Although New Amsterdam gin is produced in Modesto, CA, its name is meant to evoke classic New York cocktail culture, and also name-check the Dutch origins of gin. Eh.
But what’s actually interesting about this relatively new spirit is that it costs about $13 a bottle–a price that will get you exactly one cocktail at some bars. Plus, it’s very refreshing. The makers have decreased gin’s customary juniper in favor of citrusy and mineral flavors. The result is a gin that’s less sharp and herbal, more smooth and soft, with a gentle juniper aroma. The truth is that this might be a gin for non-gin-lovers. Or for those who like gin, but who might occasionally want something less assertive (but still full-flavored) in a martini or a gin and tonic.
Last night we made martinis with the New Amsterdam, using two parts gin to one part dry sherry. (We were out of vermouth.) It was delicious, especially garnished with fat green olives or a twist of preserved lemon. We drank the martinis with an easy fish tagine (recipe to come later).
You can buy New Amsterdam gin at most well-stocked liquor stores, including Union Square Wine and Spirits.