Posts Tagged ‘spirits’

Proof I purchased the article.

Proof I purchased the article.

I’ve had this 4 year old Washington Post article on my desk forever, and dug down to it while clearing some space (my desk at home is an endless queue of things to read).  I’ve mentioned Jason Wilson twice before both in reference to rum, and this article is about a perfect Gin & Tonic.  G&T used to be one of my regulars, but I tired of it a long time ago and replaced it with the straight up Martini as the preferred way to enjoy gin.

But, this article brought me back.  I have tried both the Q Tonic and the Fever Tree versions of tonic water, and it immediately brings the gin & tonic into a more complex and sophisticated taste.  Enjoyable when watching the sun go down after a summer day, and a great pre-meal cocktail for dining.

Exploring all the exotic spice tonics the article discusses seems a bit out of reach.  I recently tried aged gins which are a bit of a trend lately, but felt aging gin in barrels changed the taste of the gin into something that was unrecognizable.  I would guess that wildly different tonics would strike me the same way.  But, I’ve always been a fan of Jason’s writing and what I’ve explored based on that has not disappointed, so I’ll keep an eye out when traveling to try something new.

Unrelated; we’ve tried the Q Tonic Ginger Beer trying to make a “Dark & Stormy” (unsuccessfully, for some reason).  The Ginger Beer (think “Ginger Ale”, not beer infused with ginger) is a real punch in the face of ginger.  Crazy.  You should try it if you like “spicy”.

Jason Wilson listed suggestions for four flights of rum for tasting.  It’s not easy to collect them in Montgomery County, but I’ll give it a shot.  Here’s the short version of the list:

Flight 1- “White” slightly aged then filters

  • El Dorado, 3 year old
  • Banks 5 Island

Flight 2 – From French speaking islands:

  • Rhum Clement V.S.O.P.
  • Rhum Barbancourt, 8 yrs old

Flight 3 – Late Middle Age

  • El Dorado, 12 year old
  • Appleton Estate, 12 year old

Flight 4 – Well aged

  • Rhum Barbancourt Reserve, 15 year old
  • Flor de Cana Centenario, 18 year old

Please read the original article.  Filled with great detail on the selections as well as how to conduct the tasting.

Free Cuba

Author: Lyle

I’m a big fan of Jason Wilson’s regular column on spirits in the Washington Post.  Really, really great history, solid writing, and a fan of gin.  He had a great column on the Cuba Libre, which is not only so much more than rum & Coke, but surprisingly has gin in it and is also a good reason to purchase Arigostura bitters.  If you follow the recipe, you may see the inspiration for spiced rum products.


  • 1/2 to 1 lime
  • Ice cubes
  • 2 ounces rum, preferably gold or dark (I used Bacardi black label)
  • 1/2 ounce gin (he says option, I say not.  I used Beefeaters)
  • Coca-Cola, chilled
  • 2 dashes Arigostura bitters

Squeeze the lime into a Collins glass, drop in the lime rind.  Add 3 or 4 cubes.  Add rum and gin, then fill with Coca-Cola.  Add bitters and stir.  Note, I’ve switched to the “Mexican Coca-Cola” (real Coke, but manufactured in Mexico and not the US).  Made with cane sugar and not corn syrup, and there’s no comparison.  A nostalgia trip back to 9 ounce glass Coke bottles pulled from the narrow door of a vending machine.  We find Mexico Coke in singles and 6 packs at Giant Food, and by the case at Costco.

You can find out about Jason Wilson at