Ocean-to-Ocean Gin Crawl
Gin is a spirit, which derives its predominant flavor from juniper berries. From its earliest origins in the Middle Ages, gin has evolved over the course of a millennium from an herbal medicine to an object of commerce in the spirits industry. Gin is nothing but flavored Vodka, usually with added botanicals, spices and herbal extracts.
Gin lovers of the world rejoice as World Gin Day returns for its sixth year on Saturday June 14, 2014!!
The Gagit’s went on a recent visit to London and visited and joined the London Gin Club at The Star at Night , the preeminent Gin Club in London. On our return to Miami, we visited the newly reopened Traymore Restaurant and Bar at The Metropolitan by COMO, the preeminent new Gin Bar in Miami.
We started our trip in London at The Star at Night Bar where we picked our Gin Club membership card (as shown). The bar itself had over 130 Gins (shown above) and we were seated immediately at the fully booked club.
Our server, Emily, so knowledgeable and with the right colored hair to match our drinks, goes over the menu with us.
Foodiechic orders a Treasure Negroni, Treasure Rum Barrel Aged Gin, Campari, Vermouth, and Orange Peel, not with the Orange Peel burnt to get the Oils as at The Nomad in New York but good anyway, and I order a Gimlet with Plymouth from the 60′s. So good , I do wish I had a Cuban Pre Castro Davidoff Dom Perignon to smoke with this winning drink. They also had a selection of Gins from the 50′s and 70′s to taste in a variety of vintage cocktails. What a rare treat.
We are going to dinner after leaving here so Foodie passes on another drink but I try a special Gin and Tonic, with Plymouth’s Navy Strength Gin , 57% with Fentimans Tonic in a Copa glass which enhances the botanicals and cracked ice to minimize dilution. Wow, perfection in a G & T.
Since, we had to leave after these drinks for our dinner engagement, we missed out in some of the unique menu Gin items that many in in the bar were enjoying; Tasting menus of 4 Gins, both strict tasting and blind tasting, An 8 Gin tasting , a Sloe Gin tasting, and a Blend your Own Gin with 8 Botanical Distillates. And finally, fruit Gins , like Blackwood Fig flavored Gin, as well as Spring cocktails such as Sloe Gin Fizz and Gin- Fusions such as Chili, Basil ,and Cucumber. We had to leave and thanked “Emily with the Purple hair” (of course shown above )but hopefully will be back again soon to sample more of the Gins.
Now, we are now back in Miami to continue our Ocean-to-Ocean Gin crawl and visit the new Traymore Restaurant and Bar at the chic Metropolitan Hotel by COMO on Miami Beach and its newly opened Gin Bar. We are joined by @Miabites1 and her husband Mr. Bites. We are taken to the bar by our host Elliot . We are introduced to the Gin Expert, Stefano Ciribe. This man lives, breathes, and thinks Gin and shares this expertise with us as he does with all his customers. The bar is stocked with about 40 Gins selected by Stefano for their different and interesting flavors, created by the adding of Botanicals of mixed varieties.
We start by tasting three different Gins in shot glasses to begin to learn the range of flavors that can be tasted: Hendricks, g’Vine , and St. George, poured by Stefano( shown above ). The tastes are all distinctive, Hendricks , with its Rose Petal and Cucumber essence in it along with typical juniper/evergreen tastes, combined with citrus and even a mint undertone, not the commercial Bombay or Tanqueray flavors we all know. G’Vine with an infusion of green grape flavors from the Ugni Blanc Grape along with traditional Botanicals including of course juniper. And St. George, Botanivore Gin,with 19 Botanicals that bloom into an herbaceous field of citrus and flora.
We now get to taste some of Stefano’s original House creations , we start with the 1939 , with the help of the talented barman Luuys (also shown below). The 1939 is Noilet’s Gin, Absinthe , Grapefruit , Honey, Mint, Club Soda (as shown), and just enough of the Absinthe to keep the drink from being to sweet. The drink is served with the oversize iceball to not let melting ice cubes effect the taste.
We now taste The Collins Park; Death’s Door Gin, St. Germaine, Watermelon, and Vanilla Syrup and garnished with Tarragon. I am not a fan of tall drinks but a few in the group did enjoy it.
Let the Truth Be told , The Traymore is on the right road to leading the way in the Miami Gin wars. The most telling point to me to make this statement, is the Traymore’s Traditional Gin And Tonic ; Hendricks Gin, Fever Tree Tonic, in a Copa glass, oversize iceball, and of course cucumber garnish , no matter what side of the ocean you are on , this is the perfect G&T.
The Star at Night, 22,Great Chapel St., Soho W1, London, UK
The Traymore Restaurant and Bar at the Metropolitan by COMO Hotel, 2455 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida, USA. 305 695 3600
NOTE: For more information about the newly reopened Traymore Restaurant and Bar and Chef Jonathan Lane's fresh and innovative cuisine, check out our MIAbites recent profile; The Traymore: Re-imagined by COMO Hotels and Chef Jonathan Lane