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Food and Wine Pairing 101

Food and Wine Pairing 101

I am forever being asked about Food Pairing and what wine goes well with this or that dish. I have had many frantic last minute texts from people in the wine store staring, like deer in headlights, at the rows of bottles trying to find something to go with a certain dish.

We've all been there, in the restaurant looking at the food menu then looking at the wine menu and having no clue what wine to order. Or being invited to dinner and having no clue what wine to bring.

It's a thing, Food and Wine Pairing, an art. 

If you get it wrong your art is a failure, it doesn't taste "right", doesn't gel, but when you do succeed and get it right it's one of the best things to behold. The marriage of flavours from food and wine become one, complementing each other to form harmony on your palate.

I always say: 

When you get Food and Wine Pairing wrong dinner is meh (ok) but when you get it right dinner is memorable and something your guests will remember for a long time.

It's for that reason Food and Wine Pairing is one of the most popular subjects i'm asked about.

As a Chef and Sommelier I have the best of both worlds when pairing food and wine. I understand food, cooking methods and marrying flavours and I know what wine will make both wine and food a stand out act. All of that and I don't always get it right!

Food and Wine 101

There's a lot of differing opinions about what "should" go with what and, of course, there's the "old school" white wine with fish, red wine with meat theory but in todays culinary and wine world thoughts have to change along with the times. The "old school" train of thought worked and for some things, still does. There is some simple chemistry that cannot be ignored when it comes to Food and Wine Pairing

For example the "Old School" saying that light wine before heavy still stands. A heavy wine can over load your palate and if followed by a light wine their delicate flavours will be lost.

Food and Wine 101

With todays changes in food and food preparation our thoughts need to be extended to the wine we drink with it. The global popularity for food and wine has changed and grown leading to smaller, more intensely flavoured portions. International food, organic, raw and vegetarian food all play a roll in todays market. Add a huge change in the way wine is produced and the amount of new wines on the market and there is a veritable cornucopia of choices available. 

So, while the "Old School" way of thinking is almost a thing of the past, a "New World" approach is necessary. The "New World" way of thinking, if you ask me, is to keep it simple, don't over think it and always be prepared to try new things. If and when you get it right, it's amazing!

Successful Food and Wine Pairing is a difficult thing to get right without the correct information though. Restaurants often have a sommelier who works closely with the head chef when choosing wine for their lists and tasting menus. In wine stores the professionals working there are good at recommending wines when asked but for your average Jo who just wants to know a little bit more about pairing i've written down some pointers to get you started.

Food and Wine Pairing 101

What is Food and Wine Pairing?

Well, simply put, it's food or a dish served with a wine that complement each other. Neither stand out alone as being stronger or more flavoursome than the other, it's just a perfect harmony between the two.

To be honest there is no right or wrong when it comes to Food and Wine Pairing, you can eat what you like with what you like as long as it works. There are, however, a few rules you should apply to make your choice a bit easier.

The Principles of Food and Wine Pairing?

Before you get yourself freaked out about what to choose by stating that "I'm not an expert", start with a simple question to narrow the playing field:

Are choosing the wine to go with the dish or the dish to go with the wine or are you looking for a bottle to take to a dinner party?

Once you've worked that part out the rest is easy.

Looking for a wine to take wine to a dinner party?

Here's where vanity and ego often gets in the way. Some people don't want to be seen to just spend a fiver on a cheap bottle of plonk and some people want to show off by bringing a hugely expensive or old vintage bottle with them. While there is a place at a dinner party for both it may not be the best choice for the occasion. The idea for taking a bottle to a dinner party is that it may be drank at the event and therefore needs to fit in. Bringing a bottle for you host as a gift for another time is a completely different kettle of fish.

Take these things into account when choosing your dinner party wine:

Season and Weather: 

If it's summer then your choice should lighter, a rose or a light refreshing white maybe. If it's snowing and -20 outside something heavier and warming will be needed - a Shiraz maybe. If it's super hot you may want to think about bringing fizz which will have a cooling effect.

Occasion:

If it's just a get together you could experiment with a new wine or even a cocktail mix. Fizz is ALWAYS a good idea - but then I'm female and fizz is a girl's best friend! If it's granny's 80th birthday you may want to keep it more traditional and go for a middle of the road red such as a Merlot. Don't forget the flowers though, grannies always love flowers!

Location:

If it's at the beach you want, again, to keep it light. Heavy reds in hot weather can accentuate the heat. Pinot Noir dies in the heat, save that one for a cooler time. Try a Sauvignon Blanc or pinot grigio - both light, refreshing and easy to drink

People:

If you don't know who's going you'll want to stay in the middle of the road wine wise. Merlot is great as is Valpolicella for an easy drinking, food friendly, middle of the road red. Chardonnay (not the heavy oaky type) and Chenin Blanc are always safe bets for whites.

Avoid holiday wines:

A wine that you taste on holiday often tastes completely different when you get it home. Leave the pineapple wine for another occasion and design a menu around it for more fun.

Budget:

May or may not be a factor for you. Just know that many palates won't appreciate the delicate nuances of really expensive labels so don't waste your money (unless you intend to gift the wine). Keep your spend relative and save the expensive stuff for a special occasion.

Food and Wine 101

Choosing the Food to go with the Wine:

If you have a great bottle or bottles that you want to drink, create a menu around it. It's easy to do but you must know the wine, it's flavours and characteristics before you do. Try your wine before building your menu.

Take these things into account when choosing the Food to go with the Wine:

Opposites attract: 

Sweetness wine and saltiness in food - Sweet and Sour

High Acidity:

If your wine has high acidity you may want to make a dish with equal acidity Don't use too much salt in your dishes, it highlights the acidity

High Tannin:

If you have a wine that has high tannin then try a fatty protein (duck for example) to counter balance it. Keep sauces condensed and well cooked off, too much alcohol highlights the tannin

Heavy wine:

The heavier the wine, the heavier the dish can be. Think components - wild boar is a heavy meat that will stand up to a heavy wine Heavy wines are the perfect partners for meat, roasted or in stews. Use a low tannin wine with light white proteins

Delicate wine:

Choose your cooking method well, delicate food needs delicate cooking. Delicate wine = delicate and simple food Deep fried food can kill a delicate wine's bouquet

Match flavours:

Try to match the flavours in the wine with the flavours in the dishes Smoky foods pair really well with oaky wines Dark berry flavours in the wine, make a sauce with berries in

Food and Wine 101

Choosing the Wine to go with the Food:

It's difficult to find just one wine that pairs with a whole dinner party, it can be done but for the most part you should be looking at 2-3 different wines. It's pretty easy to reverse the logic written above.

Here's some pointers:

Cooking Method:

Can dictate what wine you choose Steaming, poaching, stir-frying = lighter wines Braising, roasting, frying - heavier wines

Dish Make up:

Dish make up can alter what you think will work Weight, intensity, texture, region, ingredients all need to be taken into account Try to find a couple of things to focus on that the wine you choose will pair well with 

Temperature:

The wine's temperature can alter it's profile so decide how you want to drink it Not all wine should be drunk at textbook temperatures

Sauce, Rub, Marinade:

It's one thing to figure out what the main ingredient of the dish is but it's another thing if the sauce, rub or marinade out shines it. Be careful with spicy marinades, spice needs either spicy reds (Shiraz, Malbec) or fruity whites (Gewurtztraminer, Pinot Gris, Riesling) to counteract it. Creamy sauces need creamy wines - full bodied whites 

Balance:

Sweetness in the food needs to be balanced with sweetness in the wine or one will outshine the other.

White Wine with Fish?

Doesn't have to be so. Light wines and fruity wines pair really well with fish, especially oily fish Just be careful with salt and red wine Be careful with oaked wines and salmon or tuna

Don't be afraid:

There's nothing wrong with drinking fizz (especially vintage fizz) with a main course Fizz cuts through the mouth coating effects of eggs Sherries pair really well with Japanese food Sherry (a sweet one) also cuts through the mouth numbing effects of ice cream Try a lightly chilled Pinot Noir with your Chinese next time

Food and Wine 101

As much as I can give pointers on what to do, like I said, there's some basic chemistry you need to be careful of.

Here's a few difficulties with food and wine:

Salt and high tannin - makes food taste saltier Sweet foods with dry wines - wine will taste tart Astringent things - vinegar in salad dressings can make a wine taste astringent Oily, palate altering foods - peanuts, they're a toughie! Heat - wasabi, horseradish, mustard, chilli- will make most red wines seem tannic, try sweeter whites Unami - the newest sense - asparagus, artichoke, tomato, spinach - notoriously hard to pair with. Sauvignon Blanc seems to do ok. Cheese - hard cheese, creamy cheese, blue cheese, rind cheese  - It's really hard to find 1 wine for all. Oaky whites work well

 

This just scratches the surface on Food and Wine Pairing, there's tons to tell and tons to learn. I offer to tailor made Food and Wine Pairing workshops to both private and professional clients either virtually (via Skype) or in person - See SERVICES

Please contact me if you have questions or are interested in learning more.

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When Life Gives You Lemons....

When Life Gives You Lemons....

Life, or more importantly, my garden is giving me lots of fruit at the moment.

For me there's nothing better than bringing the day's bounty into my kitchen and thinking up ways to process it into tasty treats, preserves or base products for a later date.
Once i've thought about what i'm going to make I crack on with the cooking, music turned up, in a happy contented world of my own and oblivious to anything else going on around me. 

One of the problems I end up with is the amount of kitchen gadgets with lots of parts that need washing, drying and re-assembling.
I'm pretty good about mis-en-place (prep) but if I forget something and have use the gadget again then repeat the process of washing up and drying I get a bit pouty - no one likes washing up!

So why do I have so many gadgets that I don't like to use?

 

Are you a kitchen gadget collector?

I am, my kitchen is full of innovative and, at the time, practical gadgets that have been bought over the years, many of which no longer play a part in my day to day kitchen life.
And although they play no part in my day to day life I still have them there, on shelves and in cupboards taking up space that I complain I haven't enough of.
Do I ever liberate them and move them on to people who might appreciate them? Nah, they just get moved to another room for me to look when I go in there.

I'm not talking about kitchen gadgets that are small with cute handles bought for €1 in the cook shop closing down sale.
No, I'm talking about machines, of which I have many.
The ice cream maker, the juicer, the half broken hand blender, the blender....the list goes on and on.

I have to admit that I'm slightly embarrassed by the amount of machines I have cluttering up my cupboards and I take a deep breath every time I see a new one winking at me in the electrical store.
I swear that time will come when I'll use them again but will I?

When Life Gives You Lemons....or Oranges!

I did cave in and finally move the ice cream maker to a new home, well at least it went out of the kitchen and into a box.
The stick blender or the hand blender? 
Well, depends whether it's soup day or Margheritas, so you have to have both in my opinion.

So why do I have so many?
Honestly it mainly comes down to laziness.
You see a gadget that makes things look effortless and you're in hook line and sinker.
Just plug it in, add the ingredients, press the button and hey presto it's done.

Most of them do work like that but what they don't tell you on the tin is that most of them are a pain in the butt to take apart, clean and re-assemble.

Take my centrifugal juicer for example.
Small compact little number, just pop the fruit in the top, push it down and get a great glass of juice the other end.
Reality means you have to peel most fruits (oranges for example) first, and when the job is done you then have to clean not only the clear hard plastic parts but the super fine mesh that acts as the centrifuge part. 
Takes forever, a dishwasher doesn't help and there's always bits left in the mesh.
The result is that my juicer sits in my drawer unused and unwanted.
The juice is a but "fluffy" too, almost like a whipped juice, which I don't like.

The blender, simple, just shove stuff in the top, stick the lid on, press the button and you're set.
Reality, if you don't take it apart properly and clean the rubber seal (including drying it) the thing doesn't last long.
It's work!

When Life Gives You Lemons....

So, you may have figured out that I'm lazy in the kitchen.
Actually I'm not, I'll spend hours preparing a dish and pondering over the details but when it comes to mundane things like blending, blitzing or juicing I need simple.
I don't have the patience for lots of pieces to put together.
I'm busy and I want easy and simple.

I have become prey to kitchen gadget advertizing and I should know better, I am after all a trained chef.
While some gadgets pretend to make life easier, in the long run it's the simple kitchen gadgets that actually do.
The simpler the better and easier to use.

Take for example my Phillips citrus juicer.
Cost next to nothing and has 3 parts to it - the motor/base, the juice bowl and the press.
Cut your orange in half, stick it on the press and press down.
Juice done, orange skins in the compost and the rest washes up super easily. 
Beautiful freshly squeezed orange juice, isn't that the point of juicing?
Why I needed a €70 machine with all sorts of attachments to do the same thing I have no idea.

It's orange season at the moment and sacks of oranges are cheap as chips so my little juicer is out every morning providing a beautiful tasty, and healthy start to the day.
I have no problem pulling the juicer apart and cleaning it because it's so easy but the thought of cleaning the centrifugal juicer just makes me leave it in the cupboard.

As usual, simple is best when it comes to the kitchen whether recipes, ingredients, equipment or gadgets.

When Life Gives You Lemons....or oranges, the best way to get your juice is not necessarily the most expensive!

When Life Gives You Lemons....

So, when it comes to kitchen gadgets, think before you buy.
Ask yourself if this "thing" is really for you and if it is then cool go for it and enjoy it.
If there's doubt, take the time to think before falling prey to consumer advertizing and end up with something that you're only going to use once or twice.

Small, cheap bijoux things, such as the spiral veg cutter I just procured, are fine and don't take up much space.
They are likely to go out of favour as quickly as it took you to decide to buy it in the first place.

But the big things.

Do I really need a soup maker? I have a pressure cooker, I have a beautiful set of Le Creuset saucepans and I have....a blender or two.
Do I really need a deep fat fryer that only uses a tablespoon of oil? I should hope not, that's just the same as sticking it in my beautiful oven and roasting.
Do I really need a bread maker? Gosh no, I live in France where bread is, well, French!

Think!
When Life Gives You Lemons....How is the best way to get what you want from them?

 

 

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Get the Floc out!

Get the Floc out!

Getting the "Floc" out is a common occurrence in the South West of France.
I get the "Floc" out often although I'm pretty sure most French don't snigger like kids when they do, the joke just doesn't seem to grow old with me.
I know, it doesn't take much.

If you're wondering what I'm prattling on about, I'm talking about one of the regional drinks here in SW France, the little known Floc de Gascogne.
 

Why am I writing about it?
Because it's one of those drinks that needs to be talked about and shared.
It's an incredible drink and one which is, sadly, undersold and under exported for many reasons.

One of the reasons is that it's a fortified wine and the demand for fortified wines around the world outside or port or sherry, just isn't there.
Don't be put off by the "fortified" bit, I'll explain that part, just be sure that this drink is awesome!

Every region of France has it's own version of a fortified wine (also called vin de liqueur or mistelle) which is drunk as an aperitif or as a dessert accompaniment.

Cognac has Pineau de Charentes, the Rhône has Rinquinquin, there's Cartagene from the Languedoc and Macvin from the Jura just to name a few.

Mostly though "Floc" is drunk before dinner as an aperitif, often accompanied with tasty treats local to the area and often produced or reared locally. 

"Floc" comes in white, red and rose styles meaning they've got the seasonal changes covered so you can drink it year round - bonus!

Get the Floc out!

So, what is it?

Floc de Gascogne is a bi-product of the Armagnac (brandy) industry here in SW France.
It is (simply put) a base of grape juice to which Armagnac has been added.
Don't be fooled, you hardly taste the Armagnac.

The recipe has been around since the 16th century and it's name is as old as the local language, Occitan, which is still spoken by some older generations.
"Floc" means bouquet of flowers in Occitan and when you smell it that is exactly the aroma you smell.

 

Here's the technical description: 

Just prior to the completion of fermentation, the grape must (juice) is fortified with brandy until the solution reaches an alcohol level of 16%–22%.
The appellation (a set of strict controls to maintain authenticity) states that  there must be 2/3 grape juice and 1/3 brandy both of which must come from the same vineyard.
The resulting wine is left with a high level of residual sugar because most strains of yeast cannot reproduce at such a high alcohol level.
After blending, the Floc is kept for 10 months in the cellar of the producer and must be approved by a committee of experts before it can be sold under the appellation Floc de Gascogne.

Get the Floc out!

Visit any traditional family home in SW France and you most likely will be offered a chilled glass of Floc de Gascogne as an aperitif.
It's a bit of a ritual and there's rarely a fridge without a bottle in it.

The ritual part is typical of the people of the SW who are incredibly proud of their lands and the produce that has been grown or reared on it for centuries.
Not only will a chilled glass of "Floc" be proudly presented but there will also be offerings of local dried ham, nuts, olives and cheese all of which, unsurprisingly, pair incredibly well with it. 

In fact the "Floc" is transformed by the arrival of food, it becomes whole, the flavors rounded and the whole experience turns into a journey of taste sensations.
 

Think almond, jasmine, roses, honey and black fruit from the "Floc" then add to it salty ham or dry goat cheese or juicy ripe melon and you're looking at what I can only describe as complete foodie fulfillment.
"Floc" on it's own is....ok, but "Floc" with food, especially the right (meaning local) food is a different beast.

So, if you're looking for something a bit different that will blow the socks off your guests at a dinner party Get the Floc Out and pair it with some simple and delicious produce.
Believe me, you won't look back. 

No joke, try it you might even like it.

 

A bottle will cost between €7-15 in France and is readily available in many large supermarkets.
I added a couple of links on the right to Floc de Gascogne on Amazon UK where I know you can get it but you will probably have to order it through other wine stores.

"Floc" should be drunk within a year after the production.
Once a bottle is opened, it should be stored for up to three months in the refrigerator - but it won't last that long!

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Grannies Tipple - Sherry

Sherry - Grannies Tipple

Sherry - You all know the name but most of you will never drink it let alone buy it.

It has a stigma, Sherry; Sweet, sticky, associated with grannies at Christmas, and often only thought of as an ingredient in making trifle. Although what’s wrong with sherry trifle!
 

So, what is it about Sherry that has us running for the hills?

Sherry comes from the Jerez region in southern Spain where it has been made for centuries. It is a fortified wine that simply put, is a regular wine base with grape spirit added to it.
There are many different styles available, not all brown, sticky and sweet.
Although there’s a lot more to the whole process than just that simple description, it should suffice for the purpose of this article.

During the 16th century sherry was thought to be the finest wine available in Europe and it’s popularity continued to grow through the following centuries until it’s peak in the 1970’s.
In the 1980’s there was a huge decline in popularity and exports from Spain fell by over a half.
The reason for this decline is unclear but the timeline does coincide with the arrival of cheap and cheerful wines from the USA and Australia.
Coincidence? Who knows?
 


Grannies are associated with sherry much like old ladies are synonymous with gin.
In grannies earlier years it was thought unladylike for a female to drink hard liquor and wine usually came in the form of claret that was drunk in very small amounts at dinner.
Champagne was expensive and there was little alternative outside of port (thought a more manly choice) or sherry.

So, it became acceptable for females to drink a small tipple of sherry for those special occasions.
The glasses were tiny hourglass shaped thimbles and one small shot was nursed for hours as gulping it down would be seen as unladylike.
For years grannies took pride in having a “special” bottle of sherry that they could knock back occasionally because, to them, it was special and sharing it with you was akin to coming of age.
I wonder if they actually liked the taste. I bet some hated it!
 


Maybe sherry has a bad rap because, back in the day, it was most teenager’s first taste of alcohol.
Brought out of grannies cupboard, dusted down and a dribble given to unsuspecting victims who were only allowed because it was a special occasion.
The bottle was then put away to oxidize for another year before being brought out again for the same poor souls to endure.

It’s no wonder no one liked it or has fond memories of their sherry torture.
Nothing like being introduced to alcohol gradually!
Harvey’s Bristol Cream and Croft Original still make me shudder today when I hear the name or see the bottle.

Sherry - Grannies Tipple

However, the popularity of sherry is on the up an up again.

It has always been popular for culinary use but there is a bit of a sherry renaissance among the younger crowd.
Sherry has become a fashionable tipple among those who frequent the new wave of Tapas bars popping up in cities around the world.
Accessibility to Spanish cities such as Barcelona and Madrid is cheaper and easier and world-renowned San Sebastian is the place to go for tapas or Pinchos.

The more you learn about sherry the more you’ll learn that climate and geographical location play a huge part in what sherry actually is and tastes like.

It may be Grannies Tipple but, like most wines both regular and fortified, there are other fantastic examples available, not just the stuff sold in the 70’s.
Knowing what they are and where you can find them is key.

Here’s a short description of the most familiar styles of Sherry:

Fino

Young and old people alike drink this dry, crisp, nutty, yeasty sherry as a start to an evening or aperitif as it’s a perfect preparation of the palate.
Fino is the freshest and most delicate of sherry styles. Made in barrels that have space at the top to allow a layer of yeast (Flor) to grow on top the liquid that stops oxidization (aging with exposure to air).

You definitely have to make an effort when trying for the first time but once you’ve crossed the line you’ll be forever rewarded.

Fino is akin to a dry martini. Served cold in small glasses and served with salty ham, nuts, olives and hard cheeses.

The sherry won’t last too long after opening so better drink the whole thing!

This Fino is a typical good example to try

 

Manzanilla

This is a fino-style sherry with a distinctive salty tang that comes from where it is made, by the sea in Sanlucar de Barrameda.

Dry and pungent but awesome with dried ham and hard cheeses.

Try this Manzanilla

 

Amontillado

An aged Fino that has been allowed to oxidize and therefore has some depth

It is amber-coloured, nutty and complex, with a long finish. 

Try this one - Amontillado

 

Palo Cortado

Half way between Fino and Amontillado, Palo Cortado is a Fino that has lost its flor.

Darker in colour and thicker in viscosity this is nutty, fresh and complex.

A popular style that is great with hard cheeses and blue cheeses.

Try it with a mature cheddar.

This one's worth a go - Palo Cortado

 

Oloroso

Olorosos develop in barrel (without flor) for many years and are dry styles.

Versatile and easy on the palate they are a place where many of us are happier.

They are great with nuts, blue cheeses and likewise a great match with Christmas cake and mince pies with flavours of dried fruit and spice.

Love Oloroso - give this one a test drive!

 

Pedro Ximénez or PX for short

Christmas in a glass!

Made from air-dried grapes, Pedro Ximénez is a great wine and a fantastic port alternative.

Doesn’t pair too well with a lot of cheeses but salty blues are an interesting match.

It is really nice poured over ice cream or for macerating chopped fruit.

Try it, it's worth it! PX

 

Cream

Cream Sherries are more commercial products that have been sweetened by the addition of Moscatel or Pedro Ximénez.

Harvey’s Bristol Cream and Croft Original have been made this way.

 


“Sherry reduces bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol”.

I read that somewhere so it must be true!

So, give these guys a try, they are definitely different and as an underdog lover I’m a fan of them.
Their method of production is an art in itself and the tradition associated with it is enough to make one want to at least give it the benefit of the doubt.
You will be pleasantly surprised.

I will admit, I love sherry and although I am grey (under the hair dye) I am certainly not a granny! I do use it in cooking though – a lot.

Drink This: 

Try this cracking Amontillado - it's pretty special

Amontillado Sherry
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Gin and Old Ladies

Gin and Old Ladies

It is widely assumed that to drink a G&T you have to be over 45 and female and of an emotionally distressed state.

Well, I like a G&T on occasion as do a lot of my friends, although they don’t need an occasion for them to have a few. Admittedly we are all over 45 and female. The emotionally distressed state goes with the territory.

 

So, what is it with gin and old ladies? 

Here’s what I think but with a bit of history thrown in:

 

Historically gin was drunk for medicinal purposes during times of the Black Death. 

 

During the "Eighty Years War" Dutch troops drank the spirit Genever (the predecessor to Gin) before going into battle. The English adopted this practice and coined the phrase “Dutch Courage”.

 

Gin became available to the poor, cheaply and in large quantities during an era called the “Gin craze” way back in the early 1700’s. This led to a rise in crime and, in the case of women, promiscuity. It was in this time that the phrase “Mother’s Ruin” was coined and gin became synonymous with women.

 

In the mid 1700’s the “Gin Act” was formed in the UK and a tax on gin created. Women who wanted to keep a good reputation stopped drinking it, a lot of others didn’t!

 

Much later during the cocktail era of the roaring 20’s, gin gave sex appeal to women in high heels and cocktail dresses. The Gin Martini was created, the original Martini without Vodka.

 

In the USA alcohol was outlawed during Prohibition in the 20’s. Gin was easily made by Bootleggers who added juniper juice (the major flavour in gin) to grain alcohol. The bottles used for the liquor were too tall to be topped off with water from the sink tap so the bath tap was used and the term “bathtub gin” was formed.

 

In certain countries gin is known as a “panty remover”. There is also a myth that gin tends to make women cry. Both of these statements are unfounded from my personal experiences. Maybe I haven’t been to the right countries!

 

As far as the “Old Lady” bit goes; gin on it’s own has become known as a “grown up” drink mainly due to the taste which, depending on the gin, can be dry and bitter. Younger, less defined palates, prefer a sweeter taste to bitter and as a rule the older you get, the more your palate can handle. So, it makes sense that older people would appreciate it. 

Gin has also been out of fashion; it simply hasn’t been something that the younger generation have been exposed to.

As for women drinking gin, despite its bitterness, gin is a fairly light drink and that appeals to most females. Most men prefer to drink something with a bit more body and bite: beer, whisky etc. That being said, I know plenty of men who are partial to a G&T on a hot summer’s day and likewise women who like whisky and beer.

 

Today the beverage industry, looking for a new direction after the alcopop (flavoured alcoholic beverage) craze of the mid 1990’s, has liquor store shelves stocked with new gin labels each proffering different tastes, flavours, infusions and “botanicals” (new buzzword). 

A result of this is has been a resurrection of the popularity of gin with gin clubs and gin palaces making their way back onto the scene in cities across the world. 

 

Here’s a couple of places worth a visit if you’re nearby:

http://thelondonginclub.com

http://bathtubginnyc.comhttp://thelondonginclub.com

My 79 year, old mother-in-law is staying with us right now, and every evening before dinner she is happily attached to a Gin and Dubonnet, known as "The Queens Drink" because HR likes the same tipple. 

 

With gin in hand, life doesn’t get much better for this “old lady”, and I can’t argue with that!

 

Gin and Old Ladies
Drink This: 

Bathtub Gin - try it, you might like it......even if you're not old!

Bathtub Gin
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