Winter Gins in Iceland

Iceland has two seasons: Winter, and Not Winter. As the chill takes a bite and the winter coats come out, my drink preference goes towards those that beat the Winter Blues. Warmth and spices that evoke cheerful and cozy spirits around the holidays. Full flavors and richness that play well with classic garnishes you would find in Winter: oranges, cloves, cranberries, baking spices. Consider these winter potions to warm you up, with the added freshness of fruits and spices to leave you palate clean and craving more. All of these products are proudly featured at Klaustur Bar.

 1) Copperhead: Your first experience with Copperhead will be the strikingly beautiful bottle, and the curious shape as homage to Gin’s origins as an old medicine. I grew up in Belgium, where Copperhead is made, which is known for full-flavor beer and damp, drizzly winters. The magic of Copperhead’s alchemy makes it a full-flavor gin that is perfect as a winter warmer. Copperhead is pot distilled, which I find gives gins a robust mouthfeel and high volume, concentrated botanical expression. I recommend enjoying Copperhead Gin with a slice of orange, a few cloves or cardamom, and Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic.

Profile: Floral, Dry.

Taste: Cardamom, warm spice, burnt orange.

Recommended Garnish: Orange slice, clove.

A handsome stylish bottle housing a full flavor gin. Belgium is no stranger to big flavor.

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 2) Bathtub Gin: Just the name Bathtub Gin evokes an era of Prohibition, Speakeasies, and toasting drinks in hushed, secret meeting places. The production of Bathtub Gin is also a reflection of those times, when botanicals were soaked in neutral spirits in one’s bathtub to make hooch at home. Bathtub gin is a compound gin, where botanicals are infused into a neutral white spirit much like a tea bag would be steeped in water. I find compound gins to have much fresher and varied flavors than from other methods, and can have more of an opulent bouquet of scents on the nose. I recommend enjoying Bathtub Gin with orange peel, either cloves or cinnamon, and Fever Tree Indian Tonic.

Profile: Savory, Complex.

Taste: Cardamom, tobacco, pine resin.

Recommended Garnish: Orange peel, clove.

Spicy and full-flavored. This is quite a complex gin. Playful, in that you can either assault your senses in a long drink, or experiment to find the right cocktail to bind and transform its elements. Keep us posted on your discoveries!

gin Bathtubgin bathtub profile

 

3) Dodd’s: I had a pleasant stripe of cranberry tartness down the middle of my tongue when I first tried Dodd’s. This makes me think of cranberry dressing and chutneys for winter holiday meals. Dodd’s Gin is a modern marvel, with the heavier botanicals distilled in a pot still, and delicate botanicals distilled in a futuristic vacuum. My experience with vacuum distilled gins is that they give a bright, light expression of botanicals without being too cloying or heavily perfumed. A Dodd’s Gin and Tonic is a good companion for your holiday poultry dish. I recommend enjoying Dodd’s Gin with a few crushed cranberries, lemon or orange peel, and Fever Tree Naturally Light Tonic. Alternatively, you could mix in a spoonful of raspberry or rhubarb jam for an aperitif. Further, infuse Dodd’s with vanilla, cranberry, and lemon peel, add a half serving to a bit of sugar and muddled lemon peel, and top with champagne for a festive holiday cocktail.

Profile: Spicy, complex.

Taste: Cranberry, black pepper, orange peel.

Recommended Garnish: Raspberry, rhubarb.

This gin had such a pleasing stripe of fruity tartness down the middle of my tongue. The peppery bite of this gin put it over the top.

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