Seva’s Seagrams Sunday RETURNS! With Seagram’s Pineapple Twisted Gin

So, it’s back! After a brief hiatus, Seagram’s Sunday has returned, thanks to my dear firend in New Jersey, Seva, sending me Segaram’s Twisted Pineapple Gin in a recent care package. Pineapple Gin used to be all the rage but has since fell upon hard times and, as such it featured in our Raiders of the Lost Cocktail Cabinet.

On its own
Nose: Pineapple chunks and a touch of sherbet, with hints of apricot and peach, too. At the end, there’s just a touch of nail polish.
Taste: Pineapple initially, followed by a distinct sweetness and a touch of alcohol. In the middle, the gin appears, fresh and bitter, before a finish of fleshy, juicy fruit.

Gin & Tonic
Not too bad a drink: pineapple comes through quite strongly, tasting like pineapple chunks sweets. Quite nice, really; this tastes – as you would expect – like a pineapple Gin & Tonic. This suggests that it would work very well in other long drinks.

Martini
This has a scent of juicy pineapple. An initial sweetness, very much like that of pineapple cubes, is followed by an odd, oily alcohol, before finishing with tinned pineapple fruit. There’s some dryness in the middle. This is quite a sweet Martini, but is exactly what you would expected from a pineapple gin Martini and not bad at all.

Negroni
Wow! What an awful clash of flavours. I had high hopes for this (Hoxton makes a lovely, if unconventional, Negroni), but this has a mix of flavours with no balance and a horrible, sickly finish.

In Conclusion
I was pleasantly surprised by this pineapple gin, although the Negroni was a disappointment. Having made my own pineapple gin previously, I think that Seagram’s Twisted Pineapple is a good, and far more convenient, alternative to making your own. It has a lot of potential with a lot of appeal in long, mixed drinks with mixers such a lemonade, orange juice and soda water. My favourite drink was the Gin & Tonic.

Seagram’s Sunday – Gin N Juice – Lemon Berry Blaze

So far in Seagram’s Sunday we have looked at their flavoured gins and their cask-rested gins; now we move on to a third category of their gin products: Gin & Juice. These are ready-to-serve drinks that contain a combination of gin and fruit juice and have been produced since 1995.

1995 – Lemon Splash (later renamed Original Citrus)
1999 – Blue Beast (natural berry & ginseng)
2003 – Ruby Red Grapefruit
2004 – Green Dragon (kiwi, strawberry & ginseng)
2005 – Red Fury (tropical fruit & ginseng)
2006 – Purple Rage (grape juice & ginseng)
2007 – Tropical Thunder (mango & ginseng)
2008 – Lemon-Berry Blaze (berry lemonade)

Today’s article features the newest of these flavours, Lemon Berry Blaze. This is bottled at 17.5% ABV and is described as:

“A delicious blend of Seagram’s Gin, Lemon and Berry Juices, Natural flavours, Ginseng, Certified Color (sic), and FO#C Yellow#5.”

The Taste

Colour: Glowing turquoise.
Nose: Confectionery; specifically, fizzy strawberry laces.
Taste: Initially sweet, then the gin comes into play, but unfortunately, not for very long. This is really rather odd, being quite musky and chalky, followed by a hit of what seems like floor cleaner!

Given such an adverse initial reaction, I added some ice and left it for a minute to see if it would improve…

I quite like the nose and, after a bit of time, the drink becomes more palatable, but it still reminds me of a below-average alcopop.

Seagram’s Sunday – Seagram’s Distillers Reserve

Introduced in 2006 and bottled at 51% ABV, Seagram’s Distillers Reserve is a blend of the best batches of Seagram’s Extra Dry, post-mellowing and bottled at cask-strength.

Colour: Very light, straw yellow.
Nose: The nose seems less intense than the original, with some juniper and citrus.
Taste: Firstly, the texture is quite different: viscous, silky and smooth. Most of the panel agreed that this was unusually smooth for a gin at 51% ABV. As well as juniper, there was sweet liquorice, floral and citrus flavours.

Although other Seagram’s gins are aged for the same period of time, the oak notes were far more pronounced in this version. The oaky flavour became even more pronounced when a drop of water was added to gin.


Gin & Tonic
A very fresh and crisp Gin & Tonic, with good levels of juniper and citrus with a well-rounded finish courtesy of the cask-resting. Very good.

Martini
This was a strong and bold Martini: it’s a bit spicy with some nice vanilla and woody elements. Very satisfying, with just a hint of anise at the end.

Negroni
A rather tasty drink: intensely bitter-sweet, with powerful juniper flavours and a creamy, oak finish. Delicious.

In Conclusion
I think that the basic Seagram’s is a decent gin, but the Reserve is even better: it has a good balance, a strength that makes it extremely mixable, and the process of cask-resting really makes a difference to the spirit,  making it a yellow gin and something of a rare species.

Seagram’s Sunday – Seagram’s Orange Twisted Gin

Released in 2007, Seagram’s Twisted Orange follows in the footsteps of a long history of products which pair gin and orange. Early orange gins tended to be like a cordial in style; that is, they were sweeter and of a lower ABV – almost liqueur-like. Some modern orange gins, such as the 1990s offering from Beefeater, were simply flavoured gin, being unsweetened, clear in colour and bottled at the usual 40% ABV.

On its own:
Nose: Not a very strong nose; mostly orange.
Taste: Very, very orangey, but the flavour reminds me of Calpol, being more of an artificial, orange oil flavour. Strong, but bitter.

Gin & Tonic
Again, the orange flavour was strong, but rather medicinal and slightly bitter. Overall, this drink still tasted rather artificial, like bitter orange oils, and I would have vastly preferred a much fresher flavour.

Martini
As you would expect, this makes a Martini that’s heavy on the orange notes, but I found that those dry orange notes do work well with the vermouth in this drink. Definitely the best way to drink this that I’ve tried so far, and the more I drink, the more I like it.

Negroni
Orange and Negronis are a naturally good match, but this drink was a bit juicier than a plain gin Negroni using an orange twist, tasting more like it contains a splash of orange juice. This was different, but pleasant to drink, with the strong bittersweet notes that you would expect from a Negroni.

In Conclusion
As the Seagram’s flavoured gins go, this is one of the weaker ones; the orange flavours are a bit artificial. I’m not, personally, a fan of orange flavoured white spirits, mainly because you can get a fuller, more pleasant orange flavour into a cocktail by a host of other means.

My favourite drink was the Negroni.

Seagram’s Sunday – Seagram’s Lime Twisted Gin

For the third installment of Seagram’s Sunday, the focus is on a Twisted gin of a flavour more commonly associated with the spirit: lime. Often found garnishing Gin & Tonics, lime can often be found in flavoured gins, with Beefeater making one in the 1990s.

1) Own
Nose: Simple, straight-forward, zesty lime.
Taste: Quite strong on the spirit, but not too many of the gin notes come through. Fortunately, though, there is a fair bit of lime, too, which is zesty and fresh. This reminded me somewhat of a creamy key lime pie.

2) Gin & Tonic
Very lively, like a Gin & Tonic with added Rose’s Lime cordial. I thought this was quite nice, authentic and not very artificial, making it a good variation on a classic drink. Very tasty.

3) Martini
This reminds me of a Key Lime Martini or a cross between a Martini and Gimlet; either way, I am rather fond of it. There were strong notes of lime, juniper and a touch of cream. I’d certainly have this again.

4) Negroni
A pretty standard, classic Martini. Funnily enough, the lime didn’t come through very much and added very little to the drink. That said, it wasn’t bad at all.

Seagram’s Sunday – Seagram’s Apple Twisted Gin

This is the first of nine installments where I will be featuring products from Seagram’s Gin. Before we crack on, I need to offer my profound thanks to Seva in the US for sending me a rather lovely selection of these gins, as well as a number of other interesting products; this series of articles is dedicated to him.

 

Released in 2007, Seagram’s Twisted Apple is part of the company’s fruit-flavoured gin range, which also includes gins with flavours of: orange, lime, raspberry and purple grape. Flavoured gins used to be all the rage, starting off with cordial gins in the 1930s and moving on to more contemporary flavoured dry gins in the 1980s and ‘90s. In days gone by, almost all of the big names, including Gordons, Beefeater and Plymouth, all made flavoured gins.

Apple Gin, interestingly enough, was once very popular in England and Scotland. I looked at recreating it and some cocktails here. As such, I was intrigued to try Seagram’s Twisted Apple; here are my thoughts.

On its own:
Nose: Strong apple, followed by a little almond. It seems a touch sour.
Taste: Initially, there was the flavour of slightly oxidised, cut apple, then some vanilla, although the flavour seems rather artificial; in my opinion, it needs to be fuller and more genuine. The gin is quite sweet with a particular note of sweetness at the end.

Gin & Tonic
Juicy apple flavours make themselves known from the outset, along with a touch of almond bitterness. This reminded me of Appletizer or Apple Tango (apple soda). Although this was far from a “classic” Gin & Tonic, I found it to be a refreshing drink that was quite tasty.

Martini
Very flavourful: apples, vanilla, almond and even a hint of coconut! As fruit martinis go, this was quite good; the vermouth brought out some complexity in the spirit, including more notes of  spiced apple. A fair drink, but not one for the traditionalists.

Negroni
Like the other cocktails, this had a strong apple nose. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this cocktail, but I thought it was really quite good, being bittersweet, with an overlay of juicy apple flavour. A genuine surprise, but a very pleasant one, indeed.

In Conclusion
I was more impressed with Seagram’s Twisted Apple Gin than I had anticipated myself being (I think their apple vodka is pretty horrible) and, although it needs to mixed to bring out it’s best qualities, I think that some drinks, like the Negroni, I’d very happily mix and drink again.