Besides the more familiar London Dry and New Western gins, other offerings are cropping up on back bar shelves that don’t neatly fit into either category. Maciejewski points to the resurgence of Genever as a product that will continue to pique consumer interest in gin.
Genever (or Jenever), originated in the Netherlands and Belgium, and is technically the original style of gin, but its ageing in barrel lends it an earthy, malty characteristic that can also appeal to whiskey drinkers. The Martinez—the precursor to the modern Martini—is the classic Genever-based cocktail, typically made with Bols Genever, sweet vermouth, Maraschino liqueur and Angostura bitters. De Bernadinis believes that while Genever’s time spent in wood gives it a compelling layer of flavor—not to mention a touch of color—it may take some time for talented bartenders to really bring back this sub-category.
Square One Botanical straddles the line between flavored vodka and a juniper-less gin. “It’s great because it plays a little bit with people’s perception of what really divides the spirits categories,” recommends Thomson. “It blurs the lines between vodka and gin further. Morley agrees, calling it “training wheels” for the vodka lover. Bartenders are mixing it with tonic, and also using it in a softer, more accessible Martini. More assertively flavored is HUM Botanical Spirit, with hibiscus, ginger, cardamom and kaffir lime, which Thomson says he has used either as a bitters substitute or as a base spirit. Finally, Ransom Old Tom Gin is a sweeter style of gin that some consumers may find more palatable. Woodfire Grill uses it in the Ol’ Tom Cocktail ($10), tempering its sweetness with Cynar and and grapefruit.