Cocktails with… Leopold’s Gin – From Colorado USA

Leopold’s Gin is made at a small batch distillery in Denver Colorado, USA. Produced since 2002, each bottle is hand-bottled, hand-labeled and numbered.Leopold’s contains 6 botanicals, each of which is distilled separately before all being blended together to create the gin.Juniper
Coriander
Orange*
Orris Root
Cardamon
Pomelo**

The botanicals are used in this way because Leopold’s believe it to be a better way of extracting the best flavour. They suggest that, as different botanicals have different boiling points, placing them all in the still at the same time can lead to some being over-boiled, affecting the flavour; blending separate distillates helps to mitigate this.
1) Own
Nose: Very fresh, with some leafy notes akin to fleshy vegetables like cucumber. Floral and dusky herbs, too.
Taste: Again, this was quite floral, with a hint of fresh salad and herbs. Slightly sweet, but with a dry edge from the pine-y juniper, this reminded me of some of the Eastern European Gins, such as Russian Veresk and the Czech Rudolf Jelinek.2) Gin & Tonic
This was very dry and very herbal, once again reminding of gins from Eastern Europe. Being quite earthy, it reminded me of the forest. It was much lower on the citrus and not so crisp as other G&Ts, but good nonetheless.

3) Martini
Lovely; really crisp and clean. Quite savoury, with some great pine and herbal notes, but not much citrus. A bit different and a really nice change.

4) Negroni
Soft and sweet, with hints of spice. There were some crisp, leafy notes a bit like cucumber, too. I thought this was quite fresh for a Negroni, with a moderate level of bitterness.

5) Alexander
Very flavourful and rich, but not over-indulgent. Certainly an after-dinner desert drink, but a very pleasant one at that. Clean, creamy and chocolatey, with the gin giving it a pleasant, dry finish.

6) Hot Toddy
Very herbal, floral with hints of cloves and lavender and particularly strong notes of pine. I think this would work even better with honey, as opposed to sugar syrup.

7) Snowdrop (Invented by F. Benniman)
[40ml Gin, 20ml Lemon Juice, 10ml Triple Sec, 10ml Maraschino – SHAKE]
Tart and dry, with a minimal level of sweetness that was only really coming from the Maraschino at the end. There were also a good array of herbal notes. This was a bracing drink, but wasn’t that refreshing; unless you like sour drinks***, I’d avoid this.

8) Martinez
Full of sweet citrus and herbal notes. These herbal elements from the gin go well with the sweet vermouth, creating a simple drink with a balanced flavour and a very pleasant finish.

In Conclusion
I think Leopold’s is a welcome departure from the plethora of London Dry Gins currently on the market. Whilst keeping juniper/pine flavours in their proper place, the other herbal notes that come through give the gin a character similar to those of Studer, Veresk and Rudolf Jelinek.

I thought the cocktails that best presented this character were the Martinez and Martini; they were easily my favourites.

Martini Gadget #5 – Martini Oil Can

After the balancing act of the Martini Scales, this article will go back to a gadget that is designed to dispense minimal amounts of vermouth.

The Martini Oil Can, a kind of dropper or dribbler. This was created by Tiffany & Co, the American Jeweller founded in 1837 and famously associated with the first meal of the day. The oil can is about 1 1/2 inches diameter at the base, it is about 3 inches high and made of solid sterling silver.

The spout of the dropper detaches and the base of the can is filled with Vermouth and there is a cork seal between the base and the spout. At the tip of the spout itself is a tiny pin-prick of a hole that allows the vermouth to dribble out of.

Does it work?

I filled the Martini Oil Can with Dolin Vermouth and prepared my mixing glass and ice. I decided to use Leopold’s Gin and about 5 seconds worth of dribbling for 30ml of Gin.

A crisp Martini that is also quite flavourful. The dribble does allow you to minutely control the amount of vermouth you add to the mix. The downside is that if you fill the oil can too much, no Vermouth will come out, so a bit of playing around is needed to find a workable level. The capacity is quite small (around 30ml/1oz) so if you were making a lot of drinks you’d have to fill it up quite often.