Yesterday Notte

On a liquor buying expedition the other day, I was looking for gin to supplement my bottle of Tanqueray with lime. That's good but just too fragrant for some drinks. I picked up a bottle of Burnett's; I'd brought one home a few months ago and drank my way through it pretty fast. It was good for an inexpensive brand, and, well, inexpensive, if not cheap. But once I got it home, I started to think, maybe I should try something new. I know, not a typical male. So on my next trip out I went whole hog and bought a bottle of Plymouth. The NY Times gave that a good review a few months ago when they surveyed several different gins.

I looked up Plymouth gin and found a few interesting factoids: Ian Fleming drank it, so you can assume Bond, James etc., did too. It can only be made in Plymouth, England. It's sweeter than London dry gin. The stuff I bought is 41% alcohol, but they also make a 'navy strength' at 51%. If you have any gunpowder in the cellar and spill some gin on it, it will still explode. Good to know.

Somewhere I recently came across mention of gin sours, so I decided to use those to take Plymouth through its paces. (And the drinks in my calendar the last few days haven't been all that interesting; I'll mix those up one of these days.) The first sour I made was 2 parts gin, 1 part lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon superfine sugar. I used almost a spoon full of sugar, and the gin still didn't go down all that well. The drink was awfully sour; the lemon overpowered the gin.

For drink no. 2, I used gin and sweet and sour mix and just eyeballed the proportions. One thousand one, one thousand two, ... Better: not as sour, and I could taste the gin. Though I'm not sure Burnett's wouldn't have been just as good in it.

Later last night I was watching La Notte, a film by Michelangelo Antonioni with a young Marcello Mastroianni and Jeanne Moreau. Midway through it I mixed up a Campari and gin in the spirit of the flick. The first couple sips were like taking medicine for malaria or something, but the taste grew on me, similar to drinking retsina, though I had that bitter Campari taste in the back of my mouth until I went to bed I can see drinking this as an aperitif before a nice dinner out somewhere. But one 1960s Italian movie goes a long way.