Cocktails with… Pinckney Bend Gin – From Missouri, USA

The general interest in American Gin has been gradually building, with at least a dozen new gins released in the USA in last 12 months and plenty more preparing to be released this year. Gin distillation is also spreading out from the traditional centres, such as California, Oregon and Colorado; today’s gin comes from the heartland of America, Missouri. In particular, New Haven, which is about 60 miles due west of the Gateway to the West (St. Louis).

Pinckney Bend is the namesake of a bend in the Mississippi River that was a notorious navigational hazard to ships on the river; a settlement sprung up at that geographical point, but has since been abandoned. The finer details of the story can be found here.

The area has been associated with quality distilled spirits since 1806, when the explorers Lewis & Clark visited the area.

Nose: Strong, sweet juniper and a hint of dark chocolate.
Taste: Smooth initially, with a building, peppery warmth, notes of juniper and spicy coriander, as well as some citrus and a strong, spicy, black pepper element towards the end.

Gin & Tonic
This was quite a sweet Gin & Tonic and, as such, serving it ice cold was the key to making it a good drink. When cold, it was very clean, with piney juniper and then some more mellow, more rounded herbal and citrus notes. It also mellows with time.

Quite sweet for a Martini, but with a nice dose of juniper, some floral notes and a hint of crispness at the end. A slight hint of vanilla lifted the cocktail at the start and a tiny hint of bitterness – something like gentian or dark chocolate – came in at the end. Altogether, rather good.

This made a crisp Negroni; some of the gin came through, although you can’t fully appreciate its finer qualities. Very smooth, the balance of sweet versus bitter definitely sides with the sugar.

Gin Buck
Clean and very refreshing, with an excellent mix of light sweetness and zingy citrus. The gin is a little hidden by the ginger ale and lemon juice, but, other than that, it is a good drink overall.

Sweet Martini
Really superb; a great mix of juniper, floral and herbal notes, with just a touch of sweetness. Brilliant balance. A really good drink.

Clean, crisp and quite pleasant; the flavours of the gin’s botanicals seemed to work well with the sugar and citrus. Unassuming, but of sound quality.

Fruit Cup
The Pinckney Bend produced a Fruit Cup with strong juniper notes, a hint of salt and a good dose of citrus. Overall, it worked well and was very refreshing. Very good indeed.

In Conclusion
Pinckney Bend is another example of the excellent quality of craft spirits, in particular gin, coming out of the USA. There’s no doubt in my mind that my favourite drink was the interesting and refreshing Fruit Cup.

Special thanks to Mike and Ralph for their help with getting me the sample of this lovely gin.