Monday, May 16, 2011

Cocktail Wednesdays: The Sling

The Gin Sling

Tonight, we tried The Sling, using gin. According to what we've learned about the history of mixed drinks, The Sling is the pre-cursor to The Cocktail, the source of the toddy, and to a certain extent, the source of the alcoholic julep as well. Now, the 12BottleBar guys say it isn't a very interesting drink, which doesn't add much to the spirit, but that seemed like a perfect combination for trying the new gin that Scott picked up the other day. The Sling was just a bit sweeter and weaker than the gin.

The recipe:
1 tsp Sugar
1 oz Water
2 oz Spirit

A lump of Ice

The gin is from Michigan Spirits in Webberville, which is associated with Michigan Brewing Co. Given the packaging, I have to assume that the neutral spirit is their vodka from grain also grown in Michigan. Legal distilling in Michigan is very new, given that Public Act 218 of 2008 is what legalized small distillery licensing, attempting to promote local artisanal spirits. Brewing has been going strong in Michigan for a while now, and there are many good beers, as well as meads and ciders, from Bell's to J.K.'s Scrumpy and everything in between. We usually buy our beer from Michigan breweries, but we didn't have great expectations from this gin, given that the tradition of distilling is so short and, well, the fact that the label on the bottle was clearly made for vodka, and they just added a printed label from the office supplies on top that says, "GIN". I assume that it is distilled gin, not compound gin, which is simply infused or flavored and not redistilled, but there is nothing to indicate which is the case.

The verdict: At any rate, we were pleasantly surprised. The gin wasn't very complex, but it was certainly better than we were expecting. It is admittedly possible that the Sling flattened the gin out, though I think it probably just sweetened it and weakened it. Not a very interesting mixed drink in itself, but certainly easy-drinking. Given that many people feel overpowered by the flavor of gin, this could be a way for them to approach the flavors more easily.

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