1 oz Dry Fly gin
1 oz Pink Lady apple juice
seltzer water or club soda
Stir all ingredients in a glass with ice. Enjoy.
A Bit About Gin
Gin is good stuff. It is essentially a grain alcohol that has been infused with tasty botanicals. The gin most of us are familiar with is a London Dry gin, which has a predominant flavor of juniper berries (hence that feeling like your mouth has just taken a walk in the forest). Popular brands such as Tanqueray and Bombay would be considered a London Dry Gin. Genever (a dutch gin) is a combination of a grain alcohol with a maltwine. 12 Bottle Bar describes: “ Imagine a marriage of juniper-based neutral spirit and maltwine, which has a whiskey-like quality, and you’re getting the idea.” But I digress.
New American Gin
New American Gins are what Drink Spirits calls the “jazz of the gin world,” playing wildly against the backbone of the more traditional flavor profiles of the London Dry. Ladies and gentlemen, this this where the fun is.
I haven’t tried a large variety of New American Gins, but my first taste of the type (which is what they refer to as a New Western Dry) was a real doozy: Aviation. Good lawd, that is some good shit. It maintains the piney, citrusy notes of a typical gin, but the lingering flavor is lavender. LAVENDER. I want you to try this even if you think you aren’t a fan of gin. Go on. I’ll wait.
Dry Fly Gin
Because I was such a fan of Aviation, I thought that perhaps I would be a fan of Dry Fly: A gin distilled right here in Washington. I made myself a dirty martini with it and sat back to enjoy my latest find.
BLECH. What IS this stuff? I went back to the bottle and read about the Washington wheat used to make the grain alcohol (awesome), and then found the botanicals: Juniper, coriander, lavender, mint, dried Fuji apples, and hops. No wonder! I tried it again over ice with club soda, and it still wasn’t working for me. Something wasn’t quite right.
But that doesn’t mean I was gonna waste that bottle.
I kept thinking of the botanicals that really seemed to stand out to my palette: Apple and hops. I couldn’t quite move past those, so I decided to work with them. We had a bottle of delicious Pink Lady apple juice in our cupboard that I decided could be a nice compliment to this gin. I mixed equal parts Pink Lady juice and Dry Fly gin over rocks and topped it with a touch of seltzer water.
Success! I’m still not totally in love with this gin, but I’ve found a way forward with it. I like this cocktails freshness: The apple flavor is really light and sweet, and the hop and mint flavors are so subtle in the background. If you give it a try, won’t you tell me what you think?
Have you tried Dry Fly gin? What’s your favorite way to use it?
A bit about the name: Aplets and Cotlets are fruit candy made here in Washington (made of apples and apricots, respectively) that I had never heard of before moving here. I ventured to the east side of the state for a conference and saw signs for them everywhere. They’re like little cubes of fruit jelly with nuts, dusted with powdered sugar. This drink– made with Washington gin and Washington apple juice– seemed like a nice homage to the tasty, funky little treats that share its name.