As you might have gleaned from the fact that every other recipe posted here involves gin, it’s a favorite of mine. And there’s a lot to learn. Thanks to a story (and concurrent CPCC meeting) I did a few months back on Old Tom gin, I’ve since been delving deeper into the varietals and history of each, which has proven challenging considering  there doesn’t really exist any kind of comprehensive glossary of all of the various styles of gin…until now!

Voila: “Know your gins,” which appeared in the Tribune’s Good Eating section last week alongside a lovely roundup of summer gin cocktails by my colleague, food and wine critic Bill Daley.

The glossary has since been reprinted in other papers around the country, and I haven’t yet had anyone challenge my definitions (which were derived over the course of several months of research, interviews and tastings).

While I purposefully didn’t play favorites in the glossary, as it was written for general reference purposes, this blog is precisely the venue for such opinions. Ahem:

* favorite gin in a Tom Collins: Hayman’s Old Tom
* favorite gin in a Negroni: Ransom Old Tom
* favorite for mixing gin & tonics: Death’s Door or Bombay Sapphire
* favorite for martinis, or even neat: North Shore Distiller’s Gin No. 6
* favorite-smelling gin: Small’s gin
* favorite label: Beefeater Summer Edition (featuring an old-timey man playing croquet!)

All of this means that I am now in dire need of updating the home bar inventory, which I hope to get to this weekend, as well as a post from the third annual Summer Solstice Soiree. Soon!