky darkened. Along came the devil, I mean vodka, and gin was forsaken in favor of — What? No flavor? No aroma? No character? Well, that’s vodka for you: a bland, neutral cipher. Gin’s cocktails became vodka’s cocktails, championed by those who ought to have known better, consumed by the masses who had no idea what a martini was, much less a yardarm.
I’ve noticed that vodka is fine if you don’t want to taste anything and would rather just get drunk off of…what, cranberry juice? In years of late, gin is my number two (to whiskey/bourbon, obviously), and a lot of that is because of the smooth taste. To be honest, it’s also because gin actually has a taste. In the summer, when you’re looking for something that quenches your thirst, a good bottle of gin is just the trick.