“The proper union of gin and vermouth is a great and sudden glory; it is one of the happiest marriages on earth, and one of the shortest lived.”--Bernard De Voto
There's a new premium gin in town, but for now, you'll only find it at a select few NYC bars. All three Bar & Books (Hudson, Lexington, and Beekman) plus Double Crown are now carrying Oxley Gin from the makers of Bacardi and Bombay Sapphire. A limited-batch London Dry Gin (although the label says "Classic English Dry Gin"), the 47% abv gin is made in the Thames Distillery in Clapham, London, and uses sub-zero temperatures to preserve the natural essences of its 14 different botanical ingredients. It's the first cold-distilled spirit.
Macerated grains are spooned by hand into a kettle, but instead of being heated, the alcohol is made to vaporize at -5ºC by a vacuum that removes pressure within the still. The vapor then passes through a colder probe at -100ºC, where it turns back into a liquid. Only 240 bottles are being produced per day, four days per week, and each bottle includes a batch number and comes with a galvanized tin bucket.
I was fortunate to try Oxley on its own and as a martini at Beekman Bar & Books last night, and it's really a lovely spirit with a mild juniper and grapefruit bouquet that finishes smooth. In a martini, Oxley is an excellent choice--just a dash of sweet vermouth, a twist of lemon or grapefruit, and all will be right in no time. Oxley launched in L.A. in June where it's retailing for $53.99, so I'm not sure whether I missed the NYC launch or it hasn't happened yet. Either way, stay tuned, and I hope you get to try this unique spirit soon!