Drinks by the Dram offers up some amazing holiday gift sets. In particular is their line of advent calendars filled with beautifully crafted glass dram jars of booze. You can choose from whisky, rum, vodka, cognac, tequila, bourbon, absinthe, armagnac, mezcal and gin (original and botanical), along with “premium,” “old” and “rare” versions of some, which contain an even better selection of drams than that which is already inside the standard versions. I can’t praise these guys enough; what they’re doing is ground breaking.
I’ve already chronicled my love of their whisky advent calendars (I’ve tried both the standard and the premium, thanks to my amazing wife), but this year I completed the “ginvent” calendar. On December 1st, my wife gave me this incredible early Christmas gift:
Day 1: Edinburgh Gin – peppery and crisp, florals release when shaken with ice.
Day 2: Filliers Dry Gin 28 – dry, very nice for a martini
Day 3: Hayman’s Old Tom Gin – citrus / sweet lemon botanicals
Day 4: Tarquins Handcrafted Cornish Gin – smooth, medium botanicals
Day 5: Perry’s Tot Navy Strength Gin – Strong as FUCK – difficult to drink near at room temperature, heavy on the juniper/evergreen flavor and aroma, but shaking this up with ice really tames the flavors into a wonderful cold-sipping gin
Day 6: Two Birds London Dry Gin – really smooth and clean, especially when shaken with ice – my favorite so far.
Day 7: Darnley’s View Gin – nice and smooth, even neat and at room temperature – would be great in a martini, slightly peppery.
Day 8: Dangley’s No. 8 Distilled London Gin – good amount of coriander and lemon peel.
Day 9: Ferdinand’s Saar Dry Gin – tasted of slight bitterness and spice, definitely dry!
Day 10: St. George Terroir Gin – strong flavor and aroma of the woods, tree bark, pine needles and sap.
Day 11: Fifty Pounds Gin – this is my all-time favorite gin, and 11 happens to be my favorite number – its dry, has a little spice to it, super clean and crisp – excellent for either sipping neat or for an ice cold martini.
Day 12: Warner Edwards Harrington Dry Gin – so I guess these gins have brand names like law firm partnership names – this one was clean and crisp after a shake with ice, but I wasn’t crazy about it neat at room temperature.
Day 13: Da Mhile Farmhouse Botanical Gin – fragrant with florals on the nose, generous citrus peel / lemon rind and coriander flavors.
Day 14: Elephant Dry Gin – strong, spiced, very nice for dry martinis.
Day 15: FEW Barrel Aged Gin – amber coloring, like a whisky, with a slight whisky flavor to it from the aging process – fantastic gin!
Day 16: Death’s Door Gin 2011 Harvest – taste was clean, crisp and strong.
Day 17: Pickering’s Gin – tasted smooth, crisp and dry, with a hint of juniper and citrus.
Day 18: Hendrick’s Gin – one of my top choices, this is a dry gin that’s excellent for a high quality martini. Unfortunately I let a few days build up so my photo here is from a catch-up day of several gins. And no, I’m not a pussy. I was busy drinking other shit on those missed days.
Day 19: Dodd’s Gin (The London Distillery Company) – taste is heavy with juniper and pine, but not overpoweringly strong in the alcohol bite. Drink with ice or cold.
Day 20: Whitley Neill Handcrafted Dry Gin – this stuff is fantastic. I first became aware of this gin at a bar show in the Javitz Center a while back when I first started drinking gin. It has unique flavorings inspired by African botanicals like gooseberry, cassia bark, angelica root, florentine iris and baobab fruit, as well as the standard coriander, lemon peel, orange peel and juniper berries. The silhouette of a grand baobab tree is actually on the label as their logo. This gin is a surprisingly refreshing new take on the standard style London dry gin. Drink neat if you like!
Day 21: Pinkster Gin – the gin actually has a slight pink hue to it, as you can somewhat see in the image above. It’s really light, at 37.5% alcohol, but with a spicy kick. I drank it neat at room temperature, but I imagine it would be great cold, on the rocks, in a martini or in a mixed drink.
Day 22: Professor Cornelius Ampleforth’s Bathtub Gin – crisp and dry, very nice when taken cold, shaken with ice. Somewhat like a good Beefeater or Hendricks.
Day 23: Citadelle Gin – flavor comes with a nice black peppercorn hit, but with a nice scent of lemon peel on the nose. I enjoyed this neat, at room temperature.
Day 24: Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin – tasted more botanical and bitter than I expected, but the scent was a pleasant citrus lemon. Much better, and more mild, when shaken with ice.