Did you ever ponder the existential question about what makes a good gin?
Ian Hunt has, in fact, the Cambridge and Berkeley educated distiller vacuum distills several thousand bottles of this hooch in his Highgate, North London basement every year, and sells in under the label, Sacred, for around $40. They are about to enter the US market with a new Vermouth, so Hunt and his team were in town last week.
I met them at Southern Wine and Spirits, during a seminar organized by USBG (that’s the United States Bartender’s Guild to you, pally) Chapter President, Armando Rosario. Hunt first explained micro-distillation, and then he gave us 11 botanicals to blend into a grain spirit made from wheat. It was fascinating fun, and we got to drink several martinis to boot. Sacred also markets kits so you can blend your own gin at home.
Gin begins with juniper. Leave it out, and add, perhaps, a citrus blend, and you’ve got a Dry Vodka, which Sacred also happens to produce. But a good gin also contains spirits infused with botanicals such as cassia bark, for sweetness, angelica root, green pods of cardamom, pink grapefruit, coriander seed, nutmeg and star anise, among others.
Orris root and licorice are also common. What Hunt did was give us small thimbles of these botanicals, have us sniff and identify them, and then blend a gin according to our liking. One can use them all, only a few, and even nothing more than juniper and citrus. The permutations are seemingly endless.
Sacred Gin is made from a secret recipe, is 43.8 Proof, and wickedly bracing and quite habit forming. Luckily for us, there was no wormwood around, or we could have gone to hell in a handbasket, a la Verlaine and Rimbaud.
Look for Sacred Gin at Khoury’s, Lee’s Discount, and other local wine and spirit shops.
Unicahome.com was founded in 1998 by Hugh and Bonnie Fogel. Featuring over 65,000 products, Unicahome.com is a complete lifestyle store for home, office and contract use featuring Bridal Registry, Furniture, Lighting, Accessories, Barware, Food and Great Gifts from noted designers and top brands sourced worldwide. Our 18,000 square foot store is located in Las Vegas, Nevada, just minutes away from the world famous Las Vegas Strip. We hope you enjoyed your visit to Unicaworld!