A Bit About Gin

I love a good Gin and Tonic in the summer. If I could, I would spend every summer evening sitting on the patio sipping a G and T while laughing with friends. Unfortunately, I can't do that because we don't always have the time and I have a deep appreciation of my healthy liver. I am rather haughty about many of my beverages. I have strong opinions about beer and wine but I am a tiny bit indiscriminate with my hard liquor. I mean...I don't drink Wild Turkey anymore (hey - a rugby player will drink what's handed to her)...but I just don't know much about The Spirits. So, when making Gin and Tonics, we use Gordon's and I've never taken the time to try out other types of gin. Okay, I never realized that they have different tastes and all that until now.

On Friday, I was getting in the car to drive to Des Moines when a FedEx truck pulled up to my house and a guy got out with a big box and headed towards my door. I jumped out of the car and ran to the house in time to claim the package. When I opened it up, there was a bottle of Desert Juniper Gin sent by our friend (and frequent blog commenter), Kelly. That's right! She sent me gin...via FedEx...which is pretty darn awesome. Here is what it says on the bottle:

Desert Juniper Gin is micro-distilled from 100% natural grains, fresh Northwest botanicals and wild hand-picked juniper berries. Using pure Oregon mountain spring water and filtered through crushed volcanic lava rock, Desert Juniper Gin produces an extraordinary gin experience.  Unlike most imported, commercially-made spirits, Desert Juniper uses no chemical additives or aromatic fragrances.  The result is a unique, full-flavored, hand crafted gin like no other in the world.

Now, doesn't that sound absolutely delicious? Who wouldn't want an "extraordinary gin experience"? Everyone wants one except the non-drinkers among us and those of you who invited high school friends over when your mother was out playing bridge and then you got into the liquor cabinet and ruled out rum because it made you think of pirates and then drank a big bottle of gin because you thought it sounded more sophisticated only to realize that vomiting up gin and Doritos is really not sophisticated at all. Anyway, I was excited to try this fancy alcohol and we made plans to share it with our friends Kris and Kristen because 1)We met Kelly and her partner Dolores through them and 2)They appreciate a good Gin and Tonic. So, we went over to Kris and Kristen's house late Tuesday night to have a drink and I took the camera to document the occasion.

Fancy Fixin's

G and T's

Kris and Luisa

Vikki and Kristen
Vikki and Kristen


What's the verdict? Well, we could all taste the juniper berries for sure and the taste was exactly like you walked out to your evergreen and plucked off those little blue/gray/green balls and popped them in your mouth. The taste was that precise. I'm sure that speaks to the hand-crafted nature of the gin. I'll be honest...it was kinda weird but it was also fascinating. We then tried sipping it and then I breathed fire out of my nose because 82 proof is a whole lotta proof. We spent the evening chatting and talking about this "Juniper Flavored Gin" without realizing that all gin is actually made of juniper berries. Apparently, everyone knew this but us.

I was very touched that Kelly sent me this bottle of fine liquor not only because it was thoughtful and generous but also because she and her family are going through a rough time right now. Her story is not mine to tell but I will say that she is having some health problems and could use good thoughts (and prayers, if you are the praying kind) right now so send some her way if you can. And Kelly, if you are reading this (and I'm pretty sure you are), I want you to know that we drank to your health my friend. Salut!