Mo Frechette Talks Gin

*From time to time, we share the writing of our friends and co-workers on this site. Today’s guest post comes from the blog of Zingerman’s Mail Order Managing Partner, Mo Frechette. You can read Mo’s blog here

Drank No. 4: Two styles of gin and which one is best for a gin and tonicmartini

Outside of the Netherlands nearly all gin is made in what’s called the “London style.” Within the London style, though, there are two major distinctions, what I call stewed and steamed.

Stewed gins are made by boiling the botanicals—juniper, clove, and so on— along with the alcohol mash. Tanqueray is a stewed gin.

Steamed gins are made by hanging the botanicals above the alcohol mash so only the vapors, the stuff that’s condensed to become gin, pass through them. Bombay Sapphire is a steamed gin.

Steamed gin is much milder than stewed gin, an observation that’s easy to confirm if you taste Sapphire and Tanqueray side by side.

It’s desperately close to Gin & Tonic Season in case you haven’t noticed. (Like the seasons for white pants and skirts, seersucker and chilled rosé, I abide by a personal rule that all of them kick off on Memorial Day.) In a standard gin and tonic I nearly always opt for stewed gins like Tanqueray. Sapphire, so much milder, gets completely lost.

Mo Frechette