Wisdom's Advance Gin Mixology Class

Wisdom’s Advanced Gin Mixology Class

Wisdom's Advance Gin Mixology Class

Photo by Scott Stead

Take a 2 hour mixology class with the Gintender covering the history of genever and how it evolved into gin, the spectrum of gin profiles, including aged gin.

Other Topics Covered:
How to drink gin: martinis and the power of vermouth, gin and tonics, and classic cocktails/neo gin cocktails and gin mixing basics.

You’ll also get the opportunity to sample the world’s most expensive gin ever created–the Nolet’s Reserve which costs $100 per ounce!

Includes a small bottle of house-made tonic syrup to take home.

Pricing:

$150/person with gratuity included. $135/person for six or more
Minimum 4 persons, Max 9 persons

Please request a date/time and backup date/time the  following:

Available times at Wisdom:
Monday 6:30, 7:30, 8:30, 9:30
Tuesday 6:30, 7:30, 8:30, 9:30
Wednesday 6:30
Thursday 6:30,7:30,8:30,9:30
Friday 6:00
Saturday 6:00
Sunday 6:30, 7:30, 8:30, 9:30, 10:30

Send Requests to DCWISDOM@gmail.com

1. In Subject Line write “Gin Mixology Class”

2. Please include Date and Time requested as well as a backup date and time.

3.  If you pre-purchased the class, please include your ticket number.

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The Spirit of Gin: A Stirring Miscellany of the New Gin Revival (Nov. 18)

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AUTHOR MATT TEACHER WILL BRING THE SPIRIT OF GIN TO DC
WITH A BOOK SIGNING AND CURATED GIN FLIGHT AT WISDOM

On Tuesday, November 18 from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m., gin expert Erik Holzherr (The Gintender) will host a special Book Signing with author Matt Teacher to celebrate the release of The Spirit of Gin: A Stirring Miscellany of the New Gin Revival (Cider Mill Press Book Publishers, November 2014) at Wisdom (1432 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, 202-543-2323). Guests will be able to purchase copies of the book at the event for Teacher to sign, and will also have the option to purchase and sip a specially curated gin flight that Teacher and Holzherr put together specifically for the event.

“Washington, DC has become a mecca for cocktail lovers, and especially for gin lovers, over the past few years, and I’m thrilled to visit and share my new book with the knowledgeable and curious drinkers in the District,” says Teacher, who is also the author of The Home Distiller’s Handbook (Cider Mill Press, 2011). Adds Holzherr, “We’re so happy to have Matt join us and share his gin stories first-hand with our fans and friends.”

10_20_14-GintenderAdTeacher and Holzherr created a special flight of three exceptional gins for guests to compare and contrast at the event which will include a traditional London dry gin, a historic Old Tom gin and a barrel-aged gin.

The Spirit of Gin is an engaging and informative chronicle of Teacher’s self-education on the oft-misunderstood and newly back-in-vogue spirit. The book, loaded with cocktail recipes, celebrated clubs, bars and top mixologists passionate about the spirit, as well as the large and small distilleries making the best gins today, belongs on the shelf of any serious home bartender, and would be equally at ease beside other best-selling cocktail books in any of the bars that Teacher visits on his gin-fueled journey. Each page leads readers through Teacher’s story in words, recipes and illustrations that range from clever original pieces to vintage advertisements and photographs. The book is a showpiece and makes a thoughtful gift for anyone interested in the contemporary cocktail revival.

Established in 2008, Wisdom is Washington, DC’s first dedicated cocktail parlor. The bar features the largest gin selection in DC/MD/VA, specializing in house-original cocktails, the finest American microbrews and the largest selection of authentic absinthe in Capitol Hill. Wisdom is also home to the country’s first Gin Club. It is located a half block from the Potomac Avenue Metro stop on the blue, orange and silver lines.

Matt Teacher is the co-founder and proprietor of Philadelphia, PA’s Sine Studios, a recording facility designed for acoustic optimization. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, he is also a devoted spirits lover whose thirst for knowledge drove him to research and write The Home Distiller’s Handbook, and now, The Spirit of Gin. He resides in Philadelphia with his wife, Katie, a musician who frequently joins him on his travels and who he is proud to have transformed from a vodka kind of gal into a knowledgeable gin lover. He is also the author of The Musician’s Hit Song Writer’s Notebook (Cider Mill Press, 2009).

For more information, please visit thespiritofgin.wordpress.com.

NEGRONI WEEK

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It’s Negroni Week–sponsored by Imbibe Magazine and, of course, Campari.

We are excited to see this cocktail grow in popularity in the country and are excited to be a part of the Negroni movement!

But first, a little background into this historic tipple. The Negroni or “King of the Aperitivo” is believed to have originated by Count Camillo Negroni of Florence around 1919-20. It is an “aperitivo” cocktail; that is “an opening” drink that refers to the time when Italians meet after work before heading home for dinner. Aperitif liqueurs and cocktails are said to stimulate or excite the appetite, cleanse the palate, and prep the taste buds prior to the feast.

The Negroni actually evolved from the Americano which came into being around 1860. The Americano (‘amer’ indicating bitter, not American) cocktail was first served in Caffè Casoni, and originally called the “Milano-Torino” because of its two alcoholic ingredients: Campari, the bitter liqueur, is from Milano and Cinzano vermouth from Torino. The legend describes Count Negroni as the coolest guy on the block (noble, wealthy, well-traveled, full of anecdotes and stories, and a great tipper) who befriended the bartender of Caffè Casoni. Mr. Fosco Scarselli mixed the count a stronger tipple by adding a London dry gin to the mix and changing the garnish from a lemon peel to an orange slice.

NOTE: An important life lesson: When in doubt add GIN. The rest is drinking history.

Audrey Saunders, the queen of gin and proprietor of The Pegu Club in NYC, has a Negroni philosophy the Gintender completely agrees with: Because of Campari’s potentially overwhelming bitter palate, this drink screams for a heavy juniper, classic dry gin.

The recipe:

1 oz of a heavy juniper classic dry gin (think Beefeater flavor profile)
1 oz of sweet vermouth (the better quality the vermouth, the better the Negroni)
1 oz of Campari
Stir over ice in a rocks glass and garnish with an orange slice or twist.

An appreciation for bitter in food and drink is said to be the pinnacle of a sophisticated palate. Bitter libations are also wonderfully refreshing and ideal on hot summer days. All this aside, the Negroni may be too bitter for some. In that case we recommend bumping up the gin slightly to 1.25 oz and lowering the Campari to 0.75 oz. Another simple tweak is to split the ounce of Campari with another less bitter liqueur. For example, Aperol (Italian bitter blood orange liqueur) is slightly less bitter.

Try this Gintender tweak at Wisdom this week:

N.B.I. (Nicholas on the Beach in Italy)
1.25 oz of barrel-aged Cardinal Gin from North Carolina
1.0 oz of Dolin Rouge Vermouth
0.75 oz of Campari
0.25 oz of Contratto Fernet Liqueur
Stir over ice in a rocks glass
Optional Garnish: Mint sprig

Tastings Notes:
The barrel-aged gin provides an extra depth to the drink and the gin’s peppermint finish blends extremely well with the mint in the Fernet liqueur.

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How to Drink Gin in the Spring

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Photo by Flickr user Ashley Moore

My guide to drinking Gin in the Spring–with classic tipples. The snow is beginning to melt and soon green will begin to appear. Spring is upon us and its time to shake off the hibernation cobwebs and load up on energy and excitement as the mating period is about to begin! Here are five classics gin cocktails with my recommended ratios that I believe are best suited for Spring:

Bees Knees

The Bees Knees-originated during our prohibition in the 1920s. The phrase “bee’s knees” was prohibition-era slang for “top notch”. Citrus & honey were often used to mask the cheap smell & taste of bathtub gin; believed to be the favorite of F. Scott Fitzgerald. I recommend a rye-based or aged gin that adds a bit of “weight” to the mix. If you have a a sweet tooth and have a Winnie the Poo fondness for honey, try it with the craft honey-heavy gin, Bar Hill.

2 oz of gin
0.5 oz of Runny Honey*
0.5 oz of fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Shake ingredients over ice and serve in a coup.

*Runny honey is a British mixologist term for diluted honey (1:1) water to honey. Caution: do not make massive amounts of Runny Honey ahead of time; water is introduced to honey it will inevitable combine with yeast (naturally in the air) and start the chain reaction of converting the sugar to alcohol making a prehistoric mead…or maybe you want to do this intentionally…

Monkey Gland

Created by Harry MacElhone of Harry’s New York bar in Paris sometime in the 1920s. The name derives in honor of the work of Dr. Voronoff, who attempted to delay the ageing process by transplanting monkey testicles…eh…cheers! A fine example of an absinthe cocktail that is well balanced by sweet and citrus. Any strength of juniper gin can work in this cocktail, but I would tend to go to a heavier juniper gin.

1.5oz of gin
0.25 oz absinthe
½ orange fresh-squeezed
Heavy dash of real grenadine
Shaken over ice and strained into a coup glass

Corpse Reviver #2

The most popular of the Corpse Reviver cocktails, intended to be a “hair of the dog” hangover. First published in 1930 in Harry Craddock’s Savoy cocktail book with these instructions: “to be taken before 11am, or whenever steam and energy are needed.” I recommend a heavy juniper gin.

1.0 oz of gin
0.5 oz of Lillet Blanc
0.5 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
0.5 oz of Cointreau
Dash of absinthe
Shaken over ice and strained into a coup

Ramos Gin Fizz

The secret recipe of the Imperial Cabinet Bar in New Orleans that was created in 1888. Over 20 bartenders were working at once, making nothing but this cocktail and still struggled to keep up with demand. The wildly popular & profitable bar like many fine institutions, however, met its end with American prohibition. At the onset of prohibition, Henry Ramos’ brother as a “screw you” to the government, published the secret recipe in a full page advertisement. This is a remarkable classic drink with the perfect balance of sweet and sour and a fluffy mouth feel. The longer you shake the ingredients without ice and then with ice the better-10 minutes should yield a wonderful drink and a great arm workout.

Any strength of juniper gin can work in this cocktail
1.5 oz of Gin
0.5 oz of fresh-squeezed lemon
0.5 oz of fresh-squeezed lime
0.5 agave nectar with drops of orange blossom water added
0.5 oz egg white
1.0 oz double heavy cream
Dry shake all ingredients, then add ice and shake
Pour over ice and top w soda in collins

Singapore Sling

Created sometime between 1911 and 1915 by Chinese-born Ngiam Tong Boon at the Long Bar in the Raffles Hotel, Singapore. There is huge debate over the original name and ingredients, and not even the Raffles Hotel knows for sure. Gin, Cherry Brandy & Benedictine are certain and the cherry brandy is primarily what distinguishes it from other slings. Such a famous creation that so few have actually tasted.

Recommend a heavy juniper gin or rye-based gin
1.5 oz of gin
1.0 oz Benedictine
0.5 oz Cherry Heering
0.5 oz fresh squeezed lemon
Stir in highball glass filled with ice and top w/ soda
2 dashes of orange & angostura bitters

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The Greenest of Gins

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By Scott Harris
Founder of Catoctin Creek

Catoctin Creek Watershed Gin is green. If you look at the capsule sealing each bottle of Catoctin Creek Watershed Gin, you’ll notice its green, unlike our Mosby’s Spirit and Roundstone Rye, which have black caps. For us, this color difference has real meaning. Not only is Catoctin Creek Watershed Gin is one of the few organic gins on the market, but it’s also produced in a zero waste process.

To make our gin, we start with whiskey. When we distill our whiskey, we make conservative cuts to ensure we have the smoothest whiskey possible. As a result, we have lots of alcohol that would normally go to waste. At Catoctin Creek, we re-distill the spirit until it has no taste and infuse it with our proprietary mix of botanicals, including juniper, bitter orange peel, cinnamon, coriander and anise seed. Besides using organic rye spirits for our gin’s base, we’re using 100% organic botanicals as well. Without any pesticides, herbicides, nitrogen-based fertilizers being used in the production of our gin, we’re helping to keep our streams and groundwater cleaner, hence the name “Watershed Gin”, referring to our native Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Because of how well the color suits our gin, we love using Green Chartreuse when we make cocktails. Since Green Chartreuse has a little bit of anise in it as well, it plays well with our gin’s flavor profile. Two classic gin and Chartreuse cocktails, the Bijou and the Last Word, are excellent cocktails for enjoying Catoctin Creek Watershed Gin.

Bijou

1 ½ oz Catoctin Creek Watershed Gin
¾ oz Green Chartreuse
¾ oz sweet vermouth
2 dashes of orange bitters

Stir ingredients with ice and strain into a coupe.

Last Word

¾ oz Catoctin Creek Watershed Gin
¾ oz Green Chartreuse
¾ oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
¾ oz lime juice

Shake ingredients until frost forms and strain into a coupe. Garnish with a brandied cherry.

If you typically drink martinis, I would wager these cocktails aren’t your stead. May we recommend our take on the original Bond cocktail: The Ghost of Vesper Lynd.

Using our Mosby’s Spirit in place of vodka in the conventional Vesper Martini recipe, you get a cocktail with a silky texture and a boozy punch, just like 007.

The Ghost of Vesper Lynd

2 oz Catoctin Creek Watershed Gin
½ oz Catoctin Creek Mosby’s Spirit
¼ oz Cocchi Americano

Stir ingredients with ice in a mixing glass and strain into a coupe. Garnish with lemon peel.

Try these and other gin cocktails with Scott Harris, co-owner of Catoctin Creek Distilling Co. when he visits the Gin Club on March 6.

Register for the March 6 Catoctin Creek tasting.

How to Drink Gin in the Winter

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Photo by Flickr User Raymond Shobe

Some drinkers believe that gin and other clear spirits are best enjoyed during warm, sunny weather and that darker spirits such as aged rums and whiskeys are best drank in the winter. These people are amateurs and should be tarred and feathered, or at the very least ignored.

The following are the Gintenders suggestions and his recommended proportions on classic gin cocktails that are perfect on cold nights…some are better known then others, but all when mixed with the right gin are delicious. And all along with over 70 gin combinations are available at Wisdom.

The Alexander

Created sometime before 1917. Although the Brandy Alexander is a famous variation, the original was certainly based on gin. The Alexander was a prohibition favorite because the other ingredients could mask harsh “bathtub” gin.

1.5 oz gin (recommend a heavy juniper gin, rye based gin or aged gin for this creamy delight)
0.75 oz crème de cacao
0.75 oz of heavy cream
Shake over ice and strain into coup
Garnish: nutmeg

The Bijou

Originated in the 1890s is believed to have been created by Harry Johnson. “Bijou” translates to “jewel” in French; gin represents diamonds, sweet vermouth-rubies, and Green Chartreuse-emeralds. This drink is a bold a high proof concoction, not for the faint of heart. The Gintender recommends dialing back the chartreuse to better balance the drink.

1.5 oz of gin (recommend a bold juniper gin)
.3 oz of Green Chartreuse
.5 oz of Sweet Vermouth
2 dashes of orange bitters
Stir ingredients over ice and strain into a coup glass
Optional garnish: lemon zest

The Martinez

Now believed to be the precursor of the Martini, the first known recipe for this drink appears in “The Modern Bartender” from 1884. It is debated whether it originally called for Oude genever or old tom gin-which are about as far opposite on the gin flavor spectrum as one can get. Some believe that a man named Julio Richelieu created the drink in 1874 for a goldminer in the Californian town of Martinez, the Gintender just believes it is delicious.

1.5 oz of genever Oude (or any style of gin)
1.5 oz of Cinzano Red
Dash of Cointreau
2 dashes angostura bitters
Shake over ice and strain into a coup

White Lady

Created by Harry MacElhone in 1919, and then recreated by Harry in 1923 as proprietor at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, France. This drink uses eggwhites which makes some squeamish due to salmonella fears…please decide for yourself. Why use raw eggwhites at all in a cocktail? Their impact on taste is negligible, but they do add a rich, silky, foam texture which is impossible to mimic.

1.5 oz gin (recommend a heavy juniper/spicy gin or rye based gin)
0.5 oz Cointreau
0.5 oz of fresh squeezed lemon
1.0 oz egg white
Dry shake all ingredients, then add ice and shake again. Strain into coup glass

Clover Club

One of the best known gin cocktails whose origin is shrouded in mystery, this cocktail may have originated at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia.
Believed to have been around since 1909.

1.5 oz gin (recommend a medium to heavy juniper gin)
1.0 oz dry vermouth
0.25 oz of fresh squeezed lemon
0.25 of grenadine or Guyot crème de cassis (black currant liqueur)
0.5 oz of egg white
Dry shake, then shake over ice and strain into coup

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