CLAS­SIC

Food & Drink - - GINS OF DISTINCTIO­N SPIRITS -

POR­TO­BELLO ROAD GIN LCBO 548339, $44.95

The op­er­a­tors of The Gin­sti­tute in London, Eng­land, who cre­ated this be­guil­ingly smooth gin, proudly say it “es­chews the con­tem­po­rary trend for ever more es­o­teric in­gre­di­ents.” Nine clas­sic botan­i­cals in­clud­ing cas­sia and nut­meg back up a tra­di­tional ju­niper­for­ward flavour.

SIPSMITH LONDON DRY GIN LCBO 391177, $49.95

This mi­cro­dis­tillery opened in 2009 in London, pro­duc­ing a clas­sic gin in very small batches, us­ing wa­ter from the fa­mously pure Ly­d­well Spring, source of the River Thames. Very smooth and mel­low, it of­fers a touch of lemon tart and or­ange peel be­hind the dry ju­niper fa­cade. Sweet, grainy gin was first pro­duced in Hol­land in Re­nais­sance times when ju­niper was be­lieved to be a way of ward­ing off the plague. To­day, London dry gin, per­fected in the 1820s, is a more fa­mil­iar style. The clas­sic pro­file leads off with spicy, resinous ju­niper backed with dry cit­rus peels, earthy or­ris root, co­rian­der and an­gel­ica, amongst other trea­sures. Ver­mouth has a sim­i­lar aro­matic pedi­gree, which is why it com­bines with gin so hap­pily to make a great Dry Mar­tini. Here are two mod­ern gins from London that proudly main­tain the clas­si­cal bal­ance of flavours, both also splendid in a Gin & Tonic.

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