Last Tuesday, I received a copy of “GIN: A Global History” by Lesley Jacobs Solmonson. Despite this being an enjoyable read that was easy to dip in and out of, I quickly found myself distracted by the mention of a new (old) flavoured gin product: Maple Gin.
Produced around 1900 by the Buffalo Distilling Co. of Buffalo, New York state, it is described as:
“The Woman’s Friend”
Amongst its other many virtues, it is advertised that is will:
“prove a boon to every woman and a pleasant at all times.”
After reading this, I hot-footed it to the lab and set about making a recreation, Within two minutes, I had success; it turns out that Maple Gin is exceptionally easy to make. I simply added Canadain Maple Syrup to a good, flavourful London Dry Gin (Broker’s), using a 10:1 Gin:Maple ratio, and gave it a shake.
Nose: Maybe predictably, juniper and maple.
Taste: This was very smooth, but quite sweet. There was an initial hit of maple syrup, then juniper and citrus follow. The finish had a delicious hint of pecans. This was very much like a liqueur or gin cordial in style.
When the liquor was at a low temperature, the flavour of the gin came through more and the maple sweetness was more restrained. This was my favourite way to drink the Maple Gin; it really is a top-notch gin liqueur.
Gin & Tonic
Odd and somewhat ghastly: bittersweet, with a real clash of flavours. Not recommended.
This was an interesting concoction, with the sweet gin and dry vermouth playing off against one another well. Using a nutty sherry rather than vermouth would, I think, work even better.
Given the sweetness of the gin, I found that no extra sugar was needed. The pecan-maple flavours were more subtle in this drink, coming through as a gentle and delicious finish.
This was a sweet and rich drink, almost like a Martini liqueur. The two ingredients work well together. One for the sweet-toothed Martini fans.
I decided to use Mozart Dry Chocolate Liqueur for fear that mixing with Creme de Cacao would result in an all too sickly drink. The result was a delicious chocolatey, nutty drink with a hint of maple syrup and a rich complexity. Most certainly a dessert cocktail.
An interesting choice with some sweet and dry notes. I also agree with other peoples views that it a bit like a Maple Milkshake although my choice of gin was quite dry and so it is not quite so thick sweet and creamy.
Of all of the flavoured gins that I have made, this was both the simplest to make and the tastiest; easily my favourite and I’ve already made a second batch!