UK’s Cold-Distilled Oxley Gin Hits NYC

The first cold-distilled spirit

The first cold-distilled spirit

“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!

Dizzy Recap: Nirvino & Bols Genever

Bols Genever, Dutch grain spirit. All photos by Leo Borovskiy of Lush Life Productions.

Bols Genever, Dutch grain spirit. All photos by Leo Borovskiy of Lush Life Productions.

Earlier this week, Nirvino, a social networking site (and mobile application) that encourages users to recommend and review drinks, hosted a Bols Genever cocktail party at Beekman Bar & Books. Created in Holland during the 16th century, Genever is the original recipe for gin, although the white spirit tastes very different from the London Dry style of gin. Made with maltwine (distilled from corn, rye, and wheat), and various botanicals (including ginger, coriander, and, of course, juniper berries), Bols Genever has a rich, slightly floral, malty flavor and is very smooth and neutral. Relaunched last year, the spirit has been a hit with NYC mixologists and won the Best New Spirit award at this summer’s Tales of the Cocktail. It’s especially relevant to the classic cocktail revolution since Genever was one of four main ingredients called for in many cocktails created by the pioneer of American bartending, Jerry Thomas.

For the Nirvino event, Ben Scorah, mixologist and managing partner of Bar & Books, mixed cocktails that would normally feature scotch whisky and used the Bols Genever instead. Guests were encouraged to sample three different concoctions–a Green Apple-Infused Old Fashioned, a Dutch Blood & Sand, and a Holland Razorblade (Bols Genever, lemon juice, simple syrup, and cayenne pepper).  A laptop was connected to a large flatscreen TV that scrolled live reviews by Nirvino users of the cocktails, so everyone could see that the Blood & Sand was clearly the crowd favorite.  Tal Nadari and Katie Darling of Lucas Bols Spirits were on hand to share more information about Bols Genever, and at the end of the event, two Nirvino users were chosen at random to win bottles of Bols Genever and cocktail shakers. Tomas Delos Reyes, the NYC representative for Nirvino, says these cocktail events will be happening monthly, so if you want to join in, just sign up as a member at Nirvino.com.

Bols Genever is a crowd-pleaser.

Bols Genever is a crowd-pleaser.

Tomas Delos Reyes of Nirvino and Tal Nadari of Bols.

Tomas Delos Reyes of Nirvino and Tal Nadari of Bols.

Ben Scorah's Green Apple-Infused Old Fashioned.

Ben Scorah's Green Apple-Infused Old Fashioned.