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!