Combs When: What Happens When John Fraser Makes Gin


The second “movement” of John Fraser’s temporary restaurant installation (don’t call it a pop-up) What Happens When is in full swing, and much of the blogosphere has been weighing in on the food and space. But one interesting part of the menu has remained somewhat under the radar: the proprietary gin, named, appropriately, Combs When, from Comb Vodka & Gin.

“When we realized that we were going to be using a limited number of mixers, we wanted to select some larger spirits brands that we know but also some smaller ones that we could hand-select,” explained chef John Fraser.

Combs When is made by fermenting honey and adding other flavors like ginger, allspice, and lemon. All of the company’s products (vodka, gin, brandy) are made with honey, and Fraser worked with the brand to develop a specific flavor profile that would be “not spicy like hot, but spicy liked spiced.”

“It tastes like gin but some gin is overly junipery. In this case the honey balances out. If you ever have really spicy salsa and add honey to it, it mellows out the heat, and the use of honey mellows out the spice in juniper,” states Fraser. Which makes it a good spirit for cocktail pairing. The gin will be featured each month in a new libation, the current one being a $13 drink called the Titania (after the character in A Midsummer Night’s Dream), and which combines the gin with honey, americano aperitivo allspice, and lemon. And next month’s drink? You’ll just have to see what happens then.