Her­bal Essence

Craft gins are spe­cially for­mu­lated to jump all over the flavour map, which gives them se­ri­ous swag­ger

Toronto Life - - Food & Drink - By re­becca philps

of the spirit world—a lit­tle un­pre­dictable, with a ton of per­son­al­ity. Dis­tillers be­gin with a neu­tral spirit (of­ten vodka or rye), and then in­fuse it with botan­i­cals—usu­ally some com­bi­na­tion of roots, herbs, dried fruits, spices and piney ju­niper berries—but they jeal­ously guard their recipes like state se­crets. There are savoury and spicy gins, flo­ral and aro­matic gins, and fruity and bright ones, so bar­tenders have a bounty of flavours to play with.

At the Bloor West speakeasy Civil Lib­er­ties, gin flows till last call. There are no servers and no printed menus—just a list of beers and wines on the LED board be­hind the bar. The three co-own­ers, in­clud­ing bar­tender Nick Kennedy, want guests to re­quest cock­tails that suit their mood, and gin is a pop­u­lar choice. Kennedy loves the co­rian­der crackle in Fords, and the per­fectly bal­anced heat in Hay­man’s Royal Dock (the navy-strength gin is a whop­ping 57 per cent al­co­hol, which means you can spill it on gun­pow­der and it will still light). But one of his new favourites is J. R.’s Dry Or­ganic, a lo­cally pro­duced bou­tique gin from the Junc­tion’s Toronto Dis­tillery Com­pany. “It’s tart and spicy, and it warms you from the in­side.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.